Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott went from a 100-square-foot room hand-stringing beads to a jewelry brand that’s set to close in on $300 million in sales this year.

The chief executive officer disclosed the company’s growth trajectory during a talk she gave Friday during the Global Retailing Conference in Tucson, Ariz., during which she talked about the intersection of philanthropy with the rapid rise of her company.

“We’re literally in the adolescence of our brand,” Scott said during the conference. “I’m 15 years in. So for those in my organization today, we’re growing this brand together. Hopefully this brand can leave a mark that we can really do something great.”

WWD in December reported private equity firm Berkshire Partners bought a minority stake in the business, which was said to place a $1 billion valuation on the company. Scott still maintains a majority stake in the business.

The company projects about $300 million in sales this year with 22 new store openings slated for the same time period, which would push it into six new markets, according to Scott’s presentation. That would bring the company’s total store count to 76. In 2010, the year that marked the opening of the company’s first store, Kendra Scott notched sales of $2 million.

The company, which also sells home products such as jewelry boxes and trays, is also sold at Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. It counts about 2,000 employees throughout the U.S., with 98 percent of its workforce women.

Scott, whose first venture into retail was a hat store called The Hat Box, said that foray gave her a good business foundation for much of what she’s doing now.

“The Hatbox was my master’s degree in the school of hard knocks,” she said. “I learned everything I needed to know about retail — the good and the bad — from The Hatbox.”

Scott attributed a large part of her company’s success to her philanthropic efforts from the start, saying she never turned down a single organization that called on her from the start for donations in a move she said was sometimes criticized by observers. Last year, Scott said her company donated to more than 3,500 organizations in the U.S.

“I think that there are a lot of challenges right now. Every day…I wake up and I’m running a company that was bigger than the day before,” Scott said. “I never become complacent, even when we were having this enormous success….I think it’s so important for retailers to be paying attention daily to what’s going on and making adjustments and trying things and engaging with your customer, really engaging.”

For More on Kendra Scott in WWD:

Berkshire Partners Takes Kendra Scott Stake

Kendra Scott Stake on the Block

Outstanding Mother Awards Luncheon to Honor Jane Hertzmark Hudis, Kate Oldham, Judy Schmeling and Kendra Scott

Kendra Scott Launches Nail Polish

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