The GenHERation “5 Questions With” Series features our exclusive interviews with the most powerful women in the world to provide you with actionable advice on how to navigate your career path.
Kendra Scott is the Chairman, CEO, and Lead Designer of Kendra Scott, LLC.
1) What do you know now that you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
I often think about the advice I’d give myself 20 years ago. The top advice that comes to mind? Don’t let other people’s perception of what you can do hold you back. There will be people in your life who will tell you ‘No,’ who will tell you that you can’t do something. Use that as fuel to prove them wrong.
2) What was one experience that best prepared you for your professional career?
Opening my first business at age 19. Although it was never easy and that business ended up failing, the Hat Box taught me two things. One, that my passion is to create a business that did something more, that did something good. And two: that failure can be an amazing gift. It may not seem like it in the moment, but that failure can be a bridge to the next thing; the better thing.
3) What is the go-to question you ask interview candidates?
What are your core values? I am a firm believer that you should hire on heart over a gold-plated resume. I can teach anyone a skillset, but I can’t teach them to be kind or have a good heart that will make them a strong fit for our team and culture.
4) What is the biggest risk you have taken?
Opening my very first store–just after a nationwide recession! It was the hardest decision I’d ever had to make, but I was at a critical moment where I could either play it safe and walk away, or take a risk. That risk, that pivot into retail, to that direct connection to our customer, is why we are in this place of great success today.
5) What is your genius?
I love when people tell me I can’t do something. Instead of letting that discourage me or hold me back, I use that as the fire to prove them wrong.
You can learn from more of the most powerful women in the world here.