LikeToKnowIt Founder Amber Venz Box Talks Motherhood and Shares Her Favorite Fashion and Beauty Finds
by Samantha McIntyre
A great sense of style certainly runs deep for RewardStyle and LIKEtoKNOW.it founder Amber Venz Box. In 2011, what the highly successful, Dallas-based entrepreneur and top trendsetter may not have known at the time, was that she was on the brink of revolutionizing online shopping experiences for fashion fanatics everywhere. Her passion for style paved the way for shopping chic curated trends, posted by high profile influencers on Instagram. Parenting.com spoke with this fashion-forward thinker to learn more about how she balances motherhood and business, and got a few tips on her fashion and beauty faves that you’ll want to add to your online shopping cart ASAP.
You have revolutionized the fashion industry online. Can you share the inspiration for liketoknow.it?
My background is in retail, and before I started RewardStyle, I thought back to being in a retail store every day, where I lit a candle in a specific scent and there were specific flowers for that particular store, that had to look a certain way and all of the clothes would be spaced perfectly so they looked good on the rack. And when customers would come in and pick up a shirt, I would usually come over and say, ‘hey, that shirt is great, I would suggest you wear it with these jeans and this jacket, and by the way, this celebrity also wore it, and I would try to give them a complete experience. Once I left retail, the days of online e-commerce began, and it was the polar opposite with just a grid and white backgrounds on websites. It was just so far from what I worked so hard to provide in-store. So with the creation of LIKEtoKNOW.it we’re working to provide that real, rich retail experience once again.
How do you balance motherhood with running a billion-dollar business?
That’s a tough question. I had to start engineering my time after having my first child. Over the last few years, I will say I’ve gotten much better at it. Before I had my first baby, I really did believe that having a kid would be like having an extra tote bag. I would keep living my life, and I would just carry my kid with me everywhere. We traveled a lot for business, and I did take her with me, but I also brought my mom along, so we were able to travel the world with her, but by the time she hit a year old, that was done. Taking her on the plane and in a hotel room, it just wasn’t working anymore. I also started to realize when I was getting home from work late that she would be sleeping, which means I would literally go around the clock and not see my child. That was also something that I didn’t expect, so I would say that the 12 to 18-month mark was a time of real reckoning for me. I knew that my hours were going to have to be adjusted. It’s wild how much we spend on productivity! So now I come home, and I’m working after they go to sleep or trying to rearrange my time, but the short answer is I calendar my day and my night to schedule when I’m going to get things done so I can see my kids.
Fashion has played such a significant part of your personal and professional life, tell us when your love of style began.
My earliest fashion memories are of my mom dressing me up for school (I was a ’90’s child, so there was a lot of matching) and my aunt painting my shoes to match my shirt and matching hair bow. I was a little more reserved when I was young, and I remember going to school and my teachers would always comment on my outfits. Thinking back from a psychology perspective, I can imagine that I realized I didn’t have to be super extroverted or the loudest kid in class to get attention if I just wore something cool. By the second and third grade, I was watching Full House and all of those Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen movies where they had all of these adventures—they’d go to Paris or have fun sleepovers, and I would just study those shows to see their outfits because they always looked so cool, and I wanted to be like them. I would call my girlfriend, sitting in front of my closet coordinating our outfits saying, ‘okay, we’re going to wear the white Keds and the white turtleneck and we’re going to tuck them in.’ Also, both of my grandmothers knew how to use a sewing machine, so when I would go visit them on the weekends, we would sit and make things. When I was around 10, my grandmother would help me knock off the dresses for myself. We would always do creative things that were very fashion-centric.
How would you describe your fashion style?
The things I love to wear are very architectural. You can see throughout my Instagram feed that I love the construction of a garment. The reason I wanted to work in retail is that I wanted to be around the clothes to look at them and examine them and not just be a weird customer walking through a store touching everything. I tend to gravitate more towards solids than any sort of print, but I guess I would say that I favor a classic but architectural piece. I’m trying to invest in pieces that are timeless so that I can continually build my wardrobe. The things I’m investing in have a great fabric or fabulous construction, or it’s just a total basic that I can wear year after year. Instagram is so much of a highlight reel, but if you go into my LIKEtoKNOW.it profile, I’m much freer, and you can see more of the behind-the-scenes of my house and my kids and what I’m wearing. It’s kind of the day-to-day of what I’m wearing.
What are your favorite, affordable fashion picks?
I would say a great pair of vintage-style denim. It just looks very cool. You can pull a blazer together with them or throw on an oversized sweater, and it’s a great look. Lately, another thing that I find myself always carrying is the little Black Box Bag from a store called The Daily Edited. I’ve also been wearing sheer turtlenecks lately. Stories has these fitted turtlenecks that are great for layering. When you wear them underneath a jacket it creates a whole new look.
When it comes to kid’s clothing, what lines do you love most, and what are your favorite pieces?
I probably buy more kid’s clothes than I do adult clothes though my kids live in pajamas. When they’re home from school or just home for the day, we wear pajamas. I just love H&M for all of their basics and jeans. Their online shop for kids, is amazing. For fancier clothing, there’s a Dallas-based store called Dondolo. The owner employs underprivileged women in Colombia in need of work to sew the clothing. It’s a mission-driven organization with beautiful, quality clothing at great price points, especially considering how gorgeous these clothes are. And I also love pieces from Janie and Jack for my kids.
What are your favorite beauty must-have products?
My number one is my Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. It’s not a hairspray, but it gives you texture. I have very fine hair, so it’s great to give my hair some volume. For skincare, I would say BeautyBio’s face cream called The Quench. It’s a super hydrating cream that I always use before I put my makeup on, I love that one! BeautyBio also has this thing called a Microneedling Tool, and it sounds crazy, but my dermatologist suggested that I use this because my family is super wrinkly and I can already see tiny wrinkles starting to form on my face. My doctor has a microneedler in her office, but BeautyBio makes this at-home model that you can use for just a couple of minutes every night to help build collagen.It’s a good product. I also love a great lash extension. As long as you have your lashes on, you always look fabulous!
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