How did I get here? (And why did I stay?): Austin jewelry guru Kendra Scott answers
Dec 3, 2013 | 12:18 pm
Austin welcomes transplants from coast to coast each day. And it's becoming more and more evident that many of our city's most notable assets aren't necessarily native to the capital city. So we're highlighting some of those folks who have come to call Austin home. Next up? None other than Austin's breakout bauble success story: jewelry designer Kendra Scott.
Name: Kendra Scott
Occupation: Founder and CEO, Kendra Scott
Year I moved to Austin: 1993
Firstneighborhood: Hyde Park
What brought me here: "My mom brought me to Austin. My stepfather was fighting cancer, and it was very important to me to be close to him and my mom during that time. I immediately fell in love with the city and the incredibly creative, warm culture. I knew I had found my home."
First Austin memory: "Going to Hula Hut. I absolutely felt like I was on vacation and remember thinking 'this is the place for me!' I also remember taking a hike to Sculpture Falls around the same time. It was amazing to me to see the incredible natural beauty of Austin."
Favorite Austin spot: "There are so many fun things to do, delicious places to eat and amazing things to see in Austin, but my absolute favorite spot is Mount Bonnell. Most people think of Texas as a flat land full of cactus and dust, and while that’s true in parts of West Texas, Austin is home to the Hill Country and it is truly beautiful. Mount Bonnell is considered one of the highest points in the city, and I love taking people there so they can take in the beauty of the Hill County. It’s the perfect place to hike to watch the sunset or enjoy a picnic on a beautiful day."
"I love taking people to Mount Bonnell so they can take in the beauty of the Hill County. It’s the perfect place to hike to watch the sunset or enjoy a picnic on a beautiful day."
Austinite I look up to: "My mom. She is such an inspiration to me everyday. My mom has always been there for me and our family, no matter what. I am blessed to not only have her as a role model but to also be able to work with her. She truly is a remarkable woman."
Austinite I miss: "My stepfather, Rob. He passed away after his long battle with brain cancer in 1995. He was one of the bravest and kindest men I have ever met. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and miss him dearly."
Biggest change I’ve seen: "This city has grown tremendously before my eyes. While the growth has brought a lot of changes to Austin, I love that Austin maintains the feel of being a local, homegrown city. This is what truly sets Austin apart from any other city! No matter how big we may get, there always remains a true sense of pride and community here."
Restaurants I'd recommend: Since my job often takes me to various spots around the country, I love getting away in Austin for date nights. Hudson’s on the Bend is just a short drive to Lake Travis and has an incredible ambiance and delicious food. NoVa opened on Rainey Street not long ago, and I have been dying to try it. Rainey Street also comes alive at night on the weekends, so it’s a great girl’s night or date night place to start and end your evening.
The Salt Lick is without a doubt my favorite restaurant for my family. Not only is their barbecue absolutely mouth-watering, but the atmosphere of the restaurant is also spectacular and perfect for my energetic boys! [The restaurant] is surrounded by acres of beautiful land, so there is plenty of room for my boys to run around and play. While there may be a wait on busy nights, there is always live music playing and delicious popcorn to snack on while you wait. Also, of course, Uchi and Uchiko — my two personal favorites for Japanese cuisine!
"No matter how big we may get, there always remains a true sense of pride and community here in Austin."
Advice for newbies: "First and foremost, embrace all that this city has to offer. There are so many great spots, restaurants and things to do here that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stick to one area. Austin is the live music capital of the world, after all, so you’re always sure to find a show, whether at a dive bar or a mainstream venue. From popular spots like South Congress and Second Street to local gems like Rainey Street and the East Side, there are so many areas to check out. Lately, I’ve been loving restaurants on [the East Side], such as Mettle and Justine's."
What Austin has taught me: "Austin has had a huge influence on me as a designer. While my travels always inspire my designs, sometimes I just have to take a step in my backyard or the streets of our headquarters to find inspiration. I take inspiration from art, architecture, food, landscape, people and everything in between, and Austin has an unlimited supply of all. For one, Austin is a mecca for art, and I don’t mean in the traditional sense. Art in Austin is not limited to museums — it is commonplace to see the wall of a building decorated with a hip mural or young artists selling their treasures on the streets.
The culture of Austin encourages people to express themselves, hence the city’s motto, “Keep Austin Weird.” So spending a day people watching outside my SoCo office can be so inspiring for me. As I said, Austin also has a lush, diverse and truly gorgeous landscape, so that is also a source of inspiration for me. The people, culture and geography of the city make Austin a playground for creatives like myself!"
Why I’ve stuck around: "There are so many things I absolutely love about my city, but what I love most is that the city is the perfect place for me to take on both of my big roles: being a mom and an entrepreneur. The small town feel of the city is ideal for raising my three boys, and the way Austin supports and embraces local businesses was the spark that lit the success of our Austin flagship store and the many others to follow. I feel so blessed to be an Austinite and to call Austin home."