Kendra Scott, the fashion-lifestyle brand, was started in the founder’s spare bedroom with only $500. Scott, the aforementioned founder, remains CEO to this day and has taken the company from a personal passion project to a major player in the fashion-lifestyle game. Throughout that journey Scott has set three core values for the company: Family, Fashion, and Philanthropy. Find out how Scott has kept the company true to each value throughout its 17 years in business.
Kendra Scott rundown
Size: Over 2,000 employees.
Industry: Luxury Goods & Jewelry
Locations: The company’s headquarters is in Austin, Texas, but it has stores all across the country.
Founder and CEO: Kendra Scott
Mission: According to the company’s website, “the Kendra Scott company maintains a focus on its customers and the causes close to their hearts, abiding by the mantra ‘What Matters to You, Matters to Us.'”
How much do Kendra Scott employees make?
The average salary for a Kendra Scott Design employee is $148,666 per year. Ladders estimates are based on our calculations.
The company is currently hiring for a variety of open positions, including an IT Project Manager and a Social Media Manager to join the team in Austin. Regional Marketing & Philanthropy Director is a current remote opportunity. Find a full list of open roles on Ladders’ Kendra Scott Jobs page.
Over 90% of the company’s employees are women, and the company culture reflects that distinction with its emphasis on family and work-life balance. Many of the company’s corporate offices and distribution centers have nursing rooms and an on-site kids’ playroom. Additionally, employees are provided with an in-house nail bar, fitness center and smoothie bar.
With the brand so heavily focused on philanthropy, the company encourages it employees to give back whenever possible. Employees even receive paid workweek philanthropy days so that they are more easily able to volunteer in the community.
“We’re a family,” Scott said, when asked about the culture at her company. Scott intentionally set the company’s core pillars as “Family, Fashion, and Philanthropy.”
“Family comes first on that list, and it comes first in our daily practices,” Scott said. “We treat each other with respect and support, which creates a welcoming environment that really feels like home.”
As her company has grown she’s been able to maintain a grip on culture by using the three pillars as a “North Star” while making any changes and hiring new employees.
In part, Scott’s focus on nurturing a supportive company culture comes from wanting to avoid the “exhausting, cutthroat environment” that is usually attached to the fashion industry.
“I knew from the beginning that I didn’t want that – I wanted to create a utopia for working women like me,” Scott said. “Our culture at KS is centered around being supportive and collaborative, and I’ve seen that, especially with a team of 98% women, that culture really works! When we women work together, we can be unstoppable.”
What CEO Kendra Scott says about getting hired
“While we definitely want to bring on qualified team members, we hire on heart – not resume or credibility,” Scott told Ladders. “The right person, someone who shares our values, is more important to me than a gold-plated resume.”
When hiring new employees, the company looks for candidates with passion who believe in the work it is doing. “Then once we get them in the door, we continue to treat them with the support and care that keeps their passion alive,” Scott said.
When it comes to specific interview advice, Scott encourages candidates to be themselves.
“We’re looking for more than just standout work experience; we’re looking for a new member of our family,” Scott said. “Show us your strengths, your passion, and the things that can’t be listed on a resume.”
Kendra Scott philanthropy
Philanthropy is the third of three pillars in the company’s core values, with only Family and Fashion coming before giving back to others. Scott told Ladders that she set these three pillars as the company’s values because they were most important to her at the time of founding, and they are still the three areas in which she directs focus at the company.
According to the company’s website, it has organized more than 8,000 fundraising and awareness events, put in over 2,100 volunteer hours, and donated over $5 million annually.
Here are some of the company’s philanthropic efforts:
- It offers employees paid workweek philanthropy days.
- Kendra Cares is a creative arts program that brings the company’s Color Bar to pediatric hospitals.
- The Kendra Gives Back program allows community members to host in-store events for causes and organizations, where 20% of the proceeds from every event goes directly to the cause.
In addition to the list above, on Sept. 24 the company announced the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (WEL) at the University of Texas at Austin, which is a new wing where students will be given firsthand access to programming and curriculum. The aim of this initiative is to empower the next generation of female entrepreneurs and business leaders.
The program will begin during the Spring 2020 semester, and will include the following:
- UT’s McCombs School of Business will offer a Kendra Scott Fashion & Lifestyle Entrepreneurship Practicum
- UT’s College of Natural Sciences will offer an experiential accessories design and marketing course
- A women’s leadership workshop series with industry leaders
- A women’s leadership summit at The University of Texas at Austin, featuring entrepreneurs
- Internship program
- Leadership training and mentoring
- Speaker series featuring industry leaders
- Campus-wide funding opportunities
Employee benefits and benefits
Reviews on Glassdoor report that employees receive health insurance, a 401K plan, maternity & paternity leave, vacation & paid time off, employee discount, free lunch or snacks, and job training.
“The employee discount is a great incentive,” one reviewer wrote. “Employees get 60% off all products including fine jewelry pieces.”
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Did you know that it's basically a party in our stores every day? Some are huge celebrations and others are just a bunch of gals chitchatting over a glass of champagne, but we like to keep it F*U*N. Because there is really nothing better than a little bit of celebration and a whole lot of jewelry shopping. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸 1 | @taite.daisey 2 |@theweddingclick
Kendra Scott employee reviews 2019
Reviews on Glassdoor range from two-star reviews titled “no way up” to five-star reviews titled “grateful to be a part of what’s happening at Kendra Scott.”
“Amazing focus on giving back to the community,” one reviewer wrote.
Many reviews focus on the high standards for employee dress code, but say that the employee discount helps fulfill those standards.
Kendra Scott funding
The company has raised two rounds of funding, including a venture round in 2014 and a private equity round in 2016. The lead investor in the private equity round was Berkshire Partners.