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On Privacy, Perks & Ever-Changing Sofas: What It’s Really Like Being Married to an “Influencer”

How many times has this happened to you: You’re editing a video of your influencer wife, and you need some coffee so you head upstairs, and in your kitchen, you find your wife deliberately pouring a thick green smoothie onto a sofa cushion, surrounded by four women with cameras and phones, filming the whole thing. So you politely slide through, grab your coffee, and head back downstairs over talk of brand call outs and, “Let’s get a Boomerang!” 

You’ve been there, right? I mean who hasn’t? It’s just par for the course when you’re married to a “Social Media Influencer.” You get it. Whew, it’s nice to be able to talk to someone who can relate. 

Oh, wait. I guess I shouldn’t just assume that everyone on here can relate. Maybe there are a few of you, a slight few, who aren’t married to an “influencer.” Huh. Weird. Well, I suppose I should give a little insight on what that’s like, just so some people don’t feel left out. Okay, so let’s start here: Hi, I’m Brian Henderson and I’m married to an Instagram influencer. 

First off, can we just take a second to discuss that term, “influencer”? What is happening? The fact that it’s become a normal and acceptable job title is utterly insane. And Emily thinks it’s insane, too! The term makes her cringe, and she avoids it at all costs. (In fact, after she read the first draft of this post, she specifically called out that she NEVER calls herself an influencer…like ever.) I mean, “influencer”? I suppose that it’s accurate on a technical level, maybe, but I have a hard time saying it when people ask what my wife does for a living. I always qualify it, like “I guess she’s an Instagram influencer, but not in the ‘show-your-butt-in-yoga-pants-with-a-bottle-of-diet-supplements’ way,” (not that I look at those or know what those are). But the problem is, there’s kind of no other way to describe her career to people who don’t know who she is, “She’s a designer, who’s also a stylist, and a host, and a writer, and a social media personality, but mostly she’s a blogger”…that doesn’t really work. So what do I do if I don’t want to use the “I” word? Can’t we come up with another term? You guys are smart, do you have any suggestions that aren’t so cringe-worthy? Please help. 

“That’s what it’s like being married to an ‘I’ word. You have to get your head around the idea that total strangers know what the inside of your bedroom looks like.” — Brian Henderson


Until we find a new word, I have to stick with what we’ve got, so…

What’s it like being married to an influencer?

Well, let me ask you a question before I answer: How many different sofas have you had in your living room this year? A friend asked me this question recently out of amazement, and I honestly didn’t know the answer, there have been so many. I kind of turn myself on airplane-mode when Emily says she wants to try a new sofa, and just say “yes, move the old one out and the new one in.” There was a time when I couldn’t remember what color our sofa was without looking. And I’m sure to some of you reading this, that could seem annoying, which is true. Or it could seem exciting, which is also true.

It could seem stressful, or fun, depending on your personality type. It could seem wasteful, which was my concern, but I’m happy to report that every piece of furniture that we cycle through here is either donated or used in other design projects. There is no giant bonfire in the backyard with the ashes of Persian rugs and Article sofas (that’s a brand, right?). Trust me, everything finds a home. And yes, I used to get annoyed by the temporary feel of our home, like the time I went to put a cup down on a side table only to find a giant wooden hand in its place. How do you balance a cup on that? But I have learned to be chill about it, and even enjoy it sometimes. It’s definitely taught me to have a healthy detachment to “things.” So maybe there’s a deep Buddhist lesson that Emily is secretly teaching all of us: “Zen and the Art Of Transient Sofas.” And it’s not just sofas, we have all kinds of new pieces of furniture flying in and out of here like fish at Pike Place. Literally two days ago, we replaced a credenza with another credenza. And before that credenza, there were two other credenzas. It’s cred-azy! 

But what’s really cred-azy is the fact that most of you probably know which credenza I’m talking about because it was on Emily’s Instagram feed. How trippy is that? You guys not only know what furniture I have in my home, but I bet there are people reading this who could sketch the entire layout of our house and backyard because it’s been posted so much. That’s what it’s like being married to an “I” word. You have to get your head around the idea that total strangers know what the inside of your bedroom looks like. That’s weird right? I have very mixed feelings about that kind of stuff. On one hand, it’s like, who cares if people know that much about my house, it’s not hurting anyone, and all of Emily’s followers (another term we need to discuss) are nice, normal people who just like design. But there’s something strange about it, the privacy thing


“…you have to be ready to wake up and find a hair and make up person at work in your dining room, a few team members from social and creative popping in and out of the front door, and cameras and phones grabbing impromptu fashion tips as you try to find the sugar for your coffee. Our house is very much like an airport, with people arriving and departing at various times, chatting quickly and energetically as they head to their next flight.” — Brian Henderson

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The Privacy Thing

It’s not just random privacy, it’s day-to-day stuff. Being married to an influencer means you have to be ready to wake up and find a hair and makeup person at work in your dining room, a few team members from social and creative popping in and out of the front door, and cameras and phones grabbing impromptu fashion tips as you try to find the sugar for your coffee. Our house is very much like an airport, with people arriving and departing at various times, chatting quickly and energetically as they head to their next flight. I have a newfound bond with those Cinnabon employees in Gate C. You just gotta do your thing and go with the flow. Even if that flow is overflowing from your bedroom. Some of my favorite days are when Emily does fashion posts and there’s a pow-wow of women in my bedroom, with shopping bags and the entirety of Emily’s closet spread across the room, which usually ends with Emily coming out in an outfit that looks like a mix of Punky Brewster and Lance Armstrong asking, “What do you think?”

But as annoying as that all may sound, it’s actually fun. There’s an energy here that is loose and vibrant, and never really takes itself too seriously. So I try to get that energy in me, too (with varying success), and just accept that my home is also home to many people. The good thing is, there’s not a single poopy-pants on Emily’s whole team, which makes it much easier. They’re all super cool. If anything, I’m the poopy-pants. And everything always is cleaned, emptied, and tied up in a bow by the time the kids come home from school. Emily’s made it clear to her team that 5 pm means our house is back to our house, and they are super courteous and respectful, and they’re probably thankful to escape before the kids come in melting down about me not playing “The Lone Dinosaur” in the car ride home. 


Speaking of kids, that’s a pretty big deal when you’re married to an “I” word. How do you stay a lifestyle influencer without exposing your kids to the insanity that is social media? No, I’m really asking. How do you do that? Because we’re trying our best and it’s still very hard. Emily and I have definitely gone round and round about the privacy thing regarding the kids. I’d love to tell you that we’ve had big dramatic screaming matches about it, just to make this juicier, but the truth is that we’re on the same page about it. We decided that they get to choose their level of involvement in the photos and videos. We don’t push anything, and almost never involve the kids in sponsored things anymore. We’ve toyed with only showing the backs of their heads in her Instagram feed, too, which seems good to me. But Insta-stories are a different story (see what I did there?). Because the stories only last a day, it feels okay showing Charlie’s first lost tooth or Elliot’s scooter crash. I don’t know if that’s the right answer, but it’s what we’re going with right now. It’s still concerning to have your kids out there in such a widely viewed way. I’m not stoked when they’re recognized and it’s not fun for anyone when a stranger knows their names. If that happens, I get real bristly, sorry in advance. Maybe we’ll start putting things over their faces on social media like Kristen Bell does. Who, by the way, Emily literally refers to as “…my future-best-friend Kristen…” and she’s not joking in the slightest. So Kristen, if you’re reading this, let’s make that happen. 

The only other privacy thing that’s a bummer is that I literally can’t play hooky because my whereabouts are always known! I’m not saying I would, or that it’s ever happened, but let’s just pretend that I told a potential client last year that I was booked on another video when in fact I was taking a booze cruise in our pontoon, and let’s just say that in this pretend scenario Emily posted a story with me in it, and let’s just say I didn’t sleep that night because of the anxiety that my client would catch me in a lie. Again, all hypothetical. And I know, I know, I shouldn’t lie in the first place, but sometimes you just want to drink greyhounds on a boat instead of going to work! Hypothetically. 

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Don’t Feel TOO Bad For Me…

There are, however, perks to being married to an influencer. I’m sure I’ll get a lot gruff for this, but it’s pretty rad to get VIP treatment at a place just because your spouse is willing to post a picture of it. That’s when I feel like a true hanger-on, and I’m not ashamed of it. I don’t have to do any of the work except maybe take a pic of her sitting at a hotel bar, and I get to reap the benefits of being an influencer. It definitely enhances any trip to know that we may have a little bottle of champagne waiting for us in the hotel room, or get a table at the busy restaurant downstairs. I just have to convince Emily to do a few stories during our stay. I mean, I would totally do it myself, but I only have like 23 followers, so I don’t think that would be a good trade for the restaurant. That’s the other thing about this whole setup: I’m not a social media guy, like at all. I never post on Instagram, barely check in on it, I didn’t even update it to see stories until like six months ago, and yet my wife has bought a couple houses in large part because of her involvement on that platform. How crazy is that? Don’t get me wrong, her success is built on her design skills and blog, but Instagram definitely plays a big part these days. It’s all tied together. 

“I’ve definitely gained a new respect for Instagram people, to see how much actually goes into it.” — Brian Henderson

And by the way, she is killing this Insta game, with the help of her team. They work insanely hard—brainstorming, designing, shooting, coming up with new ways to see Emily in biker shorts. I can’t with those, by the way, sorry guys. I just can’t. But I’ve definitely gained a new respect for Instagram people, to see how much actually goes into it. I imagine all the influencers have to have a whole team. I hope. God, I hope Emily isn’t the only one working this hard and all the others are just rolling out of bed, pouting their lips and saying “…Samsung, bae…” and reaping the benefits that Em does by actually trying to create things you would find fun and interesting. Ugh. Whatever. Either way, it’s fine. It’s opening up her brand to more and more people and allowing her to do more stuff with her career, which is cred-azing. 

And that’s good for me to keep that in mind when things get inconvenient here at the Henderson house. It’s easy to be pessimistic about it all, and complain about the more disruptive aspects of it, but I can’t say it hasn’t made our lives, on a whole, a little better. I can think of so many jobs that are more intrusive and annoying, that have more demands and less flexibility, which add stress to your life and family, and I’m super lucky that my wife is doing what she’s doing. I need to remember that the next time I can’t find my laptop because they’ve cleared out my office out to load in a Halloween story for fall. You know what I’m saying? Well, of course, you do, that’s happened to you before, too. 

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4 years ago

Hilarious!!! I’m a pastor’s wife in a small town, and there’s some amount of scrutiny about my family too – clearly nothing on your scale, Brian, but I really enjoyed reading this and could relate to some of it!! My family’s vacation dates and location are published in a bulletin ? People talk about our family illnesses and if they saw me at the grocery store and what I was buying. I have also forbidden him from using any more anecdotes about our children from the pulpit after people walked up to my kids like they knew them just because they heard a story about them. Kudos to you for supporting your wife and her career and rolling with this unfolding new world. It sounds like, with your attitude, you will have lots of fun together! (Maybe with your new besties Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd.)

4 years ago

I’ve always wondered how the spouses/partners of “influencers” feel about this. This was a fun read. Frankly, I’m not sure I could deal with all of those folks in my house all the time and I KNOW my husband couldn’t! So kudos to Brian for being so supportive of his wife’s work, since I certainly benefit from it all as a reader. 😉

4 years ago

I love when Brian writes on the blog…it’s so human.

4 years ago
Reply to  V

I second that!

4 years ago

Nice article. I love the behind scenes look at how all this gets done. Plus always good to hear from the hubs!! But here is my comment…. I am NOT an influencer but I follow a lot of them. I see no shame in the word. It’s the truth of what they do and it’s lucrative and it’s harder then it looks. Most influencers work incredibly hard at their job. Many of the top influencers have been doing this for at least eight to ten years. That’s almost the Malcom Gladwell tipping point length of time. The high end influencers (which Emily is part of the top 10%) are deep deep experts who have built a small business that usually employs a team of at least four people if not more. I think it’s a great industry and a great way to create jobs for others. More then the teams and small business employees these influencers support, there are also the brands they support and grow. Those companies grow their market share and pay more employees based on the work influencers do. Emily’s not the first influencer who I’ve seen ashamed of the word. And I get how it feels… Read more »

4 years ago
Reply to  Danielle

I would take this one further: **Founder, CEO and President of a lifestyle brand**. Problem. Solved.

4 years ago
Reply to  Liz

Perfect title.

4 years ago
Reply to  Liz

Hahahahah! Brian is a great writer and this post was not only funny but also very interesting!!!

4 years ago

This was a fun read! But I’ve been following Emily for years and I see her as a popular and talented stylist and designer that has a blog more than an Instagram “influencer” but maybe that’s because I’m older and still read blogs. Regardless, I appreciate Brian’s take on it all. TGIF!

Aimee Sauter
4 years ago

Please let Brian chime in more! He’s funny and keeps it real. It’s always hard to design for more than one person, myself and my husband. Even changing a pillow can seem like an insurmountable task. (How dare he have an opinion!) It’s nice to know that’s it’s possible!

4 years ago

The only time “influencer” bothers me is when it’s attached to all of those vapid women posing in the same position — pouting as they hold their phone in front of a mirror — day after day after day after day after day with their latest “outfit idea” (which is usually the same outfit that’s all over Instagram already). The best fashion blog I read is It’s got actual style advice and features a mix of body types. But if anyone has other interesting fashion blogs to suggest (that aren’t dominated by pouting Kardashian clones,) I’m eager to hear.

Usually I “unfollow” anyone too lazy to provide varied, interesting content — as EHD does. It’s hard work to produce such quality content. And it’s not cheap to do so, either. So kudos to Emily and her team and to Brian for putting up with it all!

4 years ago
Reply to  Lee

I love youLookFab too! So much valuable info on there.

4 years ago

After reading this, I am sure of two things:
a) I would like to be Emily’s brand of Influencer for a living and
b) I would like to have a husband like Brian
Take care! And I thoroughly loved the article!

4 years ago

Such a fascinating and hilarious post. Thanks, Brian. Appreciate your voice here. (Also wanted to mention that in Brian’s first pull quote, his name reads BRAIN…My husband has a close childhood friend who he calls BRAIN because of how often my hubs mixed those letters.)

4 years ago

Bahahahaha! I loved reading this from your perspective, Brian! I would say my husband can totally relate (on a much smaller scale, lol!). What I love most after meeting you two is that you have each other’s backs like cred-azy! I love how supportive and uplifting you are and she obvs is of you as well. You two make an amazing team!

Ellie Bee
4 years ago

I love when Brian writes on the blog! He’s a great writer, has a really funny yet genuine “voice”, and provides such a fun behind-the-scenes perspective that I really appreciate as a reader. Keep it up Brian!

4 years ago

Um, more Brian, please! I shouldn’t have read this at work because I ended up laughing out loud – you know, by myself. Ha! So funny and insightful!

4 years ago

Hahahaha I read bits of this out loud to my husband. So great!

4 years ago

Love this take from Brian! And Emily, this job sounds HARD (and you are killing it, please don’t every stop). Glamorous, and rewarding and amazing but hard. One of my best friends is married to someone I would consider Instagram “famous” he has 145k followers and a bajillion Youtube subscribers. He’s a woodworker and does quite well but they are both always ‘on’ and it seems exhausting to me. We vacationed with them up North and had no cell service and he totally panicked. I gave him hell for it but he said that for every half day he’s not active on Instagram he loses hundreds of followers. They get lots of free goodies that I get jealous about but then they are trying to find a tasteful way of showing it without getting called out for being sellouts (people are mean man). I think it’s amazing he gets to live his passion in a cool way that wasn’t possible 15 years ago but having to always be on, and ‘working’ and sharing your life (with 3 small children no-less) sounds really darn difficult. Kudos to you all who are doing the thing and let the rest of us soak… Read more »

4 years ago

Love this! You two are the cutest.

4 years ago

Love this! Love your writing Brian and your voice added to the story! Cheers to you.

4 years ago

This was excellent.

I think what makes Emily seem less influence-y to me is that she’s up front about how much work it is. The influencers who I actually think are bad for my mental health are the ones who act like looking/being/having everything perfect is a total breeze.

One thing I’ve always been curious about is I swear I remember from the early days that y’all’s last name was Von Henderson. Did that change because Emily is famous and Henderson is easier? Is that weird to Brian or Emily?

Emily R.
4 years ago

Thank you for this insider’s view! I’ve always wondered, and I know influencing could never be for me because my husband and I value privacy far too highly. It was an enjoyable read, thank you Brian Henderson!

Emily G
4 years ago

Slow clap for Brian…he’s amazing.

4 years ago

That was great. I vote more Brian!

4 years ago

Love ‘hearing’ Brian’s voice!
So fun to read and I’ve often wondered how he deals with all the commotion in the background of the slick priduct we enjoy.

On ya Brian! 🙂

One thing….B R I A N……NOT BRAIN! Oopsie. Get the name after the quotes right you guys. Minor typos…yeah, whatever….but his name is HIS NAME!

Kris C.
4 years ago

A fun read from the other side of the lens! To answer your question (perhaps rhetorical? oh well) about another name for “Influencer” is to say that she’s in sales or marketing or advertising. I know that might sound cringe-worthy to many, and doesn’t encompass all that the EHD Brand involves, but in essence to “influence” is to sell what you know…your talents…your knowledge…your insights…your goods and services…the sponsored companies…all using social media. Love the blog and happily drink the Kool-aid 🙂

4 years ago

So GREAT! What a gift for writing…

4 years ago

So obviously a wonderful partnership you two have! Loving and supportive and I have to add, hilarious! Kudos for keeping it light and real!!

4 years ago

Totally loved this post. I’m also going to add cred-azy to my everyday vocabulary. 🙂

Krista DeMaster
4 years ago

Punky Brewster and Lance Armstrong! ???

4 years ago

YES!!! I LOLED. LOVE THAT REFERENCE. for the punky and for the (ugh!) bike shorts!

Julie S
4 years ago

Very, very good subject matter here (and yes, hilariously written). I do kind of wonder what it’s like in y’alls (or similar’s) home life with the insidious fingers of social media in every minute. I’m an introvert’s introvert, and I would NOT be happy living in a home that’s like an airport. My sociable, Instagramming husband has friends dropping by to help him on project cars a couple times a week, but since that’s all confined to our detached garage area it doesn’t ruffle my feathers. Sometimes I wish the big hitter social media types would just take a break for a few days because the incessant content production seems exhausting to me! Great read; happy weekend to you.

Roberta Davis
4 years ago

I love hearing your perspective! “Influencer”- it is kind of creepy when you think of it. I think of Emily as a designer and stylist. Crazy but fun way to make a living!

4 years ago

Such a fun read! Really appreciated the honest (and hilarious) look at both sides of the coin. Wishing your family all the best!

4 years ago

“It’s cred-azy!” lol brian needs to post more. i’m dying of laughter.

4 years ago

This was so so funny! More blogs from Brian!!

4 years ago

Love hearing Brian’s voice! Thanks for a fun post 🙂 You both have such charming writing styles, what a perfect match.

4 years ago

You’ve got yourself in trouble Brian because after this, Emily’s people (I don’t wanna call myself follower the same way you don’t wanna be called Insta hubby ?) are gonna like explode the algorithm and request you do this more often. Absolutely hilarious and real and crazy and cool!

4 years ago
Reply to  Gina

^ this +1!

4 years ago
Reply to  Shana

More Brian, more Brian!

Donna T.
4 years ago

That was an interesting read, plus witty and funny!

Carmen Glovsky
4 years ago

Emily, your husband is a brilliant and creative writer!

4 years ago

Really really really enjoyed that! Brian you are hilarious and this is really interesting. I’m always curious about the behind the scenes of influencer life.

Paula Carr
4 years ago

It’s so nice to see the “behind the curtain” view from someone who’s a more or less disinterested bystander. Great read, Brian!

4 years ago

Love this!! Thanks for sharing Brian!

4 years ago

What a fun post and what a great sport he is! You guys are lucky to have each other! 🙂

4 years ago

Astoundingly good. It feels like watching the “Making Of…” videos on the bonus disc. Bravo and thank you for the richness you added to the story.

Laura Allen
4 years ago

this was an awesome post—so funny and well-written, too

4 years ago

I laughed out loud at the line about going to put your drink down and finding a wooden hand! (The famous hand we know and love!) I read an article in The Atlantic about the “instahusband” ( I love that there’s a group of men supporting women in their jobs, just as women have have always supported men in their jobs. Let’s support each other through all the phases of life.

Meg Keene
4 years ago

I mean, Brian. My husband isn’t going to leave a comment because he’s not really a “social media guy” despite the house he owns because of it. But does he understand you? Yes, of course, it’s happened to him too. Like that time when he came home and the dining room was filled, literally FILLED with balloons and a team of women was standing around saying “But is it like, enough balloons? In the right WAY? I don’t… think so.”

4 years ago

Such a fun post! Really enjoyed hearing Brian’s point of view!
How about “informer” instead of “influencer”? (Emily informs her readers about design, styling, fashion, soup, etc. )

P.S. Brain, I was recently re-watching The Newsroom for maybe the 7th time….and there you were! One of my all time favorite shows! So fun to see you on it!

4 years ago

Two things:

1. Brian, we need your voice here on the regular. A behind-the-scenes post from your perspective at LEAST once a month–it’s so good and so funny! And a totally fresh angle.

2. Let’s just make Emily’s title what she truly is: Design Queen.

4 years ago

I laughed out loud so much reading this! What a hilarious and insightful post. Love your writing style. Thanks for sharing, Brian 🙂

4 years ago

I looooooved this! What do we need to do to convice Brian to write on the blog more often?! I feel like he could write about anything and I would be interested haha!

4 years ago

Awww! Your husband is adorable and hilarious. What a fun read! Thanks Brian!

Ellie Cox
4 years ago

I’ve always thought of her as a designer. I think Instagram Designer makes sense. There are people on IG that are entirely “influencers”. Again, appropriate.
Very nice blog post.

4 years ago

I think of Emily as a designer and stylist who has been savvy enough to make a career by focusing on her blog and social media channels. The word influencer makes me think of a shill–someone without any discernable talent who is making money off of (frequently shady) endorsements.