Former elementary school teacher Erin Vogelpohl’s career in social media launched when her home became “kind of Insta-famous.”
Her Instagram success came from sharing how she decorates her family’s home on @mytexashouse, where she has more than 600,000 followers.
Her posts were so popular that they inspired a My Texas House home décor line at Walmart.com. Products from the line sold so quickly when they went on sale in March that they’ve already had to be restocked.
Because Vogelpohl is widely known as a North Dallas resident, people may not realize that My Texas House has Arizona roots. Erin Vogelpohl and her husband, Dusty, grew up in the East Valley and met while attending Corona del Sol High School in Tempe.
What is My Texas House?
Over the past five years, the Vogelpohl family — Erin, Dusty, their three children, Erin’s mother and their dog — have become known for their home and its modern farmhouse and French country décor.
Scrolling through @mytexashouse reveals interior designs that showcase light spaces and a creamy white color for most blankets, furniture, rugs, curtains and walls. There are some pink and light brown accents.
“I started on Instagram first and started sharing my pictures, and they just started kind of catching on like wildfire,” Vogelpohl, 42, told The Arizona Republic. “I considered myself a stay-at-home mom and I was sharing for fun just as a way to connect with other people who had similar interests.”
Each post on the My Texas House Instagram account elicits hundreds of comments. Many ask Vogelpohl questions such as where she purchased items and how to obtain specific paint shades. She appears to answer a lot of these herself.
It’s not a stretch to say that Vogelpohl influences people.
“I show them how to clean their rugs. And it just feels like I’m one of their friends and they’re going to me for advice,” she said.
Walmart.com noticed. Last year, the company offered Vogelpohl an opportunity for a long-term partnership that will bring new additions to the collection throughout the year, including a holiday launch.
“I’m still pinching myself,” she said. “I kind of feel like that same stay-at-home-mom just doing this for fun because I enjoy it.
Home décor inspiration:Get fresh ideas from these 8 Phoenix-based Instagram stars
How My Texas House has roots in Arizona
Vogelpohl started @mytexashouse after the family’s long series of moves between Arizona and California and, eventually, to Texas.
Vogelpohl was raised in Tempe and studied elementary education at Arizona State University. After moving to Virginia and back for Dusty to attend law school, Vogelpohl realized she didn’t want to be a teacher anymore. She had “other interests,” she said.
She enrolled in the Speech and Hearing Science program at ASU. She left the program after becoming pregnant with her first child.
After multiple moves between Arizona and California for her husband’s job as an intellectual property lawyer, Vogelpohl started to develop a love of décor and “creating a home for my family.” Between picking out floor and wall colors and tiles, she realized she loved the design process.
Though she initially took farmhouse-style inspiration from Joanna Gaines, co-founder of the Magnolia brand and co-star of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” with husband Chip Gaines, Vogelpohl said she “evolved into my own … interpretation of all of that.”
“I definitely fit into that category of a modern farmhouse, also French country style. But I can veer into modern (décor) depending upon the room and the décor that I choose,” she said.
“I feel like I have a knack for it.”
‘I figured out what I was truly, truly, passionate about’
After the Vogelpohls moved into their North Dallas house in 2016, she started her Instagram account.
“I got shared by a lot of bigger accounts and that’s how I was able to grow as fast as I did,” Vogelpohl said. “I think for the first two years, I literally answered every single question I ever got and replied to every single comment that I would get on my posts.”
Vogelpohl said the My Texas House brand is her full-time job, which entails a consistent stream of blog and Instagram posts, taking photos and building her presence on Pinterest and TikTok. She gets help from her husband, who “works as my agent, attorney, partner (and) everything else that I need help with.”
“It is hard work. It’s long hours but I enjoy it, so it doesn’t feel like work,” she said. “It took me until I was … 35 (or) 36 years old before I figured out what I was truly, truly, passionate about.”
Capitalizing on Instagram fame ‘became a necessity’
Vogelpohl started her Instagram account started as a hobby, but her family’s changing circumstances eventually convinced her to profit from her large following.
“I did not intend for it to ever be a business (and) never thought I could,” Vogelpohl said. “I (didn’t) want to take the fun out of it. But then it kind of became a necessity.”
When her husband’s firm disbanded, she knew it was time to earn an income from @mytexashouse.
“At that point I was like, ‘I’ve got to kick it up a notch and start trying to really make some money and make this a job a full-time job,’” she said.
People with large social media followings can make sustainable incomes by advertising products and services in their content. Some influencers branch into entrepreneurial pursuits by creating companies and selling merchandise through their own brands.
Vogelpohl considers herself a business owner, an entrepreneur and a home décor brand.
“I’ve always tried to stay true to myself, to my brand (and) to my style and be very authentic and tell (followers) when I like something and tell them when I don’t like something and only promote things that I really feel strongly about,” she said.
How My Texas House became a Walmart product line
Vogelpohl’s opportunity to work with Walmart.com came after partnerships with brands including eBay, QVC and Home Depot.
The two collections of My Texas House brand rugs that she made with Orian Rugs are what initially drew Walmart’s attention, she said.
“I think where I am now is due to working with Orian and kind of proving myself and my brand power through them and then catching the attention of Walmart through that,” she said. “(But) I wouldn’t be anywhere without my Instagram page and my followers and their support.”
In May 2020, My Texas House launched two exclusive Orian rugs on Walmart’s website. According to Vogelpohl, soon after the rugs proved to be popular on Walmart.com, the company asked to release more products.
Ten months later, the My Texas House line launched on March 1 with 34 products ranging from decorative pillows to wall art to curtains. Vogelpohl’s Instagram post announcing the launch that day got nearly 20,000 likes, and items appeared to sell quickly.
“I know many of you were disappointed that things went out of stock so quickly, but rest assured we are restocking as quickly as possible!” she wrote in the caption. “In fact, for a minute or two, you guys broke Walmart.com!”
Some commenters on the post shared their successful orders. Others conveyed their dismay at not being able to buy specific products before they sold out.
“Maybe (Walmart was) not prepared for the enthusiasm that my followers showed towards the collection,” she said.
Representatives for Walmart did not respond to requests for comment on how the My Texas House collaboration happened and how launch performed.
What’s next for My Texas House
New additions for the My Texas House collection are in the works, Vogelpohl said.
She is planning her fall and holiday collections, and bedding will launch in May. Furniture and other home décor categories will be added throughout the year, she said.
As for long-term goals, Vogelpohl looks forward to someday hiring a team to help her with blogging, social media and other tasks. She hopes to see her products at Walmart’s physical stores in 2022.
She also plans to return “in some capacity” to Arizona: “I’m totally sending my kids to Arizona State,” she said.
In November, the Vogelpohls moved out of the Instagram-famous My Texas House and into a new Dallas home. This was partly a business decision, Vogelpohl said, while also giving her mother more room in an “independent living suite.”
“I knew at that point that we bought this house that this partnership with Walmart was coming about. And I was going to need more (space) to work with,” she said.
“It’s not lost on me that this is somewhat lightning in a bottle. I feel like we have something that we created really cool here that’s resonated with people,” Vogelpohl said. “But I also think there’s a lot of luck involved.”
Support local journalism. Subscribe to azcentral.com today.