Monday, April 10, 2017

Member Spotlight: Arvelo Architecture & Design

Ruperto Arvelo, owner of Arvelo Architecture & Design, began his journey through inspiration, education, a new place to call home and the desire to open his own business. Born in New Jersey and inspired by his boss to further his graduate studies, Arvelo received his master's degree from Syracuse University. Shortly after graduating he became an in-house architect for Thompson Financial Services and worked for global firms like Robert A.M. Stern, Rockwell Group and Gensler. It was through this experience, and not letting the imminent recession period ruin his hunger for entrepreneurialism, that he decided to try to venture on his own.

Ruperto Arvelo, Owner
Arvelo Architecture & Design

After a year in business, Arvelo decided to take the next step. “After a year of working from my apartment in my pajamas, which I loved, I realized I missed the collaboration of working in a group. So, I decided to rent a space and hire professionals to work with,” said Arvelo. “It was a great decision,” he said.

Today, Arvelo Architecture & Design celebrates a milestone of 10 years in business as a group of licensed architect and interior designers that love to collaborate to create great public and private spaces for clients.

How does Arvelo Architecture & Design remain competitive and flexible to its clients when trying to deliver in three different markets – NYC, Miami and Puerto Rico?

At Arvelo, we create something special and unique for every client which reflects who they are and their needs, while also responding to the programmatic issues that they might have in their new spaces. We start each project by analyzing, brainstorming and qualifying best responses for our clients’ needs and wants and coming up with solutions. We leverage each line of work that we do; office interiors, hospitality and high-end residential work. We might find products, styles and techniques typically used in commercial projects and apply them to residential projects, and vice versa.

As a Certified LGBTBE and a member of nglccNY, how do you leverage your membership and how were you introduced?

nglccNY gave me the opportunity to meet other professionals and exchange ideas, collaborate, learn best practices and just keep the mindset of business development. I was first introduced to the chamber by Richard Oceguera and once I came to the first meeting I decided this was the group for me. The focus is growing our businesses and supporting each other in the process with like-minded people. As time moves on, we all learn more and more about each other and find ways to support and help each other grow. It's a great community.

Innovation is top of mind amongst everyone buying services today, what innovative items are you exploring?

With today’s technology, everybody is exposed to all the new things that are coming out in the market. We of course, must know about all these new innovations to remain competitive and relevant in our industry. However, I feel the most difficult part is putting the entire puzzle together. As architects and interior designers, we are like orchestra directors. It is not just important to design a beautiful, practical and enjoyable space. It is important that we do it in a manner that is within budget and within timeline. Hiring the right professional assures that things will be done right which in the long-run, saves you time and money. I often see that people try to do it on their own, thinking that our services are too expensive and they will save money. Especially with these DIY shows that make things seem so easy. Then weeks, months and sometimes even years go by with an incomplete project – on top of all the headaches. So, I tell people, save yourselves the headaches and the money, and hire a professional. Need a quote? 😁

From a social corporate responsibility perspective, how does Arvelo impact community growth?

For me it’s very important to give back and share with younger generations all the things that I have learned throughout the years. I have taught at different universities; the latest being Parsons in NYC and previously at Berkeley College and Syracuse University. I also love to volunteer and go to high schools and talk about my experiences not only as an architect and as a Latino, but also as a gay person. Currently we are also exploring ways that we can help people that typically feel they cannot afford our services so that they too can be able to enjoy a beautiful environment where to live and work. For this we are offering one or two-hour consultations to help people in their spaces.

I was intrigued to learn that Ruperto is a spiritual person, as I consider to be one myself. He believes that life is for us to grow in every manner; spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally and our souls. Life is about expanding, for him. “For me it's about reaching a balanced life where we can enjoy our work, our relationships and our personal lives. And I feel the environment we live in helps us reach this balance in life,” he said. 

You see in Ruperto’s eyes, our workspaces, our cities and the world influence what we are and all that we hope to become. If this is your life goal, perhaps Ruperto Arvelo’s firm is the right firm for you.

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Office: 212 203.7852

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Interview by 
Gonzo Araya,
Executive Chair, Media Communications Committee, NGLCCNY
Cheif Creative Officer, Socio

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Socio is a creative, communications and customer experience agency shaping how companies do business. A certified LGBT Business Enterprise.


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