Last week I was fortunate enough to do something that I have been wanting to do for sometime. I had a chat with Jewelry Designer, Kendra Scott, whose signature colored stone earrings, necklaces and rings have quickly become the jewels of choice on gals of all ages. Her target audience, says Kendra, “is a personality, not an age, fashion-forward, full-of-life!” Her line is very extensive and does not stop there but it’s these pieces, Danielle earrings particularly, that are showing up on the stylish set everywhere I go!
Kendra, though not a native of Texas by birth, has been here since she was 16 yrs. old and we have definitely staked our claim on her as a designer that we are proud to call our own. Houston was her first Lone Star home, this Klein High School graduate then moved on to Austin, a natural place for her creative juices to flow, and has been based there ever since.
Danielle Earrings; $60
The following is an edited version of my phone conversation with Kendra that I had from a visit she was making to her Beverly Hills Store (managed by my “other daughter,” Jessica Meyerson….one of many connections I have with this talented lady!).
Now some highlights into the phenomenon that has become Kendra Scott…
RP: Please tell me about yourself and how Jewelry became the medium you chose to express yourself?
KS: Well, I began as a milliner. My first business was called The Hat Box, as I was spending much of my time at MD Anderson with my stepfather who was ill. I learned to make soft hats for many of the patients and it was here that I learned how I could utilize fashion, that I loved, to give back to the community (she gave a % to cancer research) and developed the philosophy that would become the core focus of my business model: family, fashion, philanthropy!
RP: What happened next?
KS: I worked for a travel magazine that took me all over the world, where I would find great inspirations, sketch them and build the inspiration that would later become my brand. I was pregnant with my first son and needed to keep busy, all the more reason to continue sketching my ideas for design.
RP: How did you finally get your jewelry line started?
KS: I did my research, it was 2002, the world was a little dismal after 9/11. I always loved color and thought there was a void in the market for color and at prices that were attainable for most people…average range being from $80-$100. So, I started my business with $500 and went from store to store in Austin and that first day three stores had written orders and a fourth bought all of my samples…I was on my way!
RP: Tell me about your growth and how that has happened?
KS: I established my corporate headquarters in Austin. I was constantly designing (6 collections/yr.). Did it mostly myself, then opened a showroom in NYC in 2008, at a time when the world was falling apart. I stayed my course…focused on the best fashion product I could do at the most affordable prices, focused on building a brand and a website and developed online only then, a Color Bar, that would engage my customers to literally build their own jewelry by picking the stone, the setting, and design online and have it shipped to their door the next day. (aspiring designers take note, you can learn from this!)
RP: What about Retail Stores exclusive for Kendra Scott?
KS: in 2010 I opened my first store on South Congress in Austin.
Made it an open-sell concept that was relaxed and fun, has a Color Bar where trained associates can have you making your choices and taking them home with you in minutes, and has become a gathering place for many of the young, hip set in Austin. Beverly Hills store opened in August of last year, with her L.A. showroom upstairs, which has become a haven for her many celeb customers that were already wearing her jewelry such as regulars Vanessa Williams, Sofia Vergara, Hilary Duff, plus more and the many celebrity stylists. She has also opened in Dallas and promises that a Houston location is close to happening! (like before year’s end, meaning by the Holidays, I hope!)
RP: What’s next for Kendra Scott and her Jewelry?
KS: Continue to produce great product, Pre-Fall is on its way, and lots of it…website is packed with many choices for now! Also, I will have a new higher-end line being sold in Neiman Marcus Designer Jewelry and Bergdorf Goodman in Spring 2013, name to be announced.
Also, to continue to give back to the community as much as I can. Myself and my girls do Meals on Wheels, Dress for Success and I have accepted being the Chairperson for the 2014 Go Red For Women Campaign in Austin (yea, Kendra, you know I love that, Heart is also my passion!).
FAMILY – FASHION – PHILANTHROPY!
Where to Buy now:
Kendra Scott website: www.kendrascott.com
Neiman Marcus Cusp Dept.,
Elaine Turner Boutiques,
Haut Chocolat Boutique
Charde Jewelry Boutique
The Monogram Shop
New Houston Store (TBD)
Nutcracker Market, November 7-11.
Turquoise Collection (available on website); Price range, $85-$188
Letty Necklace with Chalcedony Center Stone, $100
Pre-Fall 2012 Sampling of what is to come…
Shelby Ring in Red (available in 9 colors); $50
Harlow Necklace (3 shown), $195 each; Melita Cuff, $195; Darby Earrings, $7
(all photos courtesy of Kendra Scott Jewelry)