This month marks our sixth annual fascinating moms feature, in which we profile five inspiring mothers with vastly different stories who all share a common bond. From business owners to free spirits with one baby or three, they are each on a journey that’s uniquely their own— and yet they’re relatable in so many ways. Our hope is that you find these mamas as smart, refreshing and admirable as we do, and our wish is that you know you are every bit as fascinating as they are.
Amber Venz Box
Co-founder and President
Hidden talent: Interior design
Current phone background: A photo of her daughter Birdie
Biggest shopping-related weakness: Children’s clothing
You know when you’re scrolling through Instagram and your latest girl crush shares all of her outfit details via LIKEtoKNOW.it, so you can double-tap to shop her look? Well, Amber Venz Box is the one who made that possible—or at least the one who came up with the concept and assembled the team who made it possible.
A longtime fashion lover and early entrepreneur (she once got kicked out of fifth- grade math class for knitting and selling scarves in the back row), it’s hardly a surprise she solved the “Where did you get that?” conundrum on everyone’s favorite social media platform—or that the solution rewards influencers for their impeccable taste. (They earn a small percentage of any sales that result from their referrals.)
The success of LIKEtoKNOW.it came just a few years after Box launched reStyle—a way for influencers to monetize their blogs—with her then-boyfriend, now-husband Baxter. “If you want to start a business, find a co-founder who has a complementary skill set,” advises Box. “My co-founder is an engineer … I can barely get my printer to work.”
In addition to confirming opposites attract, the couple has also established that opposites build successful businesses. In the past five years they’ve turned their side project into a multinational business with more than 200 team members in six offices around the world.
But that’s not the accomplishment Box is most proud of: In the last two years, she and her husband have also doubled the size of their family, adding a little girl, Birdie, to the mix in late 2015 and welcoming a sweet boy, Boyce, this spring. “I hope that the small gap makes it easier for them to be friends from an early age,” says Box. “I want [them] to experience college, weddings, children and grandchildren together.”
Although her personal blog (venzedits.com) and Instagram would lead you to believe her home is impeccably polished and her children perfectly poised, Box admits that’s not exactly the case. “I am thoughtful about the content that goes live on venzedits. … I want it to be a place that people can come to for insights, inspiration and relaxation,” she says. “No one wants to see the messy stuff.”
That might be true when we’re on the hunt for eye candy, but most moms will also appreciate Box’s confession: “I have gotten very good at finding ‘wow’ pieces at a great price. I like wearing fun pieces that I can also afford to ruin”—because even her picture-perfect children are sticky little messes from time to time.
“Pregnancy and motherhood forced me to tighten the organization of the departments that I deal with the most and to relinquish more control to the leadership that we have put in place,” explains Box, who argues being a mom is a valuable asset in the workplace. “With less availability to come into work early or stay extra late, I am forced to prioritize, delegate and let go, and I am confident that I am a better owner, manager and worker now that I have had children.”