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Kendra Scott wasn't born in Texas...but she got here as quick as she could and started designing jewelry soon after. The Austinite launched Kendra Scott Design Inc.—her brand's precursor—in 2002 and hasn't looked back since the opening of her South Congress flagship. Currently, her 12 eponymous stores are spread across five states, and three more are on the way, including the opening of her first store in Fort Worth. The University Park Village boutique is scheduled to open on Monday.
This mom of three young sons is crazy-busy, but she recently made time to answer a few questions in this Racked Dallas exclusive.
Tell us about the road that led you to start Kendra Scott Jewelry.
I decided to turn my passion for jewelry into a business in 2002, when I dared to take a chance. I invested $500 in materials for a mini-jewelry collection, worked out of the spare bedroom of my house and took to the streets selling my pieces store-to-store. Today I oversee a thriving multimillion-dollar fashion brand that boasts namesake stores in five states, and plans for many more. My goal was to create a brand of beautiful, quality, attainable jewelry that has made the Kendra Scott brand a trailblazer in the fashion industry with a broad spectrum of loyal customers.
How did you develop your niche/the "look" of the brand?
The motivation behind starting my own jewelry line was to create fresh, fashion-forward, quality jewelry at an attainable price point. Everything we create is hand-crafted, uniquely cut and of great quality, and we pride ourselves in that. I began my business with the consumer in mind, always asking myself, 'What would I want to wear?' and I continue to design with that mindset today. This has been a huge contribution to the brand's widespread appeal.
When did you realize that your jewelry was beginning to become popular?
The success that followed the opening of our flagship Austin store on South Congress was a major milestone for my brand and took us to that next level we'd been striving for. Having a Kendra Scott boutique was a dream of mine for years, and though I knew Austinites would love and support it, I could not have imagined the immense success the store would have immediately upon its opening. The prosperity we experienced at the Austin store was the fuel that continues to drive our growth and increase brand awareness across the country!
How did you arrive at the idea for the custom aspect of your business, the Color Bar?
My team and I would often make custom jewelry for ourselves. Wanting every woman to have access to this, the Color Bar™ was born! This innovative, one-of-a-kind concept allows the customer to be involved with the creation of jewelry, presenting them with 26 stone colors and 23 silhouettes for endless possibilities. The Color Bar™ has a physical presence as the central hub at each of our stores, and is also accessible online from computers, smart phones and tablets.
Do you choose your own jewelry based on the outfit you'd like to wear or vice versa?
I love expressing myself through my choice of bold accessories. I'm a firm believer that your jewelry should always be a colorful reflection of your own personality. I find that bright colors and fabulous patterns suit my personality best, so whether I express that in my clothes or my jewelry—or both!—I think it is important to let your outer style reflect your inner personality.
What's new for Kendra Scott Jewelry? Can you tell us a little about the GlamRocks collection?
Our new GlamRocks Collection is a toast to 1970's fashion, free-spirit festival days and midnight dance parties. Inspired by the music-lover of all generations, this collection is the perfect addition to your wardrobe, whether you're looking for a delicate hint of shine or a glittering style statement! I have to say, this collection is one of my favorites we have ever created!
Why did you choose to open in Fort Worth? Is there something about the area, or University Park Village, that caught your eye?
My fans mean the world to me, and our customers from Fort Worth have been wonderful and loyal supporters of our brand for a number of years. It was only a matter of time before we seized the exciting opportunity to open our doors here! As for Fort Worth itself, I absolutely love this city. The people, the atmosphere...something about it all makes you instantly feel at home. I cannot wait to get involved in this beautiful and welcoming new area!
You're a mom of three sons. Describe your "on-duty" mom look vs your everyday businesswoman outfit.
Being a designer immersed in the fashion world, I always pay close attention to trends, so I love to incorporate fashion-forward pieces into my look. I am also a mother, with oodles of soccer games to attend and carpools to participate in, so I tend to keep the staple pieces in my wardrobe pretty classic. I love to experiment with color, especially pairing unexpected hues together with my vibrant jewelry.
What's next for KS? Where do you plan to open next?
We will have 17 stores by the years' end and plan to double that number by the end of 2015! Eventually, we would like to have stores internationally. And it may just happen sooner than later. The sky is the limit here at Kendra Scott!