Jewelry designer Kendra Scott made her first personal appearance in Houston in over a year last night at a Houstonia-sponsered party to promote her newest line, "Luxe." Shop Talk sat down with the designer to ask for some insight on the new pieces, what's next, and where she's been all this time.
ST: Your Houston fans will want to know why it took you so long to come back to Clutch City.
Well, I had a baby 12 weeks ago. I took a little bit of time, which was a really nice thing to do, this is my third baby, the other two boys are older—9 and 12—so it's kind of like a new beginning. I have really enjoyed taking this time to be a mom, and enjoy that newborn phase.
ST: Tell us about Luxe.
KS: Luxe has been years in the making. It's been brewing for a long time. With the Kendra Scott line, we were really focused on making sure that we stayed at a very attainable price point. I had kind of a feeling of where I would go with that price. But with Luxe, I wanted to create collection pieces. A little more excessive; do things that take those fine jewelry techniques, intricate hand-setting of baguettes and pavé stones and hand-selected stones, so each piece is different, and each stone is special in and of itself. Each one has that variation. It was a whole new level. Kendra Scott's older, more sophisticated sister.
ST: Do you have a favorite piece?
KS: That's like having a favorite son!
ST: Which you must have, secretly.
KS: No! You love them all the same.
ST: You're opening up stores in Louisiana, Georgia, The Woodlands. Is there something about Southern women that draws them to your pieces?
KS: You know, I'm a Texas girl. I lived in Houston, graduated from Klein High School, moved to Austin. This is my home base. I'm a girl from the South. For our brand, to branch out from those roots into neighboring cities and states makes sense for us. Being in the South, it fits us—it fits our brand.
ST: Do you remember your first piece of jewelry?
KS: My grandmother is 102. She has costume jewelry from every decade; she has it covered. I used to play in her jewelry box as a little girl. I would layer on her necklaces, bracelets, rings, and I just fell in love with all these pieces, and so many of her pieces, still, I draw inspiration from. She had this ring that had this beautiful nesting around it, and you'll see nesting in our pieces. Those memories have played a big part in this line for sure.
ST: What trends do you see forthcoming in jewelry?
KS: If you look at where jewelry is going, it's going big. It's about layering, it's more, it's keeping almost your clothing more simple in some ways and letting your accessories shine. I don't see that changing anytime soon. People love the way it changes an outfit very easily. You can pull that dress you've had in your closet for ten years out, and add an incredible statement necklace, a new pair of heels, and a fabulous clutch, and all of a sudden that 10-year-old dress looks brand new.
ST: Where do you shop?
KS: I'm a local girl. In Austin I shop at local boutiques that are there, if I'm in Houston I shop local designers and boutiques. I know how that feels; I started out of my house 12 years ago with nothing. And it was the local community that supported me and gave me a chance, so for me, I like to support those local retailers. Because it's hard to be in retail. It is not easy. Those little boutiques across the country gave me a chance as a young designer, and I will be loyal to them for the rest of my life.