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Jason Sheeler | Photo: Nick Prendergast | August 28, 2013
Dallas’ own Amber Venz turns a risk into the now trending RewardStyle.
A few years ago, style bloggers—ridiculously chic young things posting photos of themselves in ridiculously chic outfits—became digital fashion fodder, with blogs like Man Repeller and Garance Doré still must-reads. But the question remains: How do fashion bloggers generate revenue? Reveals entrepreneurial upstart Amber Venz, “You know, they’re like personal shoppers—and personal shoppers get a commission.”
The 26-year-old SMU grad would know—in 2011, she, too, was generating extra income through a commission-less personal shopping sideline until one day, she says, “I realized no one needed me because they could just look at my blog to see what to buy.”
So Venz consulted with her long-time best friend Baxter Box—then, an SMU MBA student, today CEO of the idea born from that discussion, rewardStyle (rewardstyle.com). The Venz-created venture brings together retailers and style bloggers, with the latter posting items from more than 2,500 retailers, including behemoths like Neiman Marcus. When something sells via a participating blog, its blogger gets a cut.
“It’s like personal shopping, but the digital version. And this time, it’s free to the customer,” explains Venz, who in just two short years has grown the enterprise to include more than 40 employees—split between offices on Knox and in London—and a network of more than 10,000 bloggers in 60-plus countries. Several times a month the trendsetter-turned-jet-setter hops flights en route abroad to secure relationships with stores and recruit bloggers.
In giving style bloggers bona fide gigs with capital gains, says Venz,
“I gave myself one, too.”
Russian “it” girls (Miroslava Duma, Elena Perminova), designer chairs from Knoll, gingers, brunch, classic sunglasses like Ray-Ban Clubmasters
French manicures, Vine, flight delays, Barneys New York leaving Dallas again