10 Questions with Jewelry Designer Kendra Scott
1) Where and when did you start your company?
I designed my very first collection in 2002, in the spare bedroom of my house in Austin, Texas. I hand-wired each piece by hand, focusing on designs that let natural stones take center stage. I packed my samples into a small tea box and walked door-to-door to local Austin boutiques with my newborn son on my hip. I always say I’m not sure if they loved my jewelry or they just felt sorry for me, but I sold out on that first day!
2) What is the scope and concept of the Kendra Scott brand?
The idea that inspired me to start designing jewelry was simple: I wasn’t finding the pieces I was looking for. I saw a white space in the market for gorgeous, quality jewelry made with genuine stones at an attainable price point. So I decided to make my own. Today, my design principles remain the same: Each Kendra Scott piece features beautiful, quality stones and artfully crafted details, and is designed in our Austin, Texas studio.
3) How much of your business is related to the bride and bridal party?
You could say, all of it!
Every bride’s style is so unique and while I designed my Bridal Collection with her in mind, oftentimes a bride is drawn more to our seasonal trend-forward pieces, or minimalist signature designs. There is a silhouette for every bride’s personality in our collections, whether she is more understated and classic, or modern and bold.
4) What’s trending in jewelry at the moment for brides?
I’ve noticed a return to detailed, heirloom designs for brides. My Bridal Collection was first inspired by the jewelry I designed for my own wedding and features many of the same vintage-inspired designs and crystal details that I fell in love with. It’s an elevated collection that is perfectly on trend for today’s brides and feels worthy of the memories you’ll keep for a lifetime.
5) What’s trending for the bridal party?
One trend I adore, and don’t see going away any time soon, is the “mix and match” trend. I love that more and more brides are allowing their bridal party to embrace their own unique style, from the bridesmaid dresses to the jewels they don for the big day.
6) Tell us about your personalization - designing your own wedding jewelry at the Color Bar™.
Our Color Bar™ is the perfect way for a bride to incorporate a personalized element into her wedding day. She can visit our store and walk out minutes later with a custom design in hand, or shop online for personalized jewels for her entire wedding party and have it quickly shipped to her door. We even host bridal Color Bar™ parties in our stores, where a bride chooses her palette and each bridesmaid chooses the style that best suits her – all while enjoying champagne and sweets on us! To me, the Color Bar™ is where jewelry becomes much more than simply an accessory. It is a token of your wedding day, and a personalized piece to treasure forever.
7) How has that helped your business?
I launched the Color Bar™in 2010, before the customization trend had swept the industry. Today, the program makes up almost 16% of our business and has set us apart as an innovator in customization. A unique jewelry experience that lets our customers design their own accessories within minutes, the Color Bar™ is where personal style meets instant gratification.
8) You have expanded into home. What is the common thread of those products and the jewelry?
I am a jewelry designer first and I infuse my love of gemstones and quality materials into everything I do. Our Home Collection features a large-scale use of genuine stones and shells paired with the same thoughtful detail seen in our jewelry. I design each piece to be jewelry for your home.
9) Registering for jewelry and home? How does that work?
Every bride registers for towels, cutting boards, pots and pans – things she needs. I wanted to give the bride an opportunity to register for things she wants - whether it’s a stunning pair of earrings to wear on her honeymoon, or a gorgeous gemstone frame to hold her favorite wedding picture.
10) Tell us about your philanthropy program.
At Kendra Scott, philanthropy is an integral part of everything we do. From the beginning, we have been a company that authentically values giving back and making a positive difference in our community. From a national organization or local charity to a friend in need, I believe we always have something to give. Last year I’m honored to say we gave back $3.5 million to local and national causes. This year, we are working towards a giveback goal of $5 million.