The Chillhouse founder's effortlessly cool home feels decidedly relaxed.
Inside Entrepreneur Cyndi Ramirez's Chill Apartment in New York City
The Chillhouse founder's effortlessly cool home feels decidedly relaxed.
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans, and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour wellness entrepreneur, Cyndi Ramirez's chic apartment in New York City.
The concept of wellness has been around a long time, but the last couple of years has resulted in more individuals becoming aware of the significance of their health and wellbeing and the importance of self-care. For entrepreneur Cyndi Ramirez, having a mother who was an esthetician and who owned medi spas meant she was familiar with the wellness and beauty industry from a young age. Now, she's paving the way for a modern self-care experience, both in and out of the home with her wellness brand Chillhouse.
Cyndi opened the self-care oasis in the Lower East Side of New York City, and recently an outpost in Paris, in a bid to help people "Find Their Chill". "I’ve always been in the business of making people feel their best, whether that’s when I worked in hospitality or when I helped entrepreneurs fill in the holes in their business," she shares with Bed Threads Journal. The spa offers treatments like manicures, massages, and facials in an ultra-chic and cool setting that lives up to its name. The brand also offers at-home treatments such as press-on nails and face and body oils for those wanting to luxuriate in the comfort of their own space.
Her home is her dream apartment and takes on a similarly relaxed yet ultra-chic vibe that exists in the Chillhouse retail spaces. Retro design dominates the rooms which feature pieces like mid-century low-set timber consoles, an '80s-style chrome coffee table, and '70s-style coloured glass pendant lights.
A painting by friend Lindsay Sherwin sets the tone for the living area where warm hues shine through in the form of Terracotta and Turmeric cushion covers, and a yellow striped Pieces of Aesthetic Pursuit rug. She bravely opted for a white sofa but its curved design and bouclé upholstery make it too beautiful to resist.
Another painting by Lindsay Sherwin establishes the mood in the primary bedroom. The Limoncello and Rosewater linen bedding has been thoughtfully chosen to match the pink and yellow tones of the artwork, creating a space that looks well put together. This linen sits on a stylish mid-century dark timber bedframe with connecting bedside tables. A large ficus Audrey tree brings life and a fresh touch to space.
We spoke to Cyndi about the challenges she's faced and overcome as a business owner and how she knew this was the apartment for her.
Hi Cyndi! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I make people Find Their Chill! I built a business called Chillhouse and our entire goal is to provide moments of chill whether through our physical space in Soho and Paris where we do treatments such as manicures/facials and massage or our at-home treatments such as our press-ons and face and body oils.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I’ve always been in the business of making people feel their best, whether that’s when I worked in hospitality or when I helped entrepreneurs fill in the holes in their business. I also had a blog at one point where I directed people to the best places in NYC. I love connecting folks to experiences that enrich their lives.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
Not exactly! It was very kismet how it all came together. My mom’s an esthetician and owned medi spas for 35+ years. I weirdly ended up modernising the industry I grew up in. It took an a-ha moment for it to all come together. My background was in events/partnerships/startups but really I’ve been a bit of a serial entrepreneur for almost 10 years now.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
It really starts with a moodboard. I immediately go to Pinterest when starting the creative process for a large project. It helps set the tone and the overall vision. From there, a team brainstorming session is crucial to execute some of these larger launches. We think about the go-to-market strategy, what our visuals and storytelling would be, and who would be the ideal talent to help us execute this vision. From there we get to work!
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your career?
Identifying opportunities and positioning yourself in a way where you naturally attract them. I suppose another way to look at it is putting yourself out there and letting the universe do its thing.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your career?
Probably managing a large team. It’s not easy! Luckily I identified the needs of the team a bit early on in our journey and created tiers of management which helped with offsetting stress to our GMs or ourselves. It’s important people feel they can turn to someone that understands their pain points so identifying leads to our different departments was a game changer for us.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your career?
I’ll tell you the best and the worst was Covid. The worst because it was extremely stressful and we were running out of money. The best because it gave us the gift of time to work on products and it opened up a new world of possibilities for Chillhouse. We also just opened up a location in Paris and that’s probably been the biggest pinch-me moment of my entire career.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
Get consultants, lol. But seriously. It’s a complex industry but a beautiful one. Don’t go into it without some sort of backbone to the project. Consultants will help you outline the steps needed to accomplish these projects.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
We’ve lived in this building for 8 years. We started in a studio, then one bed, then moved into our two bed during Covid. We’re obsessed with our NY apartment but recently just bought an apartment in Miami so that’s home too.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
Funny story, we had a 1 ½ year hiatus from our building starting in 2019. We did a brief stint in Brooklyn then came back to the West Village when we found out we were pregnant. But we couldn’t afford a two bed in this building so instead, we found a charming railroad apt in a Jane Street walk-up. We moved in January of 2020. It was cute but super tight. I knew we wouldn’t last too long but at the time, the price was right.
Then Covid happened and I started to become super miserable in that space. No light, super cramped, and I even had a roach crawl on my face at one point. LOL. I knew it was time to look again – plus, how could we resist a Covid deal, right? We went back to our building and asked if any two beds were available. This was all in 2020 right after Hendrix, my baby was born. We checked out the two bed and I told my husband I don’t care if it’s Covid and if we’re in a financial crunch, we are going to live here. It was my dream NY apartment. We took a big risk and moved in and luckily the rest fell into place.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
Just decorated it to death, no?! Haha. All of the light fixtures are ours and I’d say that was the biggest investment in installing but otherwise, just decorative.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
I always think of comfort and merging my husband and my personal style. The gallery walls are all my hubby. That’s his vibe. I’d go bigger with my artwork if I could but that’s where we negotiate. I also love a mid-century edge mixed with some 80s chrome pieces. Our bedroom is a bit more Mediterranean and soft. Very relaxing.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
I don’t think I can live without our artwork. It’s by a friend, Lindsay Sherwin. Everyone asks me about her pieces. I feel special to own them and love that they’re unique to our home.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
We’re replacing the coffee table with an organic cement table from Noho Home which I’m super excited about. Hopefully, Hendrix doesn’t draw all over it, shit. Otherwise, I just bought this fun piece of art from Clic – it says Montauk and it’s this black and coral illustration of the dunes. It’s beautiful.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
Living room. I’m obsessed with my Pieces of Aesthetic Pursuit rug as well as my Bed Thread linen pillows.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Shop vintage! Get unique objects from local artisans. They’re great conversation starters. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with colour.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
We’re almost done remodelling our Miami apartment. Maybe a part two soon? :)