During the Leadership Panel session at the Women in Retail Leadership Circle On the Road: Los Angeles event last month, Farah Merhi, founder of Inspire Me! Home Decor, explained how she turned a growing Instagram following into a successful product line with QVC.

Merhi started the Inspire Me! Home Decor Instagram page at a time when she was looking for a creative outlet while remodeling her home. She was hoping to document her remodeling process, but also inspire others by showing them that homes can be glamorous without feeling cold and unlivable. People responded to Merhi’s Instagram page, and it quickly grew followers. Today, Inspire Me! Home Decor’s Instagram page boasts 5.6 million followers. In fact, it is now the most followed Instagram account in the home decor category.

“For years, I was just known as Inspire Me! Home Decor, an Instagram page,” Merhi said. “I wanted it to be more than that. I couldn’t be referred to [as] just another Instagram page.”

Merhi knew she wanted to have her own home decor and furniture line, but she got a lot of no’s before she got a yes. 

“I went to QVC with my team and I presented them with an idea,” Merhi explained. “I said, ‘I want to design a home decor line for you. I’m getting real data from real people — homeowners who are confused, lost [and] have no idea what to do in their homes. I want to help them. I want to give them glamorous, elegant looking pieces and a product line that they can use in their homes that is great quality, looks beautiful, but at an affordable price.’ And QVC said, ‘Alright, let’s do this.’”

After designing the line herself for over a year, Merhi decided it was time to finally launch. 

“The pivotal moment for me was when we launched, because that’s when the anxiety and stress really eats you up,” Merhi shared. 

Merhi made it to where she wanted to be, but she couldn’t help but worry about how people were going to respond to the line and it if would translate into sales. Much to her delight, the line sold out within days. 

“That was a pivotal moment for me where it was like, ‘OK, I got my proof of concept,’” Merhi said. “I built this. It was just an Instagram page, it was out of passion, and now I have a product line and people are responding to it. [Now], how do I scale? And I started scaling and I’m continuing to do so.” 

To hear more from Farah Merhi and the other fabulous panelists, members can click here to watch the full Leadership Panel from the 2019 Women in Retail Leadership Circle On the Road: Los Angeles event.

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