OKC’s food & culture connoisseur

Influencer Emily Phillips' flyover life is racking up the likes.

Emily Phillips is a social media creator and Oklahoma culinary connoisseur who calls the heart of Oklahoma City home. She sat down with us to talk about why Oklahoma has been the perfect place to build her following. 

When people think of influencers and content creators, they think of places like New York, Los Angeles, Austin. Maybe not Oklahoma. Why has living here worked so well for you? 

Oklahoma might not be the first place that comes to mind when people think of thriving influencers, but for me, it has been the perfect fit. Oklahoma City is experiencing remarkable growth, which has provided ample opportunities for both my personal and professional life. I have a strong support system and find endless inspiration here. 

I haven’t lived anywhere else, but I’ve traveled extensively. No matter where I go, I always find myself yearning for the familiar comfort and genuine hospitality of Oklahoma. This vibrant state is my home. 

From thousands of followers to partnerships and brand deals, you’ve clearly enjoyed a lot of success in Oklahoma. What opportunities has living here afforded you? 

Professionally, I’ve built my platform and a thriving career because of the unique offerings of this state and the unwavering support of my fellow Oklahomans. On a personal level, growing up here instilled a deep respect for nature, animals, and people. It has allowed me to connect with my Cherokee heritage and experience the genuine warmth and kindness of the people. This state has truly shaped me into the person I am today.

Emily enjoying some Oklahoma food and culture.

You work in Oklahoma’s creative industry, which is still a bit of a hidden gem. What excites you about that? 

The creativity in Oklahoma is incredibly diverse and flourishing. What excites me the most about the direction the state is heading is seeing the younger generations embrace creativity with empathy and open-mindedness. I have great hope for the future of Oklahoma and the positive impact it will have on the art scene and beyond.

What does a typical day in your Oklahoma life look like?

I usually start a typical day by grabbing coffee at StellaNova in Oklahoma City’s Western Avenue District. Then, I either work from home or head out to shoot content at local businesses. I also make sure to spend quality time with my friends, go for a walk, and hang out with my kitty, Sushi. For dinner, I usually enjoy a meal with friends, often in Oklahoma City’s Asian District or Uptown 23rd District

In my free time, I love exploring the beautiful parks in Oklahoma, going on road trips to discover hidden gems across the state, attending concerts, indulging in some retail therapy, savoring delicious Oklahoma food, and simply enjoying the company of my loved ones. It’s a balanced mix of work, relaxation, and connecting with the people and places I love. 

Emily in a local Oklahoma theater.

As one of the most trusted voices in Oklahoma culture, you’re an expert on places to check out. What are some spots that need to be on everyone’s Oklahoma bucket list?

There are so many amazing spots in Oklahoma to explore! Some must-visit Oklahoma City places include Factory Obscura, Vast at the top of the Devon Tower (especially at sunset or night), the Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown, and the First Americans Museum — be sure to have lunch there too! In Tulsa, I love the Philbrook Museum of Art and the Gathering Place.

A hidden gem I also recommend checking out is Salt Plains State Park. The views are surreal, and harvesting selenite crystals is a unique experience that allows you to connect with nature and discover the beauty of Oklahoma’s natural resources.

Emily showing off a local Oklahoma drink.

Any fellow Oklahoma creators you think people should check out too? 

For discovering what Oklahoma has to offer, some of my favorites are Adventures in Oklahoma, Tiffany Whitefield, Brooke Bellendir, and Oklahoma HOT Spots. There are also some major lifestyle creators and influencers who call Oklahoma home, like model Dana Patterson, fashion influencer Arlette Jeanett, and Kendall Ross from I’d Knit That

You’re born and raised in Oklahoma. What do you think people get wrong about living and building a career here? 

One common misconception about Oklahoma is that it’s all fields, tumbleweeds, and riding your horse to school uphill both ways. The reality is that the state has vibrant food, art, and music scenes, and a rich cultural heritage. There are bustling cities, diverse communities, and a wide range of activities and experiences to enjoy. You’ll find a perfect blend of small town charm and big city amenities. 

Oklahoma’s full of surprises and has something for everyone.

For local Oklahoma food and culture recommendations, follow Emily on TikTok and Instagram.

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