TFC News

Filipina in US grows thriving interior design business

Jared Bray | TFC News Utah

Posted at May 19 2022 08:40 AM

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SALT LAKE CITY — Filipina Eleanor Ramirez recently opened the new location of Incredible Dwellings and Beyond, an interior design and home staging business she started two decades ago as a new immigrant in the United States.

In recent years, despite challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, Ramirez said her business has thrived and the time was right to expand into a bigger building.

“I think because a lot of people who were at their houses and have all the money in the world, they get tired looking at their ceiling, looking at their walls and looking at their furniture,” Ramirez said. “So they contact us, so we did have better business during the pandemic than ever.”

A former biology professor at Cagayan State University in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, Ramirez discovered her talent in interior design while immigrating to the United States and waiting for the approval of a green card.

“I started cleaning houses, lots of houses, and then I redesigned their houses,” she said. “And so that’s when they discovered ’She’s talented, she’s good.’”

Ramirez describes her interior design style as being rooted in her Ilocano heritage.

“I am very organic,” she said. “I want to be part of a sustainable environment all the time. I don’t want to spend money if it is not necessary. I want to make use [of] what is available to me that is free. So that’s my Ilocano roots.”

Ramirez now plans to use her influence as a successful business owner to help other women find and develop their talents.

“The amount of things that you can do to improve your life, to improve your craft, to inspire other people, is amazing. It’s unstoppable. There are so many things you can do,” she said. “So that’s what I want to reiterate to other women like me, especially as an immigrant."