NEW YORK CITY
SS: What's your 9-5 or, let's be real, your full time hustle?
CR: 9-always founder of tastethestyle.com and First Lady of Den Hospitality. I create lifestyle content for my site and I help run events and marketing for our brick-n-mortar properties.
SS: How did you get started doing what you do?
CR: What started as a little blog evolved into a boutique media company. It started out of pure love and excitement of the fashion and hospitality industry. The bars were more by chance. My boyfriend at the time (now husband) was working on opening his first and I found myself helping in shaping the brand. I asked to be a partner, the rest is history.
SS: Name three things that get your creative juices flowing.
CR: Green tea, creative conversation, and mood boards!
SS: What's your morning routine?
CR: It's pretty lame. Wake up, phone/emails, read news, followed by green tea then I get ready for work. Been trying to make it to the gym in the morning these days, though. Stay tuned...
SS: The theme of this issue is "influence" - a term that has become overused and sadly, oversaturated. How do you define a modern-day influence?
CR: It's SO oversaturated and it makes me cringe when people label themselves as such. It's funny how for some reason we're taking about "influencers" now more than ever thanks to Instagram. But influence has been a thing forever, the subjects were just exposed through different forms of media, like magazines, tv, etc -- they just had to get to a certain level of fame within their industry to land exposure on these mass media platforms. Now, you can essentially call yourself an influencer because you take pretty iPhone photos. Sometimes it feels like much skill isn't required. But hey, more power to you -- I mean shit, I definitely fall into that category! Modern day influence means creating an audience that speaks to you as much as you can speak to it. We're in control of who we talk to and we have the platforms to do so. It's a cool time to be growing your own personal brand!
SS: We wanted to spotlight you as an influencer because of your undoubtedly authentic life, and the way you share that on social media, something a lot of today's online "influencers" fall short of. What's the secret to your authenticity?
CR: I think the thing that differentiates me from other "influencers" per say is that it's not my full-time job. I can say no to paid opportunities that I don't see fit because it's not my sole income and it's not my career objective to push products that I'm not excited about. I have far too much to promote without being paid per post. For that reason, I have no choice but to stay authentic. Glad it shows!
SS: How do you approach influencer partnerships? Whether it's for yourself as an influencer or working with influencers for Taste the Style, Den Hospitality or another one of your ventures?
CR: I'm lucky in that I've seen some horrible influencer pitches from businesses and I do THE OPPOSITE when reaching out to influencers, haha. First and foremost to reaching out to an influencer is to look at their content before you look at their follower count. Do you think they'd be excited to post about your brand or business based on their feed? Does it look like they charge for anything branded or do they post for trade? It's pretty easy to differentiate the two, you just have to do a deep dive. Basically, what are you offering them in exchange for their promotion? If your answer is gifting, what's the value? Tell them the value! Influencers respond to $$, even if it's in credit or an understanding of what something it's worth. They want to know what YOU think they're worth and from there they can decide if it's the right fit. That's more just general advice on how to approach influencers, but you get the gist on how I handle it.
SS: If you were to work in any other industry, what would you be doing?
CR: PR/Marketing/Social for a startup probably or styling because I've developed a bit of a knack for it!
SS: Greatest career accomplishment thus far?
CR: Definitely winning the Bloglovin' Best Lifestyle Blog in 2016 award. I'm still in shock.
SS: What's next for Cyndi Ramirez? Any exciting projects in the works? Items you'd like to check off your bucket list?
CR: Raising capital for TTS is a big goal for 2017. Now taking applicants! As far as what's next, go follow @chillhousenyc on Instagram. ;-)