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Rios’ love of design began as a child. He explains, “Growing up, my mother's best friend, Joyce Beadle, was a well-known and talented interior designer in town. I would tag along as they went on buying trips and set up various events. I've always appreciated how things are made and put together and think how things could have also been done differently.”
Born and raised in Corpus Christi, designer Rios has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. At only 26 years old, Rios has built a successful full-service design firm, SquareFoot Design Studio.
Led by his self-starter acumen, at the age of 16 Rios decided to work at McDonald’s after school every day. The day he turned 18, he was promoted to shift manager and quickly advanced through various management positions. It was during this time Rios learned as much as he could about restaurant business and management. He says, “I’ve always been very business-minded. I wanted to know and learn why McDonald’s is so big and successful. What are they doing right and how do they execute that.”
August of 2013, at the age of 22, Rios registered for the Fall semester at TAMU-CC. Using his leftover financial aid money—and without telling anyone—he secured a storefront lease for what would become SquareFoot Designs.
Using his ever-expanding knowledge of design and construction, Rios’ business relationships quickly grew as well. “I contacted one of my now current distributors and purchased a few tile and wood flooring displays, quartz countertop samples, and mosaic tiles and was able to have a small but nice product mix to do a few renovations,” he says.
As the number of jobs grew, so did SquareFoot Designs. “I fell in love with a high-end, innovative tile line, AKDO, and reached out to their company. The rep at the time flew down from Georgia. Her believing in me and approving me as an exclusive dealer gave me the credibility to open more unique, artisanal lines. The rest is history!”
Today, Rios works alongside an in-house interior designer and continues to learn and expand his business through relationships with clients, reps, and installers. He says, “People’s most prized possession is their home. It's often times our biggest single purchase we'll ever make and our most sacred space. It’s where we celebrate and live through life's most important moments. Having someone trust you enough to work in their home is very special and something I don't take for granted.”
In Rios’ own home, less is more. With a love of clean lines and timeless design, the designer uses accents that are important to him, be it artwork displayed on top of cardboard boxes from the streets of Rome, or hanging colorful, framed political posters from Cuba. “During my trip to Washington DC, I visited the Treasury Department and purchased sheets of uncut $2 bills that hang in my foyer, inspiring me to work hard when I leave every morning,” he states.
Rios gains inspiration from all around him, especially when traveling. So far, he’s visited 19 countries and counting! He is bringing fresh ideas and a unique style to the Coastal Bend. Corpus Christi looks forward to experiencing the wonderful blend of culture, art, and creativity that this designer continues to share with our city. Whether it’s in a beautiful home or stylish eatery, Ryan Rios is ensuring we will all live with what we love.