Ken­dra Scott


Inc. (USA) - - 100 FF - —T.F.

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.

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