Kendra Scott, chief executive officer of Austin, Texas-based Kendra Scott LLC and a Kenosha-native, recently discussed her entrepreneurial journey and shared leadership insight during TEMPO Milwaukee’s 14th Annual Leadership Event in downtown Milwaukee. In a Q&A with WISN-TV Channel 12 anchor Toya Washington, Scott reflected on her experience of growing a small jewelry business into a more than $1 billion brand with more than 100 locations and 2,200 employees.
“I hope our daughters, our granddaughters will start to walk into board rooms where the majority of people in there will look just like them.”
“When I started (the company) out of my bedroom, it really was those three things: I wanted to be a present mother, I wanted to be in fashion because that’s what I’d loved since I was young and I wanted to do something good for my community…I didn’t write a big plan to build a billion-dollar fashion empire, I just knew it would be a success if I were able to do those three things.”
“Being a woman, we have a huge advantage, and it’s hard sometimes to hear that when a lot of doors can be slammed in our faces and we’re told ‘no,’ but we have instinct. We have a gut instinct that can really tell you if someone around you is good or bad, and I say we should use that.”
“Those values and seeing what family meant – and it doesn’t always mean your blood family, it could be a neighbor in need or a friend – we always had room at the table and I think that’s such a big part of these Midwest values.”
“Don’t hire people who are just like you. Now, they need to have your core values, they need to share your heart, but they need to have different skill sets and when you build a team of diversity like that, with a variety of skill sets, my loathe is what they love. And when everyone’s doing what they love, that’s when you start to scale. The more time I’m spending on things I’m great at, the better our company is.”