Check our interview with Bestselling author, fashion & lifestyle blogger, verified social media influencer and anti-bullying activist, Carrie Berk who already has a life’s worth of accomplishments under her belt… all at the tender young age of 16!
Driven by a love of writing and a taste for sweet treats, Carrie created her first book series, The Cupcake Club, when she was only in second grade. Co-written with her mom, NY Times Bestselling author Sheryl Berk, the series has published 12 books to date, sold 400,000+ copies worldwide, and has gone on to become an award-winning Off-Broadway show and featured selection in 2017’s New York Musical Festival. Carrie not only co-wrote the script for the play, but starred in it as well, earning her critical praise and a NYMF award for Outstanding Individual Performance.
Carrie second series, Fashion Academy, stems from her passion for fashion. The six-book series also became an Off-Broadway production at Vital Theatre and is currently licensed worldwide by Tams-Whitmark Publishing.
Her latest series, Ask Emma (Bonnier Publishing), springs not just from her boundless imagination, but from her personal experience as a teen lifestyle blogger and someone who has experienced cyberbullying firsthand. Ask Emma launched in May 2018 at Book Expo America and Book Con with book two of the series, Frenemies released in January 2019.
In addition to publishing 21 books to date, Carrie launched her website, “Carrie’s Chronicles” in December 2017. The weekly “Style Empowerment” blog is her take on all things “fun, fab and fashionable” in NYC and features “Carrie’s Q & A” with several celebrities and beauty/fashion movers and shakers. Carrie is also an influencer in her own right, showcasing her personal style with the city as her canvas and working with top fashion, beauty & lifestyle brands, including VS PINK, REVOLVE, Alice + Olivia, Madewell, FOREO, and Daniel Wellington.
Hi Carrie, please tell us a little about you?
I am a Bestselling Author (The Cupcake Club, Fashion Academy, Ask Emma), Style Empowerment Blogger (Carrie’s Chronicles), Social Media Influencer and No Bully Ambassador
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Outgoing, creative, driven.
Name one your strengths?
My determination to tackle all challenges with an optimistic attitude.
How’s a typical day in your life?
I go to school during the weekdays, but during the weekend, I’m either dancing or running around Soho to take pics at the hottest, most Instagrammable spots for my social media!
Who is your biggest supporter?
My mom is definitely my biggest supporter. She has been there for me through thick and thin, and I’m so lucky to have an incredible role model to guide me through this industry.
How would you describe your fashion style?
I call myself a style chameleon. I am not afraid to experiment with fashion—one day I’ll be in head-to-toe holographic, and the next in an army-style track suit!
How did you get started into Fashion & Blogging?
After being a part of the Seventeen Fashion Experience two summers ago, I really developed a love for fashion. I have always been passionate about writing (since I published my first book at age eight), and I had this epiphany to merge my two interests into a blog. Carrie’s Chronicles is heavily content based, with an emphasis on encouraging readers to embrace their individuality through style.
Who are some of your favorite models and designers, and why?
Kendall Jenner is one of my favorite models; not only is she stunning, but she speaks out on important issues teens face today—such as anxiety and mental health—which I really respect. As for my favorite designer, Dolce & Gabbana never ceases to amaze with their out-of-the-box designs. Every runway show is a shock, and I always look forward to spotting the newest trends on their catwalk.
What does fashion mean to you?
Your style is your superpower. You should dress the way that makes you feel most beautiful, even if others may not agree.
Who is your biggest beauty inspiration?
James Charles because he is undaunted in his approach to makeup. He constantly brainstorms ways to push the boundaries of beauty, and each face in his YouTube videos is truly a work of art.
Tell us about your Fashion site?
When I was younger, I was bullied for trying to be my authentic self. My peers would often criticize my style for being too “extra” or “out there,” and as a result, my self-confidence was shattered. For a while, I hid my pink glitter sneakers in the closet and tried to conform so I could fit in and be accepted. But as time passed, I came to realize that I needed to own the way I dressed, and I should never let anyone dull my sparkle. I found a way to channel the pain of bullying into something positive by creating Carrie’s Chronicles, which features outfit inspiration, beauty finds, tasty treats, exclusive celebrity interviews, and Instagrammable spots. I’m proud to say I’ve found my voice and I’m not afraid to use it.
How often do you post content?
I usually post 3-4 articles a week on topics such as fashion, beauty, places & spaces, entertainment, food, and fitness. An exclusive celebrity interview comes out every week as well.
What do you think is the secret to have a successful fashion blog?
Writing as much as possible. The more you write, the better you become at it. I’ve been writing for eight years (half my lifetime!) and I’m still improving, but I can confidently say that my content has matured since I launched my site. Additionally, it is crucial to stay updated on today’s trends in order to have a successful fashion website. Although I don’t encourage readers to copy the exact looks from the catwalk, putting your own twist on the clothes is a great way to develop your personal style.
And now about your successful books “The Cupcake Club,” and “Ask Emma?” You have published more than 21 books. That’s impressive. Tell us about it
In second grade, my teacher first taught me about realistic fiction. The idea that I could place real-life issues into a fictional situation in order to communicate an important message captivated me. As someone who was obsessed with cupcakes, I coined the idea of “The Cupcake Club,” about four middle school outsiders who come together to form an unstoppable cupcake club will simultaneously combatting bullies. “Ask Emma,” which I wrote four years later, presents what this issue has become in more recent years: cyberbullying. Emma Woods decides to launch her own advice blog only to face backlash from her peers. But with her besties by her side, as well as her family, forming her support system, she is able to rise above and recognize her worth.
What is next for Carrie Berk in 2019?
Continuing to build my brand and empowering as many people as possible.
Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?
Cole Sprouse. He is HANDSOME, but after seeing his new film Five Feet Apart, I realized that he’s an extremely talented, emotional actor as well. I respect how he was able to portray a character with Cystic Fibrosis honestly and in an empathetic way.
3 things you can’t leave your house without?
My phone, breath mints, and lip gloss.
What music do you like?
Total opposites: Panic! At The Disco and Billie Eilish. Panic! is my workout jam and Billie is the best to listen to on road trips.
Your idea of a perfect Sunday is?
Sleeping late, brunch, and SoulCycle!
Something people don’t know about you?
I love to box! It’s a great way to get out my stress and clear my head.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Being unapologetically me with a strong support system behind me supporting my individuality.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Audrey Hepburn. The way she lead her life with such elegance and respect for others is so admirable.
What do you like to watch on Tv?
I love reality shows! Project Runway and The Voice are my faves.
Do you support any charities?
I am proud to be an ambassador for No Bully, a non-profit teaching kids in schools across the globe to practice empathy and respect one another. We recently released a PSA in collaboration with fellow teen celebrities to further spread this message.
Girls Against Bullying x No Bully PSA
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’” —Audrey Hepburn
Holiday Destination: Aruba.
Song: “Breathe” from In The Heights.
Sports Team: NY Giants.
Photo Credit: Chick NYC