Editor’s note: This article was originally published May 9, 2013
Austin jewelry designer Kendra Scott knows what it takes to build a successful company from the ground up.
Now, she’s hoping to help other entrepreneurs achieve similar results.
Scott is set to co-host "Crowd Rules," a new show on the CNBC cable network that will award $50,000 each week to one lucky small business. It debuts at 8 p.m. Tuesday.
This isn’t the first time TV producers have sought out the energetic - and photogenic - Scott, but it is one of the few times she’s said "yes."
"There have been some things that have come my way, but I knew if I was going to do TV it had to be inspirational and educational in some way," she told me this week.
Eight episodes of "Crowd Rules" have been taped, Scott said, with three small businesses competing weekly. After the contestants make their pitches, the audience picks who walks away with the prize money.
"The businesses featured on `Crowd Rules’ are what makes this country great - mom-and-pop businesses," she said. "They can do whatever they want with the prize money - whatever it takes to get their business to the next level."
Scott got her start designing jewelry in her home’s spare bedroom. She didn’t have much in the way of cash, but she had plenty of talent and soon built a loyal customer base.
Today, in addition to a shop on South Congress Avenue, Scott also has locations in cities such as Beverly Hills, Calif.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Dallas and Houston. She also sells her jewelry online at kendrascott.com.
"The producers told me they were looking for an entrepreneur who started with nothing and grew into something substantial," she said. "I can relate to the contestants when it comes to the struggles associated with getting - and keeping - a small business going. I know what it’s like to make shipments out of your dining room. I know what it’s like to worry about making payroll."
In addition to her new TV gig, Scott is gearing up to open additional stores and, later this year, she plans to roll out a new high-end jewelry line.
"We’re going like gangbusters," she said. "A lot of exciting things are happening. It’s so great to see a fashion brand based right here in Austin having so much success."