MONETIZING INSTAGRAM: Q&A WITH ERIN VOGELPOHL, ORIAN'S RISING E-STAR
Erin Vogelpohl, founder of the successful My Texas House blog and Instagram sensation, introduced Las Vegas Market shoppers to her new collection with Orian. Shown, Lady Bird rug.
LAS VEGAS -- The meteoric success of Orian's new partnership with social media hit My Texas House and its founder Erin Vogelpohl, is becoming a new model for 21st century licensing collaborations.
Indeed, Vogelpohl and Orian launched the program on e-commerce in May, and its trending online story will be the subject of the rising star's keynote at today's HGTV social media influencer confab. Headliner at the HGTV Magazine Block Party in New York City, Vogelpohl will address an influential audience of 500 media mavens, lifestyle bloggers, designers and style-savvy consumers who turn to HGTV Magazine for inspiration. Her topic: Bringing it Home: How to Turn Your Passion into a Business with @MyTexasHouse.
Photos from the shoppable Instagram pages of My Texas House piqued buyers' interest at the Palmetto Living by Orian showroom during the summer 2019 Las Vegas Market.
That topic is exactly what RugNews.com discussed with Vogelpohl at Las Vegas Market earlier this month, where the new Palmetto Living by Orian showroom prominently featured its new My Texas House licensed area rugs by Vogelpohl, who was on hand to meet and greet customers.
Everything about the Orian/My Texas House collaboration is a dream come true for bloggers at today's HGTV event. It's a story of doing what you love -- and making money at it. And with e-commerce sales pouring in since the program went live on May 1, the back-story is a good lesson for manufacturers, retailers and social media influencers alike.
Among the top sellers in the My Texas House by Orian rug program is the indoor-outdoor Lady Bird design, featured in Vogelpohl's bedroom, which showcases her all white signature style.
The partnership is a first for both Orian and Vogelpohl: Orian's first time working with an influencer and her first licensing program. At market, a showroom display was designed to inform retailers about My Texas House, and its whopping 426,000 followers, as well as the program's area rugs. According to Brandon Culpepper, chief revenue officer at Orian, "I don't know if anyone has done this before. We're marketing her to drive business on our product."
The partners hadn't met when Vogelpohl first posted a room in her home featuring an Orian rug. But the company noticed sales were spiking -- enough to look into growing a license program. Now everything on the My Texas Home Instagram page and website is shoppable - with links to brand pages on Amazon, Wayfair, and Houzz -- and also a shopping App APP powered by "Like to Know It" (owned by Reward Style). In this RugNews.com exclusive, we sit down with Erin Vogelpohl to get the full story.
Q&A WITH ERIN VOGELPOHL
Erin Vogelpohl founder of the popular My Texas House design site, stopped by Orian's Las Vegas showroom last month to debut her line to retailers. She poses in front of the best-selling Lady Bird rug.
Do you have a design background?
EV: I'm not a designer; I was a teacher. I rebuilt three houses in about a 5-year span of time and fell in love with the design process. I did a lot of research and know a lot more than the average person about tile, lighting, and decorating. That's what got me the design eye I have now.
What's your design style?
EV: I try not to stay in any one design style. I guess Modern Farmhouse would be closest to one particular style. I like light, bright neutrals. And I'm passionate about decorating on a budget. You definitely don't have to break the budget to have a stylish home.
How did you become a social media influencer?
EV: I've been doing My Texas House for about three and a half years. I started showing pictures of the build process and how I was decorating the home we live in now. I never dreamed people would want to see pictures of my home or follow me for my design ideas, but we have about 426,000 followers now.
Neutral colors, lots of texture, softness and a super family-friendly construction made domestically are the hallmarks of the new My Texas House by Orian area rug collection. Shown, Quail Hollow.
Your followers actually buy your products. So how often do you change up your rooms?
EV: I describe my house as a showroom. Everything is on the potential chopping block for a makeover with new decor. I also do a lot of seasonal decorating, which a lot of my followers really like.
How did you become involved with Orian?
EV: It was a happy accident. I bought one of their rugs. I was looking for a light, bright, durable, affordable rug. I found it online - I think on Wayfair. I don't remember the design name but the collection was Jersey Home. It looked like a cable knit sweater. I put it in my bedroom, and posted the photo on my Instagram page.
Did your followers go out and buy that rug?
EV: It was so popular, the sales took off organically. Orian noticed the bump in sales, and contacted me about sending me more rugs to display in my home. People loved the posts, and bought the rugs. That's what grew the relationship.
Social media phenomenon My Texas House's Erin Vogelpohl decks out her dining room with the indoor-outdoor Picket Fences rug from her collection with Orian.
You redecorate your bedroom a lot for social media posts? Why?
EV: It's one of the most popular spots in my home. Followers tell me they want to see how they can design a light, bright cozy bedroom that their husbands will be happy with, too. They want to know how to get their husbands to agree to buy a light rug like mine -- how to convince their husbands that it would be a good investment.
Instagram wiz Erin Vogelpohl delights fans with quick refreshes of her My Texas House bedroom, shown here with the Bluebonnets rug created in partnership with Orian.
So what makes your rugs by Orian a good investment?
EV: They're light, bright, family friendly, high-low textured rugs. Technically, they're indoor-outdoor, but I show them indoors because they are stain-resistant good for families good for pets. That's how I really talk about them on my page. You don't have to be afraid to buy a white rug from Orian because they are so durable and easy to clean. And it's not so scary to buy a rug online because I tell them, "trust me this is going to be a good investment."
Do you get feedback from customers?
EV: I get testimonials from people. I don't ask for them -- people send them to me. They'll say, 'My husband spilled a glass of wine and we all freaked out, but in five minutes the rug was good as new."
They also like that Orian rugs are 'Made in America'. And they say the quickness of the shipping is great.
How would you describe My Texas Home by Orian rugs?
EV: There are five designs and they're all light, and bright.They're soft because they're in the Boucle quality, which sells so well -- we were hard-pressed to find a less-expensive high-quality rug. A lot of my followers are moms so they want soft rugs. They want to be able to put their babies on the floor and let them play. My rugs are all indoor-outdoor, so they're easy to clean. You can take them outside and hose them off if you want to.
A close-up of the indoor-outdoor Bluebonnets rug from My Texas House by Orian is featured in a video promoting the licensed collection on various e-commerce sites.
What's next for your rug line?
EV: We are hoping to expand, to branch out and try new things -- not all white. We are looking at other patterns, textures and colors. Not everyone wants an inexpensive rug. We've just started talking with retailers to get into brick and mortar shops so people can actually touch our rugs and see how beautiful they are.
The My Texas House collection by Orian is styled for fans -- mostly young families with babies and pets, who want stylish rugs that are carefree and cleanable. Shown, Cotton Blossom.