Merritt Beck’s favorite designers are Tibi, Theory, Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler to name a few, but her first fashion icons were a little closer to home. Growing up in Austin, Texas, Merritt would play with her mother and grandmother’s classic Chanel flats.
“I’ve always been very close with my grandmother, as my sister and I spent a lot of time at her house. She always let us play dress up (same with my mom). They both have an incredible sense of style and have always had pretty things, so naturally I was drawn to both of their closets,” Beck says.
An inspiration and love for the fashion world emerged from her childhood playtime and today, Beck reigns as a top 25 blogger with her blog The Style Scribe and as the marketing director for rewardStyle.
Fashionable family members helped Beck develop an interest in fashion, but she credits her four internships during her time at SMU as what solidified her desire to pursue a career in fashion. Beck worked as a fashion intern under the style editor at D Magazine and gained experience assisting with style shoots and pulling outfits.
“I realized the magazine world wasn’t where I really wanted to go so when blogging came about, I realized there was an opportunity there,” Beck says.
After graduating from SMU in 2009 with a degree in psychology, Beck started The Style Scribe, formerly known as Manolos and Martinis, in December 2010. Originally considering blogging as a hobby, Beck worked in marketing at Everest Group in Dallas and then at a start-up public relations firm in Houston.
Beck’s close friend Hillary Higgins always knew Beck had potential in the fashion field. “She has always been very driven. She’s a very ambitious girl,” Higgins says.
Beck realized she wanted to turn The Style Scribe into a profitable business and starting using rewardStyle as soon as it launched in June 2011. rewardStyle capitalizes on the idea that bloggers hugely benefit brands by driving an incredible amount of traffic to their sites. In return, rewardStyle is the “middle man” that hooks up brands and bloggers. If a visitor clicks from a link on someone’s blog and is directed to the Tory Burch website, for example, the blogger makes a commission on whatever the shopper buys generally within 30 days.
The Style Scribe took off very quickly. Beck qualified internationally as a top 25 blogger for both 2011 and 2012.
“I think I represent a pretty small number of the top 25 bloggers when I say that even though I may not have 50K followers on Twitter and 100K hits each month, my audience is engaged and interested in buying what I write about. It’s cool to think that I’ve influenced a number of people in this way, even if it is a small one!” Beck continues, “I’ve spent the last few years working so hard on my blog so to receive that honor is well worth all of that work.”
Beck attended a dinner in honor of the 25 bloggers during New York Fashion Week the past two years. “It was such an honor and very exciting to meet really cool people. Jane [Aldridge] of Sea of Shoes was so sweet, and I couldn’t believe I was sitting next to such a celebrity.” She continues, “It really is awesome getting to work with so many amazing and creative people. I never thought I’d be able to travel to New York, Australia or LA for work.”
As an account consultant at rewardStyle, fellow SMU alumna Meg Jones works closely with Beck.
“Being recognized as a top 25 blogger means that Merritt was one of rewardStyle’s top earners of 2012,” Jones says. It’s quite an impressive feat for the 7,000 bloggers both nationally and internationally rewardStyle works with.
Since its inception, The Style Scribe has continually evolved. “I’ve turned my blog into more of a personal adventure. I didn’t use to post what I was wearing, but I figured out a way to make it fun and make it ‘me.’ It’s definitely a personal style blog now,” Beck says.
Beck demonstrates her equally classic and current sense of style on The Style Scribe. “I have classic inclinations but sometimes I take it a little far. I definitely like to say I take after my mom. I think she has really great style, but there’s something to be said for having different experiences and having that inspire what I wear. There isn’t one word or two words that define my style – that’s too limiting. Magazines and places I visit have a lot to do with how I dress.”
On the weekends when Beck isn’t dolled up for rewardStyle or The Style Scribe, she still dresses cute and casually. Even grabbing coffee in the morning, you can bet she’ll be wearing jeans and a bejeweled sweater for a trendy touch.
“I definitely like to look cute whenever I can, but sometimes you just can’t swing it. I often wear workout clothes when running errands just to be comfortable, but whenever I plan on seeing anyone I’m always on my best behavior style-wise,” Beck says.
The Style Scribe is relatable to women on all different budgets, because Beck mainly wears contemporary designers in her outfit posts. “I really like contemporary, because I can afford it. I’ll spend money on designer bags and shoes, but I’m not going to shell out on a $3,000 dress.”
Beck’s language is also welcoming and conversational on The Style Scribe. You feel as if you’re grabbing a latte and gabbing about shoes with your girlfriend when you read The Style Scribe. Nina Rand, Beck’s friend and fellow blogger at The HSS Feed, believes, “Professionally, I think her incredible creativity and outgoing nature is a rare combination.”
With all the success Beck has earned as a blogger affiliated with rewardStyle, she is also familiar with the other side as she works as the U.S. marketing director for rewardStyle as well. Beck was originally hired on a freelance basis in January 2012 and began working full time in March 2012. Banishing the myth that working at a fashion company is glamorous 24/7, Beck wears many hats (and shoes) daily at the rewardStyle office in Dallas.
“I’ve never had so much put on my plate and been in charge of so much. I handle all domestic events, top 25 dinners, conferences and I also manage relationships between advertisers and rewardStyle. I come up with ideas for collaborations and choose the right blogger for the project. I’m always on a call.”
Beck balances two demanding jobs by setting aside time on the weekend for blogging. She will shoot three or four outfits on Sundays and schedule them evenly throughout the week. If Beck has downtime, she likes to “hang out with friends, travel, and enjoy a nice glass of wine (with cheese of course).”
Despite her hectic schedule, Beck speaks very highly of her position at rewardStyle. “It’s also very nice to have a community. I like going to the office every day. I really enjoy having a team to bounce ideas off of. My blog wouldn’t be as good as it is without rewardStyle.”
Beck, along with most of the global fashion industry, has high hopes for rewardStyle’s future. “rewardStyle is taking the world by storm. I have no idea where it’ll be in ten years, but I hope I’m along for the ride!”
Beck has a fashionable future to look forward to herself. She hopes to write a book or contribute to a magazine such as The New York Times style section or Cosmopolitan magazine. She is also interested in following in the footsteps of fellow blogger Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller and pursuing collaborations with designers. Most importantly though and perhaps what sets her apart in a sea of bloggers, Beck says, “I want to be able to still enjoy my blog. I don’t want it to turn it into a money-making machine. I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t love it.”