Fashion jewelry brand Kendra Scott has linked with Norwest Venture Partners, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based investment firm, to bolster its growth in both the brick-and-mortar and online arenas.
Founded in 2002 by Scott, the Austin-based company has doubled its year-over-year sales for the last four years to $50 million in 2014, making it a ripe candidate for investors. Norwest declined to specify the amount of its minority stake, but general partner Sonya Brown described it as “significant.”
“The fashion jewelry space didn’t have a lot of branded players. It’s wonderful to have a genuine brand and personality like Kendra,” said Brown, adding, “She has 12 boutiques currently and by November she will have 17, with plans to total 30-plus by the end of next year.”
In addition to Scott’s stores, which launched in 2010, the brand is distributed in 1,000 wholesale doors nationwide including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s. The accessible collection, made with mixed metals and colorful semiprecious stones, retails for between $45 and $900 and is known for its signature faceted cuts and filigree.
Its customizable concept, called Color Bar, first launched at Henri Bendel in 2010 before going online then rolling out as a retail store feature. “With retail and e-commerce today you have to find ways to engage your customer. We’ve followed the personalization trend closely and believe there’s a lot of opportunity,” said Brown.
For her part, Scott, who will remain chief executive officer, said, “We waited nearly 13 years to find a partner. Now we have the opportunity to accelerate our growth even more and go into new product categories.”
Norwest, a multistage venture and growth equity investment firm, has funded companies across the tech, information and financial services, consumer products and health-care sectors, and has made investments in fashion retail and e-tail companies such as Bailey 44, ModCloth, Gilt Group, Gemvara and beauty companies PCA Skin and Madison Reed.
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