Imagine a place that combines a modern, minimalistic aesthetic with trendy nail art, healing massages, and a hipster café that serves a killer turmeric latte. Then, go check out Chillhouse at 149 Essex Street, where Cyndi Ramirez has taken her entrepreneurial background and creative imagination to open this amazing new space. Founder of her lifestyle blog, Taste the Style, Cyndi has taken her experience in the fashion, hospitality, and editorial realms, and founded Chillhouse for anyone who wants to get inspired, relax, and just chill out. We sat down for a chill sesh with Cyndi and got the 411 on her inspiration behind Chillhouse, which just opened its doors last week. Check out what she had to say:
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you start your lifestyle site, Taste the Style? What was the inspiration behind it?
My background is in both fashion and hospitality. I went to college for fashion marketing while working in restaurants to pay my rent. I spent all of my 20s trying to decide between the two industries. Later in life it dawned on me that I could somehow work in both if I really wanted to. Taste The Style was my answer to that. I started the site to cover both style and hospitality all under one online hub. The rest is history.
How did you come up with the concept for Chillhouse? What was the transition like from writer to business owner?
I’ve always considered myself more of an entrepreneur than a writer. My mom’s an esthetician, so the beauty space wasn’t one I was unfamiliar with. It was just a matter of time until I found my calling. My husband and I were in the market for massages one day when it dawned on us that there was such a huge contrast in spaces and prices when it came to massages. We got to chatting and put our heads together about spa spaces in general and what’s missing. Then it was clear: we wanted to create a space that allowed New Yorkers to chill in more than one way. We offer massages, manicures and a café, so there’s something for everyone.
We loved our experience at Chillhouse and we can’t wait to come back to try everything you guys have to offer! Can you explain Chillhouse to someone who hasn’t heard of it yet?
Awesome to hear! It’s a café/spa hybrid. A full-service café with non-toxic manicures and affordable massages. A modern path to total relaxation, so to speak. Actually, that’s our tagline.
What was the thought process behind Chillhouse’s cool aesthetic?
We gave our designer, Jeff White, a ton of inspiration, from modern/minimalist vibes to retreat-type vibes. We want the guests to feel like they’re leaving NY and entering a relaxed environment, but not so transformative where they don’t want to make it their regular spot. I think Jeff really nailed it. It’s clean, welcoming, and stylish.
How do you want people to feel when they walk out of Chillhouse?
Relaxed and inspired.
We love that we can stop by the Chillhouse café before getting a treatment done. What’s your go-to order?
If I’m getting a manicure, I’d get the golden milk latte. It does wonders to your body. One sip and you feel its benefits. And if I’m getting a massage, I’d do the Beet-Chata with Kava, or a glass a red wine because why the f*ck not!
What’s the first thing you do in the morning? The last thing you do at night?
The first thing I do is check my phone. I fall asleep watching Gossip Girl or Friends.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
The one that sticks with me most is to build my personal brand. No matter what you do for a living, I think it’s important to be thoughtful of what you put out on the internet, good or bad. People will judge you before they meet you, that’s guaranteed. And obviously, practice what you preach. On that note, I need a massage…
Which part of Chillhouse are you most excited about?
Everything, but growth is always exciting. Stay tuned for products and a membership model…
Featured Image: Courtesy of COVETEUR