Erika Powell, Urban Grace Interiors, Erika M Powell Textiles


Urban Grace

Erika McPherson Powell


I wouldn’t consider myself an influencer; I’m just someone who likes to share pretty things and interact with strangers on the internet,” says Erika McPherson Powell, an interior and textiles designer who, whether she labels herself as an influencer or not, certainly has made an impact via her online channels. Her beautiful designs and personal style resonate with her nearly 42,000 followers on her personal Instagram and over 115,000 on her business pages, @urbangraceinteriors and @erikampowelltextiles.

“Back in the early 2000s, I had a blog,” she continues. “But blogging was a lot of work: editing photos, writing posts, answering questions in the comments section, and coming up with interesting content. It was nearly a second job. I was running a very demanding interior design firm, and I just couldn’t keep up with it.”

With the popularity of Instagram rising in the early 2010s, Powell found it was “a much faster way to document things I was previously blogging about. Instagram was just a quick post of a photo and caption, and boom—done!” She likens the platform to an abbreviated version of a blog, and her existing audience soon migrated to the photo- and video-heavy app along with her, continuing to like and engage with her content more quickly and easily.

We caught up with Powell to discuss more about how she uses her platforms today!

Erika Powell, Urban Grace Interiors, Erika M Powell Textiles

VIE: What is your favorite part about your job, and what is your least favorite?

Erika M. Powell: The design aspects of both businesses, Urban Grace Interiors and my textiles line (Erika M. Powell Textiles), deeply feed my soul. And honestly, the business side of my work used to really stymie my creativity. But I’ve finally—almost twenty years into these gigs—figured out what I can and cannot handle. Delegating accounting, HR, and operations frees me up to do what I do best: be creative. Finding really good, business-minded people to work alongside me has been so helpful.

VIE: What is a highlight moment you’ve had as an influencer?

EMP: Real-life friendships formed from online connections are my highlight. Social media interactions with strangers can be funny, but the friends I’ve made over the years make the whole idea of social media feel sincere and real.

The friends I’ve made over the years make the whole idea of social media feel sincere and real.

VIE: What words of wisdom would you give someone interested in becoming an influencer or starting a brand?

EMP: Find your voice and stay true to yourself. Create original content; don’t do what everyone else is doing.

VIE: What are you currently watching, listening to, or reading?

EMP: I’m reading Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman. I read an article he wrote about three-to-four-hour creative blocks that resonated with me, so I decided to dive deeper and read his book.

VIE: Besides your phone, what’s one thing you can’t leave home without?

EMP: Velamints Gum, my Simple Modern water bottle, and Kosas LipFuel in baseline/clear.

Erika Powell, Urban Grace Interiors, Erika M Powell Textiles

Erika Powell, founder and owner of Urban Grace Interiors and Erika M. Powell Textiles | Photography by Marla Carter

VIE: What’s your top travel destination for fall?

EMP: I’m excited about a trip to the North Carolina mountains coming up in October!

VIE: What’s your favorite fall trend?

EMP: I’m not really into trends per se, but I do love health and wellness and have been reading a lot about grounding and intermittent fasting lately. Those are the kinds of “trends” I get into.

VIE: Thank you, Erika!

— V —

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