While most sixteen-year old’s are navigating the complexities of high school, Carrie Berk is busy promoting her newest book in her Ask Emma series (due out this month), filling her one-year-old ‘style empowerment’ website, “Carrie’s Chronicles” with relevant and meaningful content, attending New York’s most illustrious events and proudly serving as a teen ambassador for No Bully, making her mission to encourage tweens and teens to practice empathy and respect among their peers.
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Recently, Carrie celebrated two milestones; the one-year anniversary of her style empowerment blog and her sixteenth birthday. She celebrated in style at Winky Lux’s experience store with snacks from Georgetown cupcakes and Baked by Melissa and music by DJ Samantha Michelle.
Recently, I had a chance to chat with this #bossbabe about her upcoming happenings:
It’s been one year since the launch of your style empowerment blog, Carrie’s Chronicles, congratulations! What is a style empowerment blog and how does it differ from a traditional fashion lifestyle blog?
I wanted to make “Carrie’s Chronicles” more than just a traditional lifestyle blog. I love fashion and monitoring the trends, but I don’t believe in following them blindly. I think you should always put your personal spin on style, which is the message of my website. I want readers to feel empowered and embrace their individuality with no apologies, whether through fashion, beauty, food, fitness, or entertainment. Although I love including beautiful, enticing photos, the heart of the site is its content. I have been a writer for as long as I can remember, and I truly believe in the ability of words to inspire. I try to make each feature as interesting and as motivating as possible. I’m especially proud of my Q & A section since it highlights movers and shakers who are making bold choices, standing up for what they believe, and breaking down barriers.
You have written 21 books before your 16th birthday, that is so inspiring! Who inspired you to get into writing?
My second-grade teacher first introduced me to realistic fiction. I was immediately drawn to that style of writing—the ability to take pieces of my own life and turn them into relatable fictional stories. It allowed me to write about issues that kids my age were facing, and it showed me that I could use my words to make a difference in the world. I literally came home one day from school and drafted a book proposal for “Peace, Love and Cupcakes”. It was about four girls who are all outsiders, but find friendship and confidence when they come together to form an unstoppable baking group. It also touched on the theme of bullying, which was something I had seen happening around my school. I showed it to my mom, who is a writer herself, and she forwarded it to her book agent. Within a week, three publishers were interested in publishing it! “The Cupcake Club” series went on to become a 12-book mother-daughter middle school series that has sold nearly 400K copies worldwide. I even helped adapt the original book into an award-winning Off-Broadway musical.
You seem to draw inspiration from your life for each of your series, with each one evolving as years go on, what are some future topics you hope to cover as you grow as a writer and as a woman?
Most of the books that I’ve written deal with the topic of bullying, since it’s something I have experienced firsthand, and it’s shaped the person I am today. I was cyberbullied several times, and I hope to continue to educate and raise awareness of the pain that bullying can inflict. It’s one of the most important social issues today and it should never be ignored. For the past two years, I’ve been an ambassador for No Bully, speaking out, writing personal essays and articles, and crusading with the organization to eradicate bullying worldwide. I hope to encourage kids starting at an early age how to practice empathy and be respectful of one another. Recently, I wrote the script for a “Girls Against Bullying” PSA video featuring several teen celebrities that will be released in January. The message is simple yet powerful: as women, we should be lifting each other up instead of tearing each other down. And if you don’t have something nice to say…don’t say it ever.
You’re so passionate about each project you take on, whether it’s a fashion partnership, a new book, or your advocacy for bullying. What has been your favorite project to date? What is a brand or company you would love to work with?
My favorite project to date has been launching “Carrie’s Chronicles”. It has allowed me to explore such a wide range of topics, and I feel like my writing has really matured over the past year. It’s also amazing to see how much of an impact my articles have had on others. People have told me that after reading my site, they ultimately feel more empowered in their daily lives, and that makes everything I’m doing worth it. In the future, I would love to work at Vogue. Their magazine and websites provide such intriguing perspectives on everything from fashion, beauty, and entertainment to politics, and it would be an honor to contribute to such a platform.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Never lose sight of who you are.
What piece of advice would you give to young girls trying to achieve their dreams?
Embrace what makes you unique. Don’t let naysayers bring you down, because what makes you different is what makes you beautiful.