This Monday, we stopped by influencer, Rachel Holtin’s home to check out how she styled one of our Ladybird Sofas in Hudson Lager Leather. We were greeted at the door by her husband, Brian, and Rachel, holding their 4-month-old son Townes. They also had an adorable golden retriever named Waffles (government name: Remington Waffles).
Rachel and Brian were so friendly and inviting. Their home was relatively new, but decorated beautifully, with a Christmas tree set up in the corner of the living room and Bluey on the television for Townes.
We sat down on their Ladybird Sofa and wanted to ask them a few questions about Rachel’s growth as an Austin influencer, and how her own sense of style that has made her foodie account so popular can also be applied to decorating her home.
So, first of all, how long have you guys been in Austin?
Rachel: Well, I’ve been in Austin over 10 years now, and about the same for him. We didn’t know each other at the time, but I moved here for college at The University of Texas.
Brian: I moved here 2007, after the military. I came back to the Austin area.
That’s so cool! So, where did you guys meet?
Rachel: We met at Whole Foods actually, we were introduced through an entrepreneurial program that we were involved with called Capital Factory. So, it’s a tech incubator for start-ups out of Austin, and we both had tech start-ups at the time.
I saw your Instagram, @austinfoodstagram, how did that get started?
Rachel: Yes, so, I started @austinfoodstagram about 8 years ago now, in 2014. It just started as a way to document different places I would eat at around the city, and I just graduated from The University of Texas so I knew the university bubble, but Austin is such a great city I wanted to explore it further. I just started going to different restaurants that I wanted to try—
It was just something fun for you?
Rachel: Yeah, definitely started as a hobby. Instagram in itself has grown to become this major platform so it grew with the platform, and I’ve been able to do a lot of really fun things. Now it’s my business as well.
When did you start to notice it take off?
Rachel: Well, in 2014, when I was just starting, I think I got 10,000 followers in the first year.
Rachel: I did spend a lot of time on it, and it was the early days on Instagram, so not a lot of people were doing what I was doing which was creating a themed account around food. I was trying to find other foodies in Austin who would be interested in places I was sharing, so I spent a lot of time engaging with other accounts. I was following other people that were relevant whether it be chefs in restaurants or just people who lived in the city and loved food.
That’s awesome! How would you describe your design style?
Rachel: Um…well, how would you describe it?
Brian: All over the place.
Rachel: No, I mean, I don’t know. Somewhat minimalist, but also modern with a sleek design. I don’t know. I’m kind of indecisive.
You just buy what you like?
Rachel: I’m trying to get better at mixing different textures, and things like that. I love these Sherpa chairs with the leather because it’s so different. Then we have a little bit of wood accents in here, and some of the pampas grass, so it’s just nice to bring in some of those natural textures.
Do you help her design too?
Brian: No, I’m just an eye of approval.
Rachel: We have similar styles, though, I would say. My sister is an interior designer in Austin, so she helped with some of this as well.
What drew you to Austin’s Couch Potatoes?
Rachel: So, we had heard such amazing things about Austin’s Couch Potatoes. Just how they loved shopping their store, they just had something for everyone. So, we had kinda seen the designs, we thought it was a really approachable price point for a leather couch, the quality, all of that.
What do you like most about your new furniture pieces?
Rachel: It’s just really comfy, we can cuddle up here at night and watch movies. It’s one of our favorite things to do after we eat dinner at night, just come over here to the couch and watch whatever shows or Netflix series are on at the time.
What are you guys watching now?
Rachel: Now? Last night we were watching a Hallmark movie for Christmas.
Oh, those movies are so good. So bad, but so good.
Rachel: They’re cheesy. He likes to watch Bluey and Mickey Mouse.
As if he knew we were talking about him, little Townes started to wriggle around in his mother’s arms. Rachel said he gets bored, so he likes for her to walk around.
Well, that’s all the questions I had for you, thank you so much.
Rachel: Yeah, thank you. I gotta get up for him. He said, “We’re done.”
It was so inspiring to sit with Rachel and get a little bit of her journey of growth through her years in Austin. Now, she owns a beautiful home, with a beautiful baby boy, and a dog that looks straight out of the Hallmark movies she watches. The Ladybird Sofa in Hudson Lager Leather fit into her home like it was meant to be there, with a nice cream throw draped around one of the corners, it complemented the other neutral tones in the room well. Waffles seemed to like it too.
Me and Waffles moments after laying eyes upon one another.
Written by Emily Holleran