Kendra Scott loves popping into her stores. And, the one in West Village has special meaning. She and Dallas have a connection that goes back to 2011.
"This was our second store, right here in Dallas. Across the street in West Village, it was a 600 square-foot store. We called it tiniest store in Texas," Scott recalled.
The brand that started in Austin now has 100 stores and a style that stands the test of time.
The Danielle debuted in 2008 -- and it's been a best seller ever since.
"We designed that shape with a sketch. And that was the Danielle earring. It was simple. It was a slab of color. It was lightweight. It was affordable. You got a natural beautiful stone. It was a $65 dollar earring. All the things hit," Scott said.
"People loved it and gravitated towards it, and they still do," Scott said. "And we bring it back in innovative color. Like this season, we have bleached abalone which we worked two years to create. So many exciting new materials. So our customer always comes to us for that because it may be an iconic shape, but they're like what is the next stone? What is next thing she's gonna do with it. So we always like to surprise her."
Yet, the reaction in New York 18 years ago wasn't so positive. Scott recanted the early reviews of her design.
"Well, to be a legitimate brand you really need to be from the coasts," Scott said. "And, I remember thinking she doesn't know anything about a Texas woman, and it was all I really needed to kind of spark that fire inside of me to be like, let me show you what we can do in Texas. And here we are today, the leading fashion jewelry brand in the country."
Her success will put her in the Texas Business Hall of Fame next month; only the 12th woman to be inducted.
The first was the late Mary Kay Ash, founder of Dallas-based Mary Kay Cosmetics and a key part of Scott's childhood.
"And, what's so amazing about that is my mother was a Mary Kay consultant," Scott said. "And I grew up watching her start a business out of her house and watching a woman who could be a wonderful mother and who ran an amazing business."
Kendra Scott's Core Values
Family is a core value of the corporate DNA of Kendra Scott. Fashion and philanthropy are right there, too. She explained those core values to NBC 5.
Family: "I started this business when I was pregnant with my firstborn son. So, family was incredibly important to me. When I started walking the streets with my jewelry in Austin, he was only three months old. And, I knew that I wanted to create a business that allowed me to be a present mother. And that would hopefully allow other mothers and fathers to be able to have that balance in their life. So family is our first core pillar."
Fashion: "Since I was a little girl, I've loved fashion and design. And I love the way that jewelry made me feel when I would put it on. So fashion was important, being able to do what you love to do. And that was always my escape. Sketching, playing with jewelry, putting it together.
Philanthropy: "But then for me, I lost my stepfather fairly young in life. And it was such an impactful moment because he reminded me throughout my life, that use the gifts you've been given to do something good. And you don't know how long you have on this earth and while you're here try to make a positive impact. And that really stuck with me. I knew when I started a business, I wanted to leave a good mark, a positive mark. And I wanted to help the community that I was in. I started in Austin and anyone who called, I would always have something to give even out that bedroom, I would make a pair of earrings or a necklace, and here we are, 18 years later and we have over 100 stores, and we still always have something to give. Since 2010, we've given over $30 million in monetary and in kind donations to thousands of organizations. And I think that's what all of us here are most proud of and what is our true purpose at Kendra Scott."
Scott's purpose, passion and drive keep her thinking about what's next.
"It's so fun," she smiled,"I jump out of bed every morning so excited to get into the office. I have the most incredible team of people I get to work with every day, and I think we've just scratched the surface for this brand."
Scott's fall collection is in her stores now and connect to her Texas flair.
"These are pieces that have a southwestern feel but are very modern and architectural at the same time," she explained. "Beautiful modern silhouettes, and you'll see in some of our metal silhouettes, a nod to the Danielle earring you're talking about. You'll see the shape cut out in certain hoop earrings. And, we've really tried to use ways again that they're still iconic things that tell you they're Kendra Scott but they're still on trend with what's happening on the runways today."
While customers eye the fall collection, the designer is already working a year ahead.
"Having a statement in your wardrobe is always an important thing and that's gonna continue in 2020," she said. "And continue to embrace color. We love colored stones. And that's what inspires me. Don't be afraid of color. We wear a lot of black and what a great way to add a pop of color without going out and buying a whole wardrobe in color is through your accessories."
"Accessories to me are the icing on the cake," she said. "And I always say, when you put it on, maybe you start to see something in yourself that maybe you didn't see a few minutes before."