Shopping with a Purpose: Kendra Scott X HC UPenn

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“Family, Fashion, and Philanthropy.”

These are the three core values that designer, CEO, and philanthropist Kendra Scott (KS) lives and runs her billion-dollar eponymous jewelry company by, according to her website. On the evening of Monday, October 7, Her Campus at UPenn (HC UPenn) brought these values home by partnering with KS to host a pop-up shop to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

At the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority House, students drank pink lemonade, posed with balloons in front of the KS sign, and tried on bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings displayed on the marble kitchen countertop. As Lizzo played overhead, two KS employees helped Penn students with their purchases; all students received a fifteen percent discount. Twenty percent of all profits went to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), and students could also “buy one, gift one” to a local breast cancer patient.

In January, 2016, Scott’s close friend, Holley Rothell Kitchen, died of metastatic breast cancer. According to the KS website, this friendship inspired the KS brand to become involved with philanthropy for breast cancer research and awareness, including a Breast Cancer Awareness Collection which was included at the pop-up shop.

“Breast cancer is a cause dear to my heart, having known so many strong, inspiring women who have fought this difficult disease,” Scott said on The Official Kendra Scott Blog. “They are the ones who inspire me to give back each October, in the hope that together we can one day find a cure.”

KS Store Manager Lindsay Hayward, who works at the Ardmore location and helped run the pop-up shop, said Kendra’s philosophy on philanthropy inspired her.

“Kendra believes that the truest form of success is giving, so we always have something to give,” Hayward said. “Whether it’s product, donations, or time, Kendra makes sure there’s always something, and that’s what made her so successful when she started the company.”

KS Sales Associate Abby Tharp, who also helped run the pop-up shop, agreed that Kendra’s philanthropy is “awe-inspiring.”

“Whatever you care about, she cares about,” Tharp said, adding that it was fun to see everyone at the pop-up shop love Kendra’s jewelry and find inspiration in her story.

HC UPenn Events Director Dylan Massoni ’22 pitched the idea to partner with KS. Since August, Massoni has worked as a college brand ambassador—known as a Gem—after working as a sales associate in the summer of 2018. As a Gem, Massoni spreads brand awareness on campus through events such as this pop-up shop, which she spent several weeks planning with the Ardmore location and KS Philadelphia Marketing Director Devin Carroll.

“Seeing the event materialize was amazing,” Massoni said. “It’s always a great feeling to see your work finalized.”

Although Massoni felt overwhelmed during the day leading up to the pop-up shop, seeing people enjoy themselves made the planning worthwhile, she said.

“I wanted this event to be a success because it’s such an important cause,” Massoni said. “I feel so honored to be a part of it.”

KS has allowed Massoni to pursue her passion for fashion marketing and become involved with philanthropy at Penn, she said.

“I love the jewelry, I love the brand, and Kendra herself is incredible,” Massoni said.

HC UPenn Staff Writer Sylvia Goldfond ’23 enjoyed shopping with a purpose. 

“My favorite part was being able to bond with some great girls while shopping—knowing we’re all making a difference by putting our money toward a good cause,” she said. “It was such an easy, fun way to do something good for humanity.”

HC UPenn Staff Writer Sophia Tran ’23 agreed with Goldfond, adding that, “It’s the best of both worlds.”

HC UPenn Editor-in-Chief Melody Kulaprathazhe ’22 also connected with the values behind the event. Due to her interest in social justice and human rights, Kulaprathazhe sees a potential future in non-profit work.

“Giving—rather than receiving—has been very important to me and close to my heart, and when I see someone who is [genuine], and who is as passionate about those principles, I really want to connect with them and see what we could do together,” Kulaprathazhe said, regarding the partnership with KS. 

Her Campus has partnered with KS before at other chapters, according to Kulaprathazhe. Thus, Her Campus Media was excited about the opportunity to partner with the brand once again at a different chapter location.

“This partnership speaks to the universal value and meaning of womanhood and femininity,” Kulaprathazhe said. “There are so many things that drive us apart, but a cause as important as breast cancer awareness, or something as cute as jewelry, brings us together.”

In researching the brand, Kulaprathazhe recognized Scott’s generosity and drive, ideas which co-align with the values of Her Campus.

“Kendra Scott is a brand that really cares about the causes it is partnering with, and those values—trying to educate young women on these initiatives—is something that really resonated with me because that is, essentially, what Her Campus is about,” Kulaprathazhe said. “We’re both about connecting women to something bigger—a larger mission, a larger drive, a larger purpose.”