Kendra Scott is a household name for pretty much anyone who loves to wear jewelry. What may not be so well known, however, is that the multi-million dollar jewelry line that is now carried in 38 stand alone stores as well as more than a thousand retailers, was actually started by Scott as recently as 2002, and with a budget of only $500.
The amount of hard work and business savvy it would take to become so successful in such a short amount of time, all while balancing motherhood, is mind boggling to me. From the beginning, her business philosophy was built with philanthropy and family in mind. To have the foresight to see the value of creating a socially conscious business, as well as implementing a company culture that puts family first, is pretty incredible. So I just had to take the opportunity to get some of Kendra’s success secrets, in hopes I could implement some of her tips in my own life, and inspire you a bit as well!
Read my interview below:
Z: As a wildly successful entrepreneur and full-time mother, you are living the dream that many of us women have out there. Have you ever doubted yourself or wanted to throw in the towel? If yes, what did you do to keep yourself motivated?
K: Starting a business is never easy, but through this journey I’ve found that the struggle only makes me stronger. These past 13 years have been full of ups and downs, but with lots of hard work and a true passion for what I do, I have watched my business grow from the extra bedroom of my house into a multi-million dollar brand. My advice to any entrepreneur is to believe in yourself, love what you do, be ready to withstand the hard times, and never ever give up.
Z: You have collaborated with a number of companies over the years, what has been your favorite collaboration to date? And why?
K: In 2005, I had the honor of meeting Oscar de la Renta and collaborating with him to design the jewelry for his Spring 2006 runway show. I have always respected and admired this man, and I will never forget him giving a young designer like me a chance. I will forever remember his brilliant talent and incredible generosity. It truly was the experience of a lifetime.
Z: What is the biggest ‘mistake’ you have made as a business owner? it could also be just a lesson that you learned or something you wish you had done differently)
K: I don’t like to think of any experience as a mistake. I look at everything as a learning and growing opportunity, something that will improve my business and my own skills in the long run. One such lesson I’ve learned from my past is the importance of hiring the right people who not only have great talent, but also share the same passion and vision you have for your company and fit in with your company culture. In the beginning, I was hiring based on talent and resumes, even though sometimes I had an inkling that their personality may not be the best fit. I know now that it doesn’t always matter how much experience a person has or how good they may look on paper. The single most important thing is hiring people who fit your company’s philosophy and culture.
Z: Lastly, which piece from the current collection is your absolute favorite?
K: My latest love has to be the Coursen necklace. I have absolutely fallen for this new cuff silhouette and I must say, I can’t stop wearing it. Our large window drusy stones add an element of eye-catching sparkle, which is perfect for all those holiday parties on your calendar!
You can visit the new Kendra Scott store in Chicago, at 900 N. Michigan Ave.
Photo credit: Michelle Wodzinski Photo and Film