Kendra Scott had just given birth to her first child a few months after 9/11. She recalls putting her son in a Baby Bjorn to her chest and traveling from store to store attempting to sell the jewelry she’d produced in her spare bedroom in Austin, Texas. The shops that placed her initial orders, she laughs, “I don’t know if they appreciated the jewelry or if they felt sorry for my a passion for jewelry.”
How a Texas mom turned her passion for jewelry and giving back into a billion-dollar?
She was looking for gemstone jewelry that she could afford at the moment. She opted to create the items herself after finding nothing in her pricing range. Fast forward to 2017, and the 42-year-old mother of three is now the CEO of a multibillion-dollar company with 54 boutiques throughout 21 states passion for jewelry.
She tells PEOPLE, “This is the American Dream, and I can’t even wrap my brain around it.”Her initial business opening brings a grin to her face even now. People lined up around the block to show their support for her since she had previously backed them. “I made the decision early on that if someone ever asked for a contribution, I would never say no because I would always have something to give,” she adds. People she’d assisted were among her first customer’s passion for jewelry.
Scott describes herself as the CEO, founder, and chief designer, and she maintains that attitude today. Rather than focusing on marketing, each of her businesses has an events coordinator who is responsible for creating ways to engage with the community and attract the community into the store. The firm gave more than $3 million to charity dinners and in-store fundraising events last year. People who work in businesses are even taught that if they observe someone having a terrible day, they can present them at any moment. Scott says, “I honestly believe our secret sauce is giving.”
They’ve also lately created programs in hospitals that allow breast cancer patients and caretakers for children in children’s hospitals to design and produce their own Kendra Scott jewelry. “We’re demonstrating that you can be a fiscally prudent firm while still doing good and making a difference, and I’m hoping that we can serve as a beacon of light for big and small businesses alike, demonstrating that if you start with a giving heart, good things will follow.” She claims, “We have 15 years of proof of passion for jewelry.”
Scott’s stepfather died of brain cancer when he was just 47 years old, and she credits her business attitude to something he said just before he died.“He had a terrible time speaking near the end of his life, and he said, ‘You do well,’ and those words have remained with me and have been the foundation for all I’ve done since,” she adds. It’s functioning. This year, Scott plans to build twenty more stores, and he’s also planning to create a home accessory brand.“I will never forget what it was like to struggle, which is why I am so grateful that the American Dream is still alive,” she adds. “It’s a possible passion for jewelry”