Austin icon Kendra Scott talks about new memories, shining career and Texas roots

Famous Texas jewelery star Kendra Scott‘s ability to tamper with work-life balance is seriously impressive. The founder of the billion-dollar brand of the same name is a newlywed guest shark returning for next season. shark tank, and to leave his first memory, Born to Shine: Do Good, Find Your Joy, and Build a Life You Love.

A dizzying program to run his brand, philanthropic efforts, a multi-state book tour, shark tank By nurturing missions and a new blended family of eight, we wonder when the Austin-based entrepreneur has time to breathe.

Apparently, finding joy in queso, margaritas, and the little things encourages the entrepreneur to keep going. Scott also credits his marriage to Thomas Evans (the only jewelry he never took off) as the foundation of his success, and his relationship with his family, including his three sons, Kade, Beck, and Gray.

While her jewelery has been a must-have accessory for over two decades, her first venture into the world of literature was with vulnerability and determination.

After kicking off his book tour in Houston earlier this week, Scott will be aboard the company’s South Congress Flagship in Austin on Saturday, September 17 from 11am to 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, a special carry-on bag, and more.

Ahead of the Austin event, Scott spoke to CultureMap in Houston to get a special episode for his next episode.

Cultural Map: how long did you write born to shine?

Kendra Scott: It’s been a little over two years since I decided to write the book, but I’ve actually been writing this book for years. I never thought that my diary notes would one day turn into a book. It’s been a long process, but 20 years after our company was launched – honestly it was the perfect time to write this book.

CM: How did you manage to write, run the business and be a working mom?

KS: You know, it’s always a challenge. If someone tells you that it’s easy and they fix it, I think they’re lying. I wrote this during the pandemic, so I was working at home with the support system of my closest friends by my side. All of our meetings were virtual, so I had time to think.

Also, I had just left my role as CEO and could only focus on being president, designer, and founder. Like our school at the University of Texas (Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute), I was able to focus more on our philanthropic efforts and concentrate on writing this book. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.

CM: How personal are you in the book?

KS: I become very vulnerable in the book, and I feel that there is strength in vulnerability. I hope being vulnerable allows other women or people to share their failures, successes, ups and downs and be authentic.

I also hope that my stories of my childhood, marriage, divorce, starting a business and failing a business are also part of what makes me who I am. I’m talking about the power of gemstones in the book. All jewelry has veins that are considered imperfections, but that’s what makes them beautiful.

CM: Is there anything you wrote but later changed your mind about?

KS: I removed the entire first part and wasn’t going to put it there. My publisher, who is also my editor, told me that he thought the episode was great and should have been part one.

It made me realize that I had to be honest because the book starts off hard but then takes readers on an incredible journey.

CM: Can fans expect more books in the future?

KS: You know, I thought of that. Now that this book exists in the world, I don’t think it will be the last book. It’s a different way of being creative and I think I have other stories to tell.

I would love to make a children’s book one day. When I started this company, my oldest son was a son; she’s now 20, so she grew up with the business. I have a nine-year-old now and I read to him all the time. 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 a part of me. This is where I’m from Texas. I moved here from Wisconsin when I was 16 and graduated from Klein High. Moving can be tough when you’re 16 and young, but I was embraced at Klein – the community was so welcoming.

Houston made me the woman I am today. It 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 it was really important for me to start here because it was my first start in Texas.

CM: You’re coming back shark tank for season 14. How was the experience this time?

KS: I absolutely love being on it shark tank. I’m flying to Los Angeles for the premiere on September 23 with all the other guest sharks, and it’s exciting because there’s never been a live premiere before.

Nothing inspires me like other entrepreneurs. There are long days on set, but they pass quickly because it encourages me to meet other entrepreneurs. Many of these people were thinking about ideas before the pandemic, and the interruption during the pandemic has given them the opportunity to put their ideas into action. I witness very little of that in the tank – so much fun.

CM: There’s a lot going on but is there anything else fans can look forward to before the end of the year?

KS: We launched engagement rings and a very exciting bridal collection. We’re expanding other fine jewelery categories, including diamonds and gold, and adding more customization options than ever before.

The line I created with my sons during the pandemic is expanding at Scott Brothers. It’s so fun that our male customers, who come here to buy things for the women in their lives, can now buy something for themselves. We’ve also expanded to hours, so there’s a lot going on.

If you think about it, it took 25 years for Ralph Lauren to open up to 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 perspective, we have donated over $50 million to women’s and children’s charities since 2010. In many ways, we are a charitable organization within a brand. This is how we measure success, so I look forward to announcing our philanthropic efforts in the years to come.

We have a strong foundation and know what we stand for and what we stand for – I feel the best is yet to come.

Kendra Scott’s first memoir comes out September 20.

Courtesy of Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott’s first memoir comes out September 20.

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