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Q&A with Kendra Scott
The Wisconsin native and jewelry designer reflects on her Midwestern upbringing, why philanthropy is so intrinsic to her eponymous companyís culture, and her go-to spots when visiting Milwaukee.

Photos by Trevor Hoehne

Sept. 2017

How has your Midwestern upbringing influenced the business and its core values?

I grew up in Kenosha with a strong, hardworking family that lived by even stronger values. They taught me if you love what you do, work hard at it and treat people right, you can achieve anything. Thatís why I founded my company on the core values of family, fashion and philanthropy. Those three values have formed a strong foundation for our business and allowed us to create a company culture that stands apart from the rest.

Philanthropy is a big component of your companyís culture. As a CEO, why is giving back so important?

From the beginning, we have been a company that authentically cares about our customers and the causes that matter to them. We have a firm ďnever say noĒ policy, which means whenever someone comes to us with a cause dear to their heart, we will always have something to give. Our dedication to philanthropy has built unique and invaluable relationships within our communities, and I believe we are a stronger business today because of it.

You recently expanded into home accents, establishing the Kendra Scott Home collection. Why home? What makes the collection unique?

My home collection combines my love of natural gemstones with my love of beautiful interiors to create a line thatís unlike any other in the market. We use all genuine stones and custom design details, making each piece a unique home accent that can be loved for a lifetime. This collection truly is home dťcor from a jewelry designerís perspective.

Name three of your pieces you canít live without ó and why.

Oh, itís impossible for me to pick a favorite ó itís like being asked to pick my favorite child! Although I have to say, my favorite stone has always been turquoise. It was the stone I used to design my first-ever collection, and I still bring it into my designs whenever I can.

The company is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. (Congrats!) What will the next 15 years bring?

I have watched my dream come to life, from a small $500 project in my spare bedroom to a fashion brand valued at over $1 billion. Itís amazing to think that all this has happened in just 15 years. But we arenít slowing down anytime soon. I am constantly pushing my teams to dream bigger and go beyond what we believe to be possible, and my goal is to create a global legacy brand that will last for years to come. I can promise you: This is just the beginning for Kendra Scott.

Having spent time in Milwaukee to launch your first Wisconsin store at The Corners of Brookfield, what are your go-to spots when visiting the area?

Harbor House is perfect for date night with my husband, Matt. And when Iím on the go, I always head to Colectivo Coffee ó before stopping by our beautiful Brookfield store, of course.

This story ran in the Sept. 2017 issue of: