This week’s National Podcast of Texas features entrepreneur and jewelry designer Kendra Scott, whom Forbes recently ranked ahead of Taylor Swift and Beyoncé on a list of the country’s “richest self-made women,” with an estimated net worth of $500 million. Scott’s name is over the door of more than 80 company-owned stores, and her products are available in another 600 retail outlets worldwide. As the story goes, her eponymous billion-dollar fashion brand started as a $500 project in the spare bedroom of her Austin home. In October, she’ll be inducted into the Texas Business Hall Of Fame.
Three takeaways from her appearance on the National Podcast of Texas:
1. Out of necessity, she believes, resilience has become a hallmark of women entrepreneurs.
“There’s so many times I’ve walked into a boardroom full of men knowing that for the first 15 minutes I was going to have to prove to them that I was smart, capable, strong, and had a business that could work. But women have a lot of persistence. For me, when there’s rejection, I pick myself up and say, ‘OK, let’s try again. At least we’re talking. Let’s keep the conversation going.’ And that’s a resilience I think you’ll find in a lot of women entrepreneurs because we have had a lot of doors closed in our face before they opened.”
2. The 1980 film 9 to 5 was a model for how she designed her company’s internal culture and employee benefits.
“This is a woman-founded, women-led company, and I’m a mom. And in the movie, women came in and took over a company and made it a utopia for women. It had child care and flexible work schedules. And I remember that movie sat in my mind as we started building Kendra Scott and our corporate headquarters. As a company, that really was exciting, about having all these amazing women—moms and, now fathers too—it was about how we could create the 9 to 5 utopia in real life.”
3. More than 30 percent of Kendra Scott shoppers are men.
“We have lots of guys coming in to buy pieces for their wife for their wedding day, anniversary, or their first baby being born. But sometimes men come in a little nervous, and we just say, ‘Don’t worry. We got you. Tell me about her?’ Does she like big or small, silver or gold? And sometimes they’ve sent him with a screenshot of what they like, because a lot of girls now don’t even hint around.”