That Sold-Out Shoe Rack All Over Instagram Is Kinda Perfect (It’s on Sale Now!)

updated May 26, 2023
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I remember when Instagram first rolled out ads. My friends and I saw them appearing in our feeds on a summer weekend, and we compared what we’d seen: I’d gotten a luxury car ad, while my husband had gotten one for McDonald’s. “Clearly, Instagram thinks you’re more high brow,” he joked. Little did we know the future held many, many more ads, and that increasingly, they’d be tailored to our very specific interests. 

I’m not a big shopper and definitely not an impulsive online shopper, so Instagram ads are usually something I’d quickly flick out of sight. The sponsored posts have become so ubiquitous, you hardly even see them. And if I do take notice, it’s usually to bristle at the realization of how closely my internet browsing is being tracked. However, two years ago, an ad broke through the din — to promote a shoe rack, of all things. 

But this wasn’t just any shoe rack; it was a sleek-looking model from Open Spaces, made from powder-coated metal that would actually enhance the aesthetics of my entryway. I wrote a book about small space living, and this shoe rack checked off all my criteria for a home purchase. Plus, it made me imagine never tripping over kid shoes again. The photo styling and graphic design possessed that distinctly millennial, direct-to-consumer aesthetic (think pale pink and sans serif fonts), but gosh, I liked this thing. I clicked through. I found my desires quickly quelled by the $184 price tag, but the Open Spaces Entryway Rack stayed on my mind.

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Credit: Open Spaces

I texted two friends, who are also home design writers, to tell them about getting seduced by the Entryway Rack. None of us had heard of Open Spaces before, but quickly my friends were also fed the ads from the same brand — and texted me to let me know. It became a thing: We’d snap a screenshot whenever the rack appeared in one of our feeds. Finally, in June of 2021, after yet another sighting, I said to myself, “You clearly like it… just get it already.” I texted the design friends to say I was taking the plunge. Of course, it was sold out, so I added my name to the waitlist.

That September, I got an email letting me know the Entryway Rack was back in stock — but still (!), I hesitated. I texted my pals, and one friend assured me, “You can always use it as a plant stand if it doesn’t live up to your shoe-organizing standards.” I also figured if they sell out regularly, I could recoup my costs on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Nearly a year later, I bought the darn thing, but still I wondered was this just a manufactured desire? I didn’t have “shoe rack” on my list of needs for my home. 

The Entryway Rack arrived in a timely fashion, and even as I opened the box, I was impressed: The packaging was thoughtful, designed without any styrofoam or plastic, save for a couple of baggies. The box is even cleverly designed to help you steady the shelves as you assemble it solo, and I had the rack together in a jiffy.

Credit: Rikki Snyder

The Entryway Rack is sturdy but not too heavy, and it’s definitely a step up design-wise from anything I could have purchased from a big box store (even my husband commented on its good looks). The rack gets the job done: Shoes get put away, and our entryway feels less cluttered. Thanks to the top handle, I can even easily move it (shoes and all) to vacuum underneath. The price is maybe a bit high for the materials, but I think the extra cost feels justified when you consider the quality of the design. 

Still, I have a nagging feeling that the algorithm worked its magic on me. Through some calculation of the accounts I follow and the things I have “liked,” Instagram knew I would be susceptible to the charms of the Entryway Rack. Perhaps I lingered a little longer that first time I saw it, and the cogs inside of my phone knew to keep surfacing the rack every few months until finally I would cave. I’m happy with my purchase — no regrets! — but I do feel I am a victim of today’s world of manufactured desire. 

If you’re ready to get the Entryway Rack for yourself, now’s the perfect time. Open Spaces is having a rare sale, offering 20 percent off their bestselling products, including 20 percent off this editor-favorite storage rack!

Have you ever been tempted to buy a home item from Instagram? Was it everything you hoped it would be?

Buy: Open Spaces Entryway Rack, $147.20 (originally $184)