Celebrated Texas Jewelry Star kendra scott‘s ability to juggle work-life balance is truly impressive. The founder of her billion-dollar namesake brand is a newlywed, a guest shark returning in the upcoming season of shark tank, and is about to release its first memories, Born to Shine – Do good, find your joy, and build a life you love.
Between a dizzying schedule of brand management, philanthropic endeavors, a multi-state book tour, shark tank duties and nurturing a new blended family of eight, we wonder when the Austin-based entrepreneur will have time to breathe.
Apparently, cheese, margaritas, and finding joy in the little things keep the entrepreneur going. Scott also credits her marriage to Thomas Evans (her wedding ring is the only piece of jewelry she never takes off) and her relationship with her family, including her three children, Kade, Beck and Gray, as the basis of her success.
And while her jewelry has been a must-have accessory for more than two decades, her first foray into the literary world has been one of vulnerability and determination.
After kicking off his book tour in Houston earlier this week, Scott will be at the company’s South Congress Flagship in Austin this Saturday, September 17 from 11am-1pm. Tickets for the event are still available on Eventbrite, and each ticket includes a copy of the book, a meet and greet with Kendra, an exclusive tote bag, and more.
Prior to the Austin event, Scott sat down with CultureMap in Houston to get an exclusive on their next chapter.
CultureMap: how long did it take you to write born to shine?
Kendra Scott: It took me a little over two years since I decided to write the book, but I really have been writing this book for years. I never realized that my diary notes would one day become a book. It’s been a long process, but after 20 years of running our company, honestly, it was the perfect time to write this book.
CM: How did you juggle writing, running the business, and being a working mom?
KANSAS: You know, it’s always a challenge. If someone tells you it’s easy, and they’ve got it figured out, I think they’re lying. I wrote this during the pandemic so I was at home working with the support system of those closest to me. All of our meetings were virtual, so it allowed me time to reflect.
I had also just stepped down as CEO and could focus on being president, designer, and founder. I was able to focus more on our philanthropic endeavors, like our school at the University of Texas (Women’s Institute for Business Leadership), and focus on writing this book. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
CM: How personal do you get in the book?
KANSAS: I become very vulnerable in the book and I feel like there is power in vulnerability. I hope that being vulnerable allows other women or people to share their failures, successes and ups and downs and be authentic.
I also hope that the stories of my childhood, marriage, divorce, starting a business and failing in a business, all of those things are part of what makes me who I am. In the book, I talk about the power of gemstones. All gems have streaks that are considered blemishes, but are actually what make them beautiful.
CM: Was there something you wrote but then changed your mind?
KANSAS: I took out the whole first chapter and I wasn’t going to put it there. My editor, who is also my editor, told me that the chapter was great and that she thought it should be chapter one.
It made me realize that I had to be honest because the book begins in a difficult place but then takes the readers on an incredible journey.
CM: Can fans expect more books in the future?
KANSAS: You know, I thought about this. Now that this book is available in the world, I don’t think it will be the last. It’s a different way of being creative, and I think I have other stories to tell.
I would love to do a children’s book one day. My oldest son was one when I started this company; he is now 20 years old, so he has grown along with the business. Now I have a nine-year-old boy and I have always read to him. I really hope children’s books are in my future.
KS: Why did you decide to start your book tour in Houston?
CM: Houston is part of who I am. This is where I became a Texan. I moved here from Wisconsin when I was 16 and graduated from Klein High School. Moving at 16 and as a junior can be difficult, but Klein took me in – the community was very welcoming.
Houston made me the woman I am today. She made me realize that there is more to the world than the small town in Wisconsin where I grew up. Houston is such a vibrant city, full of culture and diversity. I felt like it was really important for me to start here because it was my first start in Texas.
CM: You’re going back to shark tank for season 14. How was the experience this time?
KANSAS: i love being in shark tank. I’ll be flying to Los Angeles for the premiere with all the other guest sharks on September 23, and it’s exciting because there’s never been a live premiere.
Nothing inspires me more than other entrepreneurs. There are long days on set, but they go by quickly because I’m excited to meet other entrepreneurs. Many of these people were brainstorming ideas before the pandemic, and the downtime during the pandemic gave them the opportunity to put their ideas into action. I can witness a bit of that in the tank, it’s a lot of fun.
CM: You have a lot to do, but is there anything else fans can look forward to before the end of the year?
KANSAS: We just launched engagement rings and a whole bridal collection which is very exciting. We’re expanding into other fine jewelry categories, including diamonds and gold, and adding more customization options than ever before.
Scott Brothers, the line I created with my kids during the pandemic, is also expanding. It’s so much fun that our male customers who were here to shop for the women in their lives can now shop for themselves. We’ve also just expanded into watches, so there’s a lot going on.
If you think about it, it took Ralph Lauren 25 years to expand into other categories. Our company has been around for 20 years, so I really like that Kendra Scott’s next phase is so fun and exciting. From a philanthropic standpoint, we’ve donated more than $50 million since 2010 to women’s and children’s charities. We are, in many ways, a philanthropic organization within a brand. That’s how we measure success, so I can’t wait to announce our charitable efforts in the years to come.
We have a solid foundation and we know what we stand for and stand for. I feel like the best is yet to come.
Kendra Scott’s first memoir is published on September 20.
Courtesy of Kendra Scott
Kendra Scott’s first memoir is published on September 20.