NEW YORK – Kendra Scott on Aug. 31 will open a 1,700-square-foot flagship at 126 Spring Street in SoHo, the brand’s first store here.
Scott, chief executive officer and designer of her namesake jewelry brand, said a store in Manhattan is something of a rite of passage for her. “I now have 80 stores,” she said. “The New York market is where I wanted to be. It’s the quintessential culture of fashion. There’s nothing like it.
“New York was one of those markets where we were always looking for the right opportunity and the right location,” Scott said. “Our brand has grown and expanded and we felt the timing was right. We have a showroom in the Garment District and a shop-in-shop at Bloomingdale’s. We did a pop-up shop in the Hamptons last summer and we’re doing one again this summer. The customer is here and she wants us here. There’s white space in the market. Our goal is to continue to expand our footprint now that we have our first store in SoHo. “
The two-level, Kendra Scott color-filled flagship is tactile and interactive. Scott’s stores draw consumers in, and once there, there’s plenty to do. Color Bars for jewelry on each floor will let customers be part of the design process by customizing their own pieces. Scott in September will launch a charm collection with 300-plus designs divided into six suites, including birthstone-inspired charms, letters of the alphabet and healing stones. The flagship will also offer Scott’s fine jewelry.
A new feature at the flagship will be a home Color Bar, where consumers will be able to personalize home accessories, which so far has only been offered online. “Our Color Bar is where you can be involved and pick your favorite colors and metals and walk out with a piece of jewelry within minutes,” Scott said. “With customization, the goal is, I don’t want to wait.”
While the SoHo store has elements that echo other Kendra Scott locations, the designer said, “We’re also bringing a bit of the New York flavor with terrazzo floors, Venetian plaster and art that evokes the city. We’re making it feel like a SoHo loft.”
Scott sees several avenues of growth for the company. “We’re kind of in that toddler phase of our growth,” she said. “New York is such a great global marketplace. We expanded globally last year through a partnership with Selfridges in London. We’re open to more international opportunities. We’re looking at where our customer is and where we can fill a void.
“We absolutely will do our own stores internationally,” Scott added. “Going to international markets, having a strong, like-minded brand [partner] is important. Selfridges was a great way to fit into that market and start to learn about the customer. We’re looking at the timing for having freestanding stores.”
Scott isn’t only looking across the pond. She said Latin America represents another opportunity. The brand is sold in Canada through Nordstrom. “When the timing is right we’ll open our own stores in Canada,” she said.
Expanding the product range is on the ceo’s radar. “We launched home accessories — jewelry for your home,” she said. “We launched a candle collection inspired by stones like malachite and quartz. We’re constantly thinking about ways we can expand in a thoughtful way. Our design lab in Austin, Tex., is constantly playing with new concepts and new ideas and utilizing some retail locations to test things out.”
But Scott doesn’t want to lose focus and go off in too many different tangents. “We still have exciting things we can do within jewelry,” she said. “I ask myself, ‘What does the customer need in her day-to-day life?'”
Beauty is an area that Scott called “exciting.” The brand launched nail lacquers in gem stone and metal colors. “There’s so much that we can do with the stones we use,” she said. “There’s a lot of therapeutic qualities to quartz and rose quartz. I wake up at 2 or 3 in the morning and I have a pad next to the bed.”
A pillar of Scott’s business is philanthropy, and the brand plans to help locally through the Kendra Gives Back program, which allows community members to host in-store events for important causes, with 20 percent of the proceeds donated to an organization. “We’re working with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and bringing our Kendra Cares program to Memorial Sloan Kettering,” Scott said. “We’ll take our Color Bar there to bring patients a little bit of joy. We’re becoming part of the community.”