Most of Austin recognizes the name, Kendra Scott. She started her jewelry empire out of a spare bedroom in Austin, growing it into a billion dollar company.
The story of the founder and her company has inspired female entrepreneurs and fashion lovers alike. If you already adore the jewelry, but have never read the story, then prepare to experience a higher level of appreciation.
Scott started her business with just $500. After making her first set of jewelry, she took her three-month-old son and drove around store to store to sell her work. She was turned away plenty, but pushed to the next location with determination. At the final store she visited, she had to sell her entire collection in order to have the funding she needed to fill her orders.
Fast forward to today and Kendra Scott is a well-known name. The unique architecture and shape designed into each piece of jewelry is recognizable upon a glance. You can see Scott’s work in big name stores like Nordstrom and other retail establishments throughout the United States.
Scott opened her flagship store in late 2018 on South Congress Avenue. The store makes a beautiful addition to the iconic district with a chic storefront and dazzling mural that states, “Anything is possible in ATX.” The location has a Sips & Sweets cafe, as well as the brand’s Color Bar, where customers can create customized pieces of jewelry.
Austin as a Key to Success
As Scott grew her company, she had to face many biases. She was told she wasn’t going to succeed coming out of Austin, Texas. She needed to launch her company on one of the coasts. But, as Scott told me, “I love when people tell me that I can’t do something.”
Scott saw what other designers and advisers did not. Austin has an incredible community, something unique that sets it apart from other cities. We have our own way of doing things here, and that was inspiring to Scott.
“Austin a part of the brand,” Scott said. In fact, Austinites and Texans are usually some of the first visitors to her new stores. She attributes a key part of her company’s success to being influenced by and created out of Austin. This is why her headquarters is, and always will be, located in our vibrant city.
Strong Core Values
“When you fall, you have to pick yourself back up,” Scott told me. She learned the importance of surrounding oneself with amazing like-minded people. She knew it wasn’t possible for one person to do everything that was needed to make the company succeed. Finding the right team is when the magic happened.
In addition to finding her dream team, Scott made sure she instilled three core values into the business: family, fashion, and philanthropy. She ensures that her employees know family always comes first. But it’s not only her employees who she wants to share her core values with, but customers, as well. As Scott recognizes, it’s about more than providing good product.
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“You Do Good”
Scott’s first company, Hat Box, was launched at the time her step-father was combating brain cancer. Before he passed, he inspired Scott by saying we should always leave the world better than we found it. “You do good,” he told her. She developed her business plan for Hat Box with the idea of donating to cancer research.
“We don’t always know how long we have,” Scott said. That’s why she believes it’s important to be kind and do good. Since 2010, Kendra Scott has donated $30 million in monetary and in-kind donations to over 10,000 organizations. Kendra Care Mobile Color Bar can be found in over 30 pediatric hospitals, giving patients the opportunity to customize a piece of jewelry.
2019 Spring Collection
The 2019 Spring Collection embodies the traditional Kendra Scott architecture and shape, but with a more modern feel. Scott and team knew customers love their genuine shell, so they were inspired to find new ways to use it. They “crushed it, suspended it, layered it with faceted glass to bring more texture and dimension, mixing it with materials like acrylic for unique color and texture.”
Kendra Scott fans will also find pieces with modern geometric details, including elevated stone inlays and frameless stones with new silhouettes. Most exciting is the introduction of new, limited edition stones: peach mother-of-pearl, sky blue illusion, and azalea illusion.
I received a piece from the spring collection as a complimentary gift, and I absolutely love it. The colors are stunning and perfect for this season and beyond. Learn more on the Kendra Scott website.
@theAustinot wants to know:
Have you been to the Kendra Scott flagship store on South Congress?
I LOVE Kendra Scott and her whole story of rising to mega success from basically nothing! I love the culture that she’s creating for her team and customers. She’s really inspiring to me! Thanks for sharing, Brittany!! Great article! How about a picture of your new piece of jewelry?!?- Randi, Designing Futures PD