Married couple and interior designers Ray and Eilyn Jimenez are expanding their businesses with the launch of their Netflix reality series, “Designing Miami" — and they are bringing his Dominican relatives and her Cuban family along for what they say is “a hell of a ride.”
The newlyweds, who will celebrate their third wedding anniversary in October, navigate the Miami luxury design scene in their show. Each episode of the series gives viewers a look at their lives as two Latino entrepreneurs trying to make it in a crowded field.
In the first episode of the Netflix series, Ray and Eilyn Jimenez introduce themselves, their aesthetics and their two separate interior design companies. Ray Jimenez, a self-professed maximalist, is the founder and creative director of Raymond Nicolas Design House while Eilyn Jimenez, a minimalist, runs Sire Design as the founder and creative director.
“Designing Miami” doesn’t just focus on their companies. Throughout the eight episodes, the duo welcome viewers into their world as they share their story, their families and their dreams with the public.
Eilyn and Ray Jimenez told TODAY that both fell in love with art, architecture and design when they were children. It was this shared adoration that led to a meet-cute moment fit for any romantic comedy scene.
“We actually met through a colleague and a high school friend,” Ray Jimenez said.
The mutual friend, who is a wall paper vendor, invited them both to an art event — and their connection was instant.
“I walked in and the first person I saw was him and he looked back at me and pretty much it was some history,” Eilyn Jimenez said.
Ray Jimenez agreed. “It was a wrap,” he said.
The couple’s sweet interactions and playful banter anchor their reality show. While the episodes focus on Eilyn and Ray Jimenez working with different clients and employees, they include scenes of the pair building their dream home together as well.
Their Cuban and Dominican families also make a few appearances. Eilyn Jimenez revealed that she was slightly nervous to invite cameras into their home and personal lives.
The Sire Design owner said, “It is nerve-racking, but, up to a certain point, I feel it’s also really important because it (is relatable). There’s so many people like us that are going to be able to see what a Latin family (looks like) — his crazy Dominican family (and) my family. And how all of that intersects with our lives and our careers.”
Ray Jimenez shared the same perspective. He said their debate about starring on a reality show ended after a few days when they realized they couldn’t pass on the opportunity.
The cameras followed them outside of the office which means they captured tough conversations with their family members, particularly about Eilyn Jimenez’s decision to focus on her career before having children.
She told TODAY it was necessary for her to talk about waiting to become a mom on camera because “it’s still a taboo topic.”
Eilyn Jimenez explained, “We’re in 2022 and it still feels like a woman isn’t complete until she does have children and I don’t think that’s the case. I think you could choose to have your career or you could choose to have a different focus and do things differently versus getting married and having kids.”
After couples get married, their conversations are typically centered around building a family, she said. Eilyn Jimenez hopes that the dialogue will change.
“I think it’s time that we open (the conversation) to say it is okay to choose your career temporarily. It is okay to hold off on that decision until you feel it is right,” she continued.
Her message of encouraging women to pursue their careers is reflected in her group of employees. She runs Sire Design alongside a team of Latina employees. They all sit together in a cluster and exchange quips and jokes as they discuss design ideas.
“I love it because I think it’s super empowering and we work really, really hard. And I think one of the things that Latinas have a lot is that will to feel like they have to prove themselves, because we do," she said of her collaborative work environment.
She added, “As women, we are a minority in general and then you add the Latina aspect to it. So, being able to have that dialogue and really work with people from all different (parts) of the country but still under one vision is amazing.”
Eilyn Jimenez said that she has a similarly encouraging and motivational relationship with her husband, especially as they design their home together.
Ray Jimenez shared, “The fact that we’re able to merge (our) two styles effortlessly is pretty special.”
He described the whole experience as “a hell of a ride.”
The ride includes a few bumps, as disagreements with co-workers and family members materialize throughout the season. Viewers can watch Eilyn and Ray Jimenez juggle their work and personal lives when “Designing Miami” hits Netflix on Sept. 21.