The Sparkle of Success

Kendra Scott CEO, designer and philanthropist
Image Source: Forbes
Her first business failed. She was pregnant and on doctor’s ordered bedrest. The circumstances did not hint at the success that was to come if only approached with passion, grit and determination. Kendra Scott refused to let past failures or current obstacles shape her future. Instead, she gleaned the lessons she could from any trials and used them as seeds of knowledge in her new venture. 
Kendra Scott designing and making jewelry
Image Source: Thrive Global
Confined to her bed during her first pregnancy, Kendra used the time to act on a long held passion of jewelry making. After having her first child in 2002, Kendra hit the pavement with her toddler in tow to convince local Austin, TX boutiques to carry her handmade jewelry. Business thrived, that is until the financial crisis hit in 2009. 

As sales plummeted by 40% and the boutiques carrying her jewelry closed their doors, Kendra had a choice. She could have either accepted the downfall as the end of her dream, or as an opportunity to evolve and continue pressing forward. Thankfully, she chose to continue moving forward. 
Kendra Scott flagship Austin Texas store exterior

Kendra Scott flagship Austin Texas store interior
Kendra Scott flagship store exterior and interior. Image Source:

With her mind set on opening her own boutique, she refused to let the numerous turndowns from banks regarding her loan application deter her. She continued to approach banks until she found one willing to say yes and lend her the money for the first Kendra Scott boutique.

Kendra Scott jewelry display
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Before opening her store, Kendra recognized how women shop for other products in stores. When going to a department store or boutique for a new outfit, you expect to be able to touch the clothing, try it on and interact with the products. There is an emotional connection when women get in the fitting room and try on the right bra, shirt or dress. That is where you find the right fit, fabric and style. 
Kendra Scott Color Bar jewelry making
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Knowing this, Kendra chose not to use glass cases or packaging that would restrict customers from interacting with the jewelry. She also included a Color Bar that would empower customers to design their own unique pieces. 
Kendra Scott earring display
Image Source: Kelly in the City
Her bold choices to open a store in the midst of a recession and reimagine how the store would be configured were well worth the risks. Over the years, Kendra’s brand has grown from her original $500 investment in her spare bedroom, to a company with 100 stores valued at $1 billion. Talk about a great return on investment! 
Kendra Scott Success Magazine interview image
Image Source: Success Magazine
Even as success has multiplied, Kendra has remained true to her core values of Family, Fashion and Philanthropy. Some of the amazing programs the company embraces include a Buy One, Gift One program to give jewelry to breast cancer patients, as well as the in-store fundraising efforts through the Kendra Gives Back program. Philanthropic investments are not limited to funding or products, but will also include leadership development through the UT Austin Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) Institute starting in Spring 2020 to help develop female leaders. 
Kendra Scott Success Magazine Cover
Image Source: Success Magazine
Kendra’s journey shows us that nothing is impossible and that though failures or setbacks can feel like the end of a story, they are merely a part of a chapter. As the chapters unfold, lessons are learned, strength is gained and positive change becomes possible. Kendra Scott jewelry gift boxes
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