Amber Venz Box at home. Simone Rocha tweed dress $2,285, at Neiman Marcus.
Baby's comfort zone
Light and clean lines
Waiting for feet.
The world is changing rapidly for 28-year-old Amber Venz Box. A year ago she married Baxter Box, who is 33; they’re expecting their first child in late October. The upcoming birth of baby girl Birdie comes on the heels of big developments with the couple’s Dallas-based company, rewardStyle, an invitation-only global monetization tool for top-tier digital style publishers that has taken the industry by storm.
Just four years old and already crazily successful, with 126 employees worldwide, rewardStyle brought on new global strategic partners in July (New York-based venture capital firm Maverick Capital Ventures, Buro24/7 founder Miroslava Duma and a good friend, street-style Instagram fave and Dallasite Nasiba Adilova), infusing the company with $15 million and entrée into tough-to-penetrate markets such as former Soviet Bloc countries and the Middle East.
But this skyrocketing growth took all the couple’s time and attention, so raising a family seemed a distant goal. “Baxter and I were dating when we started the company, with our heads down 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Amber. “We always said that when things slow down, we could think about having a family. But things just kept getting more serious.
“We had more people whose livelihoods depended on us, and that wasn’t going to make things easier. We didn’t want to look up one day and wonder what happened.”
Hiring the right people has allowed them to focus on God and family. “Baxter and I grew up going to church, but we didn’t make our faith a priority in our 20s, because everything was so serious, heads down, and work-driven. We needed to reprioritize.”
They joined Watermark Community Church, where many of their friends and family already attended. “It’s been a place to reconnect and focus on a strong path,” she says.
Birdie’s name has the all-important alliteration that goes back several generations in Baxter’s family and is also the name of two of Amber’s great aunts. “I love the vintage feel of the name,” she says.
Birdie’s impending arrival brought out Amber’s latent nesting instinct. “The first thing I did when I found out I was pregnant was to look at paint colors for the nursery,” she says, laughing. Then she emailed interior designer Stacy Hyde to help her with the nursery in the couple’s mid-century house in University Park. Hyde, a longtime friend of Amber’s mother, had helped her pull together her first office fresh out of SMU when she started her first business designing jewelry, personal shopping and closet organizing. Amber sent Hyde about 40 pictures for inspiration that she’d gathered off Instagram.
“She wanted it comfortable and soft, with a lot of different textures. It had to be clean lined. She didn’t want it babyish,” Hyde says.
One of the shots Amber sent her was the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom in San Francisco, which Amber had recently visited. “There was lots of natural wood, texture and brass,” Hyde remembers. A large brass chandelier from Arteriors launched the nursery’s design plan, followed by brass sconces from Mitchell Gold, a tufted French-style daybed from Noir and a round crib, which Amber had spotted at RH Baby & Child in Los Angeles.
When a changing table they ordered turned out to block light from the window, Hyde switched it for a chic brass cart retrofitted with reinforced acrylic shelves ideally suited for a changing pad. There’s also a faux bois plaster floor lamp from Mecox, Saarinen tulip side table and a glider rocker from RH Baby & Child. An oversized sheep that Amber found on the Internet keeps it all from being too serious. The room’s timeless quality will hold up over time.
“Baxter and I are calling it a forever nursery,” Amber says. “The idea is all our babies will grow up in that room.”