You’ve probably heard or seen that Austin’s favorite and brightest jeweler
has a new spot on national television.
For this 12th season of ABC’s Shark Tank, Kendra Scott has made her debut as a guest judge on the wildly popular show. With more than 100 stores nationwide and a business that is seeing growth during COVID, the entrepreneur has definitely earned her spot on the Tank. Kendra makes it a trio of Texans this season, as Arlington native Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, is also a newbie guest Shark, while the owner of the 2011 World Champion Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, makes his return to the Tank.
In honor of Kendra’s Shark Tank experience, the Austin skyline lit up a bright, blazing yellow the night before her premiere. The display included a custom star design on the Fairmont Austin building, which represents Kendra’s Jae Star icon, while also paying tribute to Texas.
In addition to painting the skyline yellow, Kendra also made a donation to Divinc, an organization dedicated to investing and supporting Austin-based aspiring entrepreneurs.
We spoke with Kendra following her debut, to get an insider’s view of life in the Tank.
How was it being on the show for the first time?
I learned so much from being in the room with Mark, Kevin, Lori and Barbara, so it was a reminder that advice, and inspiration, can come from anywhere. Every second in the Tank is a valuable experience in front of some of the greatest minds in business, offering you real-time insights and advice. It’s something the entrepreneurs, and even the viewers watching from home, can take away and put into practice in their business and their life – that’s what makes this show so valuable.
I feel so much hope about the future of our country and of entrepreneurship after my time at Shark Tank. I could feel the nervous energy from the entrepreneurs that pitched us when they walked into the tank, and it took me back to my first years of starting Kendra Scott. The entrepreneurs I met in the Tank never lost sight of their vision. They blew me away with their passion and relentless drive to carry on with their dream, even in the face of great challenge.
In the episode you mentioned the importance of women entrepreneurship several times.
I was thrilled to be the only female guest Shark this season and I am honored to play a part in helping small business leaders – especially women – achieve their dream. I really want to show women entrepreneurs who are pitching in the tank or young women watching at home that you can follow your dreams and be successful at it!
I think my guest Shark appearance is a perfect example that women can and should have a seat at the table. As a female founder who built a company from my bedroom with $500 to a billion-dollar business, and all the struggles and triumphs it took to get there, I know I bring valuable experience to the table and the entrepreneurs that I can invest in.
What it was like working with fellow Texas-based entrepreneur Mark Cuban?
Mark Cuban and I have the Texas roots connection, so we became pretty fast friends. Once I proved I could hold my own in the Tank, of course! It was a blast to sit in the Tank (6 ft apart) from Mark and we had a great time during filming on and off screen. Although he has a tough-guy reputation on the show, he is such a nice person. I have so much admiration for all of the Sharks.
On the show, you secured a deal with BootayBag! Can you tell us more about that deal?
I loved Elly’s energy from the moment she walked in the room. She had a great “girl power” energy that reminded me of myself when I was just starting out – driven, passionate, and not taking no for an answer. It took me back to my days of starting a business, which is why I fought so hard for that deal. If I can use my time in the Tank to give more female entrepreneurs a leg up in the business world, that is something I am so proud of.
Ahead of the holiday season, check out the new Kendra Scott Winter Line, with engravable jewelry, which is one of Kendra’s top picks for holiday gifts. New pieces are being added to the line through the first week of December.
Cover photo courtesy Chris Lammert
Britni Rachal lives in Austin, Texas. She is a freelance journalist, full-time marketer, and a Realtor®. In addition to writing, Rachal enjoys traveling, event planning, fashion, fitness and serving the Austin community.