Talking Shop: The color of Kendra Scott jewelry

Kendra Scott, the woman behind the namesake jewelry line, is all about making a statement.

Bright stones and jewelry adorn the walls, shelves and retail cases at the newest Kendra Scott shop, which recently opened at Fashion Island.

"I love color," Scott said about her fashion tastes. "I'm not afraid to wear color."

Kendra Scott jewelry shows off all sorts of color: deep blues, turquoise, rose, purple and so on. A variety of stones are used, from jade and quartz to tiger's eye and lapis.

"You name it, we use," she said.

When the Austin-based designer started her collection, she wanted to create a line that was "hand-crafted, beautiful trend jewelry, but that's unique" and of course, offered a good price point.

"Everything when I started this company was either $300 for a pair of earrings or it was really inexpensive, not great quality," she said.

In 2002, with a mere $500, she launched her jewelry line. Newport Beach is the seventh shop to open so far, and her jewelry has created quite the buzz with A-listers such as Molly Sims, Brooke Burke, Brooklyn Decker and Paris Hilton, who have all been spotted donning her creations.

All of her jewelry can be paired with jeans and T-shirt or with a ball gown and look amazing, she said. That's key to her lifestyle.

"That is how my life is — I go from the soccer field to the boardroom to sometimes a charity event and I'll wear the same earrings all day long," said Scott, who has two children and a third on the way. "There's not many brands you can get away with that."

She's always designing, with a new jewelry collection launching every six to eight weeks, said Scott, who counts designers such as Rebecca Taylor, Diane von Furstenburg and Catherine Malandrino as favorites and gravitates toward "easy, chic but casual" clothing.

With her jewelry brand, classic designs such as the Elle and Danielle earrings have been staples since their creation in 2006 and feature various stone colors, even some limited-edition ones. Her new summer line, Island Escape Collection, was influenced by a trip to Bali last year.

"I was so inspired by the people, the architecture," she said. "It was just one of the most beautiful places I've ever been: the jungle, the beaches — it was gorgeous."

A key element to Scott's jewelry: The pieces can be used over and over again. Shoppers even get to create their own jewelry designs through the Color Bar, a big computer screen that allows shoppers to mix and match stones with various jewelry designs so people can see what they like and if they want to buy their own creation. Store associates can replicate a guest's custom design on the spot.

"In our design studio, we have a wall of stones and our girls would take different silhouettes and different colored stones so they could match their outfits," Scott said. "And I said, 'Why can't every woman be able to get to do what my girls do in the design studio?' And that's kind of how the [Color Bar] was born."

There's also a "girls night out" from 3 p.m. to closing every Wednesday at the boutique, where women can enjoy special sales and themed refreshments, like blue cupcakes and cocktails for the turquoise jewelry sale. The event even applies to the website during those times.

The shop is hosting a grand opening party from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, with 20% of proceeds from that night benefiting Court Appointed Special Advocate or CASA.

Kendra Scott is at Fashion Island 235 Newport Center Drive in Newport Beach; (949) 258-9285.

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