In 2002, Kendra Scott, a single mother with $500 dollars in her pocket, traveled door-to-door in Austin, Texas, selling her handmade jewelry.
Her bold, colorful pieces gained popularity and she soon started selling wholesale to stores like Nordstrom.
In 2010, she opened her first boutique, a flagship store in Austin.
Now, six years later, there are 46 Kendra Scott locations, including one that held its official grand opening in Hyde Park Village last week.
"Kendra connects with the community through nonprofit work," said Leisa Stone, area manager of community relations and events. "She is sharing her vision of always having something to give. We offer our locations as a venue free of charge for events for nonprofits, any giveback events."
On top of that, the shop raises money through its own events, like the grand opening, which benefited the Junior League of Tampa.
"The grand opening alone we were able to give back almost $3,700," said Brittney Cardillo, community relations and event manager at Kendra Scott. "As a company as a whole, we have a goal of giving back $2 million and we are already over $1.2 million."
Other events include trunk shows, shopping parties and color bar parties where guests can design their own jewelry.
Inside the shop, nothing is unattainable. There's no jewelry locked behind glass cases. Shoppers can grab anything off the display and try it on.
"The store looks like an extension of Kendra's own home," Cardillo said. "It's not intimidating like some jewelry stores can be. It took years to develop that kind of customer service."
The jewelry itself appeals to all ages.
"Kendra found that in fashion there was high-end jewelry, then costume, but nothing in between," Cardillo said. "Everything is hand designed in Austin."
Stone said: "It's affordable and nice. It stands out by being very colorful. We also have seasonal collections inspired by Kendra's travels and life experiences that are a little more trendy."
The Kendra Scott brand is also expanding beyond jewelry. This week, the company launches their new nail lacquer.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, the first 50 customers to spend $60 or more will receive a bottle of brand new nail lacquer.
The lacquer, which is designed to match Kendra Scott's color bar stones, will be available for sale starting today.
Visit the store located at 1511 W Swann Ave., call (813)644-8999 or visit kendrascott.com.
Hyppo brings gourmet ice pops to Ybor City
In 2010, the Hyppo started serving a treat to help beat the St. Augustine heat: a variety of gourmet ice pops.
Since then, they have expanded to eight stores across Florida, including one in Ybor City located at 1600 E Eighth Ave., that opened in July.
"The whole idea behind what we do is making pops from fresh, all-natural ingredients," said manager David Luddeke. "Fresh fruit. Nothing artificial."
Everything is manufactured at the St. Augustine kitchen, in the back of the original cafe.
More than 500 flavors are handmade at Hyppo.
Once a week, each shop places their order with the St. Augustine store.
Though there are hundreds of flavors, the Ybor City store carries 50 at a time and the flavors are always changing.
"When people come into the shop, they can say I'm craving something tart, creamy or ultra refreshing and there's an option for them," Luddeke said. "People are always wanting to try something new."
There's simple flavors like straight-up strawberry and raspberry, and then there's more adventurous types like spicy cucumber jalapeno and blueberry lavender lemonade.
Gourmet ice pops are their speciality, but the Hyppo also carries craft sodas and locally made ginger beer from St. Petersburg.
For more information call (813) 644-4289 or visit thehyppo.com.
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