As someone whose business is based on the premise of “chill at your will,” Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton has mastered the art of work-life balance (or at least, she makes juggling her myriad ventures look effortless!). Ramirez-Fulton is the founder and CEO of Chillhouse, the cafe / bar / spa / nail salon hybrid in the Lower East Side, which provides an escape from the hustle of New York City — and from life, in general.
Formerly the founder of the lifestyle site Taste the Style and a partner in her husband’s restaurants such as The Garret and The Lately, Ramirez-Fulton added a virtual aspect to her IRL business, with the editorial content site The Chill Times, “a no-BS approach to self-care via self-discovery.”
A thought leader on the topic of wellness and pursuing your passion, Ramirez-Fulton joined a panel of speakers at this summer’s MoxxieMade “Strengthen Your Core” (as in, core values) Supper Series, a monthly intimate event in NYC that brings together a community of women that support one another to go after their definition of fulfillment.
Sliding into Labor Day (a.k.a. the start of the back-to-work grind), I spoke with Ramirez-Fulton about her self-care rituals, saying no with grace, the “joy of missing out,” and turning your passion into your paycheck. As an entrepreneur who also moonlights as a fashion and lifestyle influencer, Ramirez-Fulton self-cares with grace: hopefully this will give us all “license to chill”…
Karin Eldor: As a founder, how do you integrate self-love in your day-to-day?
Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton: For me, it’s about indulging in a quick minute of gratitude daily, whether that’s going to Chillhouse and grabbing myself a matcha and saying to myself, “Hey, I built this place,” or going to that yoga class and enjoying a savasana. It’s imperative that I find that time daily of “hell yeah, you’re killing it” to balance out the negative.
Eldor: What do your morning and night-time rituals look like?
Ramirez-Fulton: I take my time waking up in the morning. Usually it involves a solid 10 to 15 minutes of cuddling with my dog (and husband sometimes, ha). From there I take a shower right away and usually put on fun music to wake me up. I then proceed to take my supplements and either have a shake for breakfast or my husband makes us green tea. There’s a skincare routine somewhere in there. Nighttime usually involves Blue Apron, Netflix, a mask, and a glass of red (or two.)
Eldor: What does #SelfCareSunday look like to you?
Ramirez-Fulton: Just slowing down altogether. Spending it with the people you love, and being significantly nicer to your body that day.
Eldor: Setting boundaries is such a critical part of self-care: What are ways that you recommend saying “no” to things that don’t serve you?
Ramirez-Fulton: I think being transparent but super kind is the only way to go. Making up excuses won’t really result in a hard no in the future. Saying something like, “Thank you so much, however, this isn’t the right fit for me, though I really appreciate you thinking of me” goes a long way.
Eldor: What would you tell someone who is unsure about what their purpose is, in terms of a career choice?
Ramirez-Fulton: It’ll come to you when you least expect it and more often than not, it may stem from an enjoyable hobby.
Eldor: The notion of turning your passion into your paycheck is so glamorized today! What are your thoughts on this?
Ramirez-Fulton: It isn’t always that easy, so if you’re not patient and don’t have savings to burn, this may not be the route for you full-time. Also, I think it’s worth noting that a lot of people keep passions as a side hobby — almost as a form of “self-care,” if you will. For example, my husband is passionate about guitar and surfing, yet he has no intention of becoming a musician or a surfer. Sadly for me though, all my passions are somehow now my source of income, ha. It’s a blessing and a curse.
Eldor: I love your Instagram Stories and feed, you’re so awesome at documenting your day-to-day: do you ever try to disconnect? What are your thoughts on doing a digital detox (even if it’s just on Sundays, for example?)
Ramirez-Fulton: I disconnect in short spurts and when I travel I refrain from checking my email as often, but social media is fun for me so I try not to look at it as a burden. I think I purposely take fitness classes versus doing the typical gym thing because it forces me to put my phone away. But digital detoxes are needed to some extent, most definitely. I find myself becoming more and more addicted every day. Sometimes just closing your eyes and hiding your phone is essential to curb that addiction.
Eldor: Can you tell me about the The Chill Times? I love the rich content!
Ramirez-Fulton: Thank you so much! I’m so proud of it! Getting it off the ground was such a fun project! My editorial director, Raven Ishak, has been working for me for years via my former site, Taste The Style. With this new site, we really wanted to push the envelope and make extremely meaningful content: content that’s not accessible in other wellness or beauty sites. Our content feels like your cooler, big sister is talking to you in a non-preachy way. She’s keeping it real with you, she’s telling you things your mom would never tell you. And she does it because she wants to prepare you for certain obstacles. It’s growing so much every day!
Eldor: How would you recommend founders deal with the isolation and anxiety that being an entrepreneur can create (and intensify)?
Ramirez-Fulton: Oh man, just don’t make it an isolated feeling. Reach out to a friend, a colleague. Talk to your employees. I sometimes overshare anxieties around the business to my team. Venting is everything; without overwhelming people, of course.
Eldor: How do you feel about JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) being the new FOMO?
Ramirez-Fulton: I’ve never heard of that but I LOVE it. I never get FOMO anymore when it comes to “why wasn’t I at this gathering.” I do get FOMO when I see someone on a beach though. But honestly, whenever you get to that point where you make your home your happy place, there’s no where else you’d rather be. I’m pretty much there these days.