2020 Recipients

DAA Recipients

Amber Venz Box ’08

With an innovator’s vision and a designer’s eye, Amber Venz Box ’09 cracked the code for monetizing digital lifestyle content with rewardStyle. Venz Box is president and co-founder of the billion-dollar company that connects top-tier influencers with more than a million brand partners in over 100 countries.

Amber Venz Box ’08

Venz Box earned bachelor’s degrees in sociology from Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and corporate communication and public affairs from Meadows School of the Arts. At SMU she was a member of Student Senate and Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

For as long as she can remember, Venz Box was determined to work in the fashion industry. While an SMU student, and later after graduating, she took a series of jobs locally and on both coasts where she learned about fashion styling, retailing and wholesale from the inside. She put the writing skills she had sharpened at SMU to work in 2010, launching venzedits.com, a blog to promote her nascent personal shopping business and amplify the jewelry she started designing as a student. However, she soon became a victim of her own success when clients started copying the looks she posted on her blog instead of paying her to shop for them.

Her then-boyfriend, now-husband Baxter Box ’11 was working on his M.B.A. from the Cox School of Business at the time. The couple pooled their strengths – her retail savvy and design aesthetic and his engineering and business know-how – to create rewardStyle in 2011, for which Box serves as CEO.

Founded by influencers for influencers, rewardStyle empowers tens of thousands of content creators worldwide through partnerships with retailers as varied as Amazon, Gucci, Etsy and Walgreens. The company has grown from Venz Box’s home office to a global ecosystem with more than 250 employees. Its highly engaged consumer audience has multiplied by millions through the LIKEtoKNOW.it shopping app.

Despite her busy schedule, Venz Box makes time for her alma mater. She has been interviewed by Meadows students as a class assignment, has been profiled by the school’s MPrint magazine and has shared insights with the SMU Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Club. She also has been a speaker for the Dallas Young Alumni Professional Breakfast.

The young entrepreneur’s accolades include Glamour’s Woman of the Year for Technology, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Fashion Group International’s Innovator of the Year. She also has been recognized among Forbes 30 Under 30, Entrepreneur’s 15 Female Entrepreneurs to Watch, Inc.’s 20 Most Influential Millennials, Fast Company’s Most Creative People and D Magazine’s Dallas 500. She is a 2019 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute and serves on the Business and Community Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Venz Box and her husband were honored with Outstanding Young Alumni awards in 2017 from the Cox School. They live in Dallas and are the parents of four young children.