Here at KXAN we cover issues and people in an in-depth way, including connecting on a deeper level with Central Texas’ celebrities making differences in our community. In this latest story of KXAN anchor Britt Moreno’s continuing series of in depth conversations with some of Austin’s biggest names and influencers, she sits down with Kendra Scott.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — While Kendra Scott has called Austin’s home for decades and is well-known for being in the local business scene, she is now shifting her focus to philanthropy.
KXAN’s evening anchor Britt Moreno caught up with her at a community event and learned why the city is so close to her heart.
The billion-dollar Kendra Scott brand is the brainchild of the local Austin jewelry designer of the same name. Her company is known for its bright, shiny gems and its philanthropic contributions.
The company has donated millions — “We’ve given over $50 million to women and children charities,” Scott said — to those in need across the country.
The holiday season can feel a little different for those children fighting some of the toughest illnesses, but this year some kids too sick to leave Dell Children’s Medical Centerl were afforded a little holiday cheer through a “Kendra Cares” event.
“We’re now in 45 hospitals,” Scott said.
The children were able to create a piece of jewelry for themselves or for their caretaker or even a doctor or nurse who has cared for them.
“We are so lucky that we have this hospital here in Austin and as city continues to grow, we have to help it grow. We need more beds; we need to get more staff and have the best services,” Scott said.
Long time Austinites might recall when Kendra Scott first burst into the local business scene two decades ago.
“I get that in Austin this is where I started — literally going store to store with my jewelry in a tea box getting all this local support,” she recalled.
She designed and made her jewelry while a new mom and she talks about that journey to success in her new book, “Born to Shine.”
“We know as moms no one works harder than a mother. I always value having those moms in my workforce,” she said.
Scott knows hard work. She’s a mom of three and in her book, she describes how a failed business early on led her down the path to success.
“On the other side of fear, there’s always something great,” she said.
That greatness has manifested in some change. She’s a college dropout who is now an adjunct professor at the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute at the University of Texas at Austin.
“It’s one of my favorite things to see these students,” she said. “They are awe inspiring and I am so hopeful for the future of this world.”
She has also stepped down as CEO of her company, but added, “nothing has really changed. I am there all the time. I am head designer, in charge of the customer experience, so I get to be in stores more and get to listen in on customer services.”
She is also designing a men’s line with her sons. She says this flexibility allows her to focus even more on her philanthropic contributions.
“I decided early on if any non-profit would call, I always had something to give,” Scott said.