Kendra Scott “Faked It Till She Made It” in the Jewelry Industry
The Kendra Scott story is one for the books. About 16 years ago, she didn’t have much going for her, apart from the fact that she would occasionally string beads together at her Texas residency. With only $500 and a dream, she longed for a time when she would be able to make pocket-friendly, yet high-quality jewelry.
In back-to-back years, Forbes has listed Scott as one of America’s high achievers. In the ranking, she’s considered as a self-made mogul above household names like Taylor Swift and Beyonce. A feat worth reckoning.
Analysts believe that a significant portion of her fortune emanates from her majority stake in the establishment she founded. Investors believe that the company is currently worth slightly more than the $1 billion mark.
In a recent TV interview, Scott divulged that her journey was one with a couple of hurdles along the way. She cited that the ups and downs almost drove her to lose her business thanks to the insufficiency of operating capital. At one point, she recalled being the only one pulling all the strings and one step away from insolvency, or, as she put it, she was simply bootstrapping.
Scott revealed that the company was at lowest following the economic recession of 2008. At the time, the company was forced to trim it’s workforce to a lean 7-member team. The fact that they were able to work through that transition and become a force to reckon with today is perhaps her greatest accomplishment.
Speaking about the unity in the company, she described the 7 ladies as the “super seven”. She seemed happy recalling the growth that’s happened in the company, all the struggles in between and the celebrations they made over the smallest of things. She strongly believes that their resolve to band together and think up ideas on improvement as being the reason as to why the company has achieved the monumental success today.
At the heart of the “super seven” setup is Scott’s mother. In the group setting, she was given the moniker of “Mama Janet”. Speaking enthusiastically, Scott recalled that the first big order they shipped was made out of their dining room, with her mom playing a pivotal role in the transaction.
All they really wanted to do was make it through the hard times. In essence, they fully believed in the mantra of “faking it, till you make it.”
Going forward, Scott has confessed that she’s very much determined on enhancing the company’s ethics towards cultivating the empowerment and emergence of women leaders. The female contingent is placed in charge of numerous departments from product development to the actual sales and distribution networks.
Scott shared that when women band together, they can be an unstoppable force in whatever they do. Having experienced the rise of the Kendra Scott brand, which is largely women-owned, Scott believes that more businesses need to take cues from what they’ve been able to achieve.
At only 44 years old, the CEO reckons there’s still room for improvement. One way she ensures that she’s giving her employees the best working conditions is by constantly assessing the benefits her employees get at the end of the day. Of course, the packages vary from C-suite executives to employees working on an hourly basis.
During an interview with CNN’s Harlow, Scott revealed that the secret in ensuring a smooth running company is by retaining the most valuable employees as part of the workforce. According to her, it’s never about the wages employees receive. There’s much more to it than simply a salary issue. Instead, she seeks on enhancing the entire benefits package as a whole.
Hopes and Fears
Asked about what she was most proud about, Scott quickly replied by saying that her eyes well up every time she goes through the company doors and is greeted by the smiling faces of children in the offices and happy moms proud of their careers
As someone who strongly espouses the essence of the family equation, Scott is a generous giver. Thanks to her Kendra Cares initiative, she’s been able to give back to society about $4 million for both local and national causes. In this year’s edition of the fund, they had set a $5 million target.
The only thing that she seems concerned about these days are the new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration. With the new laws, she believes it’s going to become harder for jewelry designers in the United States to shine since they’re competing with the whole world.
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