Ladies Who Launch

This Office Is the Perfect Blend of Style and Tech

RewardStyle’s headquarters have indoor bikes, a bar, and more coffee table books than you could read in a lifetime.

By: Laurel Pantin
Photography: Renée Rodenkirchen

When you’ve built a totally revolutionary tech company that’s wildly successful and has completely changed the modern retail model before the age of 30, you naturally need an office to match. In the case of Amber Venz Box of Rewardstyle, all of the above is true in equal measure.

And while we knew about her massively successful tech company (and unbelievably awesome wardrobe to match—even more unbelievable, check out her daughter’s closet), we hadn’t yet seen her new office, er, complex in Dallas. Naturally, we had to see it for ourselves.

Amongst the 100,000,000 other things she’s got going on (like partnering with Rebecca Minkoff on her first see-now-buy-now runway show in L.A., launching their LIKEtoKNOW.it app where users can shop screenshots, oh, and last year at SXSW she followed President Obama onstage to speak about the business of influence...nbd), she somehow found the time to open an office in New York and one in Shanghai in addition to designing one of the most fun-looking workspaces at their HQ in Dallas.

We got a tour from Amber herself and heard all about what she’s been up to in the last year, and got to see the details that make her office so special.

“I started a jewelry line in high school that lasted about ten years, and then I moved to L.A. for a while and worked with a stylist. Then I moved to New York and I worked alongside Thakoon—I was on their wholesale side. I moved back to Dallas and worked as a buyer for a local small luxury shop here. I decided to leave my full-time job and focus on my jewelry line, which was doing well. I launched an e-commerce site for it and started selling direct to consumer. I started my blog in 2010, and I was also doing personal shopping on the side. I had my key customers and I’d take them into stores, and the stores would pay me a commission on the sale. What I thought was, ‘If I can document all of this on my blog, I’ll have more offline customers and I’ll earn more commission by making more sales.’ I started posting three times a day on Venzedits, which is still my blog today.”

“The blog became popular, and customers started liking it more and more, and they were shopping off of my blog. So I started getting texts from my main customers who were like, ‘Hey, I saw you posted that PS1 bag! I love it, and I convinced my friends to buy it. Thanks so much! Keep posting.’ I was like, oh my god, that was a hundred dollars of commission I just lost and I paid a photographer to shoot that bag and all this.”

“So my boyfriend at the time, now husband, Baxter, my co-founder—we had just talked about what I was going to do, because I was spending so much money on photography and spending my days now posting three times and also managing this jewelry line. I loved the blog more than the jewelry line, but I needed it to make money. So I started just reaching out to other bloggers, I went to a blogging conference where I met Leandra [of Man Repeller]. She was onstage, so my thought was, she must make money because she is onstage, so I’ll go ask her what she’s doing. I talked to her, and at the time she was like, ‘Yeah, I get free clothes.’ This was in 2010. I came back home and was like, ‘Baxter! No one is making any money, this is a lost cause.’ He’s an engineer and at the time was working for a fund doing tech investments. He was like, ‘Well, in an ideal world, how do you make money off of a blog?’ I was like, ‘If I could just prove to Neiman Marcus that someone bought that bag online, they pay me commission offline, I want them to pay me commission for the online sale!’ And so we put together what we called RewardStyle and it was basically that same concept. The same business terms that I’d always had with these stores, but just tracking online sales. We started building it out at that point, and that's where it all started.”

“I love decorating with coffee table books, and now [my] friends and clients are creating their own books! I have this gallery wall of books, and some of my favorite art is in there.”

“When we launched back in 2011, our focus was monetizing based on the sales that are being driven. That is still the core of our business, but we’ve found other ways to quantify the value that influencers are driving to brands. One of those ways that we just launched is RewardStyle Media. We’ve now opened an office in New York that runs the media team. It’s a platform where brands can log in and they have everything that they are getting everywhere else from media, but the thing that they get in addition when they work with us is influencer targeting based on retail sales that the influencers are driving.”

“RewardStyle is our second home, and the people on our team are our second family, and we wanted Birdie to feel like she had a dedicated place in that world as well.“

“When Birdie was born, I was not able to take a real maternity leave, and we also did not have any private spaces at the office for me to handle all of the lovely personal medical upkeep that comes with having a baby. We built this new office when she was first born, and having a beautiful mother's room was a top priority for me. Now we have many expecting mothers, including myself, and we are all looking forward to having a thoughtful, private space that makes the motherhood-to-work transition more comfortable and convenient.”

“The first year we drove about 10 million dollars in sales. The second year we drove 70 million in sales; and last year we drove 150 million in retail sales. It’s crazy!”

“I was born and raised in Dallas, so it’s home, but we’re also right in the middle of the country, so it just takes a couple of hours to New York, a couple of hours to L.A., and a lot of the airline hubs are here. Anywhere in the world, I can pretty much go direct from here. There is so much space. I can have a car and a home and a closet and all that, and our team has a lot of space to spread out. But I love the culture too. Texans aren’t southern, but it’s a version of it—very friendly people and great food. If you haven’t had queso, you have to try it. Every time I travel, that is the first thing I have to do when I get home: eat queso.”

“This office is less than a year old, and this is the HQ. There are about 130 people here, so most people are based in this office.”

“We got the bikes for people to actually get around uptown when they came to visit Dallas for our conference. Now we’ve installed them in our office! We have the entire ninth floor and part of the eighth floor of this building. The engineers like to take the bikes to go back and forth around the floor because they are on one side of the building and Baxter and I are on another side of the building.”

“We also opened our Shanghai office in the last year. In Asia the platforms are different, and the influencers are quite different—the landscape is very different, but China is already about 20% of our business. So that has become an increasingly important space for us.”

“I was designing this office when I was pregnant with my first child, and I couldn’t sleep at all. I spent all my time on Instagram at night, and I ended up designing the office myself. I had found a cool place in Australia, it had something somewhat similar to these hands, so I just saved it to use for this space. This space is called The Early Bird, and it’s basically our little coffee shop, but it’s free food for employees. We ordered the hands on Amazon, and we ordered those bulbs through Urban Outfitters, and we literally drilled holes in the hands and ran it up through the ceiling. It was a DIY project.”

“This was from when Birdie was born. The team knows I love swag, so they had the onesie made for her. And now we make them for everyone on the team that has kids.”

“When RewardStyle was first founded, Baxter had an incubator called Nasty Goat. Nasty Goat was his pet name from football when he was little. He created this, not thinking the name Nasty Goat was going anywhere; it was just holding company for all these little startups he had been working on. RewardStyle was the one pet project that turned into something, and so until about a year ago, actually, everyone’s checks said ‘From Nasty Goat Corporation,’ and if I called you it would say Nasty Goat was calling. So once that was put to rest, we named our internal bar ‘The Goat’ kinda as a nod to that, but the word G.O.A.T. is also Greatest of All Time. It’s really about Nasty Goat, and it’s the last remnant of that name.”

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