In My Shoes: Erica Hanks

Erica Hanks is the founder of US-based online retailer SHOWROOM. She started her career in fashion aged just 15, working on the shop floor, then as a writer before seamlessly transitioning into personal styling. Her extensive knowledge from styling athletes, celebrities and executive professionals put her in perfect stead for launching SHOWROOM, a highly curated edit from both established and emerging brands. Follow @theericahanks and @shpshowroom.


Tell us a little about you.

I am the founder behind SHOWROOM, an online fashion destination with physical stores in Kiawah, South Carolina and Austin, Texas. SHOWROOM was a natural extension of my thirty years in the retail space, with fifteen of those years spent working with high profile individuals in the luxury personal styling and consulting. 


How do you start your day? 

I am an early bird, so I’m in the office by 7:30am every morning. We’ve got a great coffee shop under our office in Charlotte, so I always grab an iced mocha (no matter the season) and head up to the office. I made a rule for myself to not look at my emails until I get into my office, so after catching up with my inbox, I touch base with each head of department to see what’s up for the day.  


What is your fashion philosophy?

My fashion philosophy is to wear what you like! Personal style is about having fun dressing up for wherever you’re going. That’s what makes us all so interesting as people. My personal style is more about laid-back tailoring that’s polished but not too polished - there’s always something a little off about it. I like style that has an element of quirkiness; a piece that catches the eye and makes someone look twice. 


Can you share your top tip?

A good shampoo and blow out can change your mindset and make you feel put together even if you don’t feel it. Also, ditch your trainers for a beautiful flat. Unless you’re walking a lot, a stylish flat can be so chic and elevate your outfit. 


What inspires you?

I am inspired by so many things, it could be as simple as someone walking down a street, someone’s life story or a book I’ve read. I love to walk through museums as well. Whenever I’m in Paris, I’ll steal away to the Musée D’Orsay, or in London the Tate Modern. 


How do you unwind?

I’ve started to practice self-care every Saturday by doing something small just for me, it helps me mentally reset my upcoming week. I do buccal facials, which, if you don’t know what they’re like, aren’t exactly the definition of relaxing, but having someone work on your facial muscles forces one to zone out and leave the world behind for an hour. I also really enjoy being home by myself in the quiet and reading. I used to be the worst about taking care of myself, but this year, I’m making it a priority.  


If you could visit anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be?

COMO Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos. I had the best hot stone massage of my life there years ago that put me in such a deep sleep right on the table; I’d never been more relaxed. I even asked the masseuse to come back to the States with me! She was from Bali and her hands were magical.


Can you tell us something you discovered recently?

I found a fantastic mushroom pasta recipe that I now make once a week. It’s so creamy and delicious that I’ve texted it out to my team insisting they must try it. And it’s all made in one pan which makes it even better, since I hate washing dishes.


What is the best part of your job?

Finding brands that really have a story. I love the art and storytelling behind fashion. When I work in our stores and someone picks up a piece, I can’t help but share the designer’s background and what inspired that particular piece. My hope is for everyone who walks into our doors gets as excited as I do about our assortment. Our customers love the connection to the stories and picking something up that’s unique and memorable. Some of our customers come in and see me in the store, they’ll now immediately say “tell me about this brand” which makes me so happy.


Which shoes do you love this season?

The Naxos pump is my work shoe, my ride or die. The block heel is the perfect height and comfort to wear all day. But this season I’m really loving the Ina flat in the pop of orange. It’s such a happy colour that is great for spring and a flat you can wear through your weekend as well. 


Photo by Anne Rhett


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