Scott was desperate. She’d started her eponymous jewelry line in 2002, and spent six years getting distribution in several hundred boutiques around the country. Business was OK—“enough to live on”—but then the financial crisis hit, and in 2009 many of those boutiques had to shut down. “It was horrifying—like, oh, my god, I’m going to lose my company,” she remembers. What to do in the
face of a retail collapse? Open her own store, of course. The designer struggled to find an investor, until a local Austin banker who happened to like Scott’s jewelry agreed to give her a loan, if she put everything she owned up as collateral. Today her business is valued at a billion dollars, and Scott still owns the majority of it, making her one of the wealthiest self-made women in the country.