Christopher P. Ramey
Christopher P. Ramey, President The Home Trust International, Inc. and Affluent Insights
The Home Trust (THT): What first compelled you to enter business?
Chris Ramey (CPR): I’ve always been intrigued with design, wealth and luxury. One of my father’s closest friends, Alex Sansosti, was an architect and for a long time I wanted to be an architect. Wealth intrigued me because my father was chief of aviation for a Fortune 100 company. He was responsible for their aircraft and reported directly to the CEO. My Saturdays were often spent at the airport. Although we flew often, it wasn’t until my sophomore year at University of Miami that I flew on a commercial airline. Flying on business jets wasn’t a luxury. It’s just what Dad did.
THT: What inspires you and who has most influenced you?
CPR: Learning, creativity, technology, serving others and, of course, my family inspire me. I was blessed with two wonderful parents who inspired me every day of their lives. There were four boys in the family; we were competitive and highly disciplined. All four of us remain close. My wife and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two wonderful children and two gorgeous grandchildren. I still learn from my children and wife every day.
In looking back, we were highly influenced by Mr. George Love. He was an industrialist who owned Consolidation Coal and was Chairman of Chrysler. My father reported to Mr. Love. We were allowed on the company jets any time Mr. Love was flying. My dad served Mr. Love and Mr. Love reciprocated by taking care of my father. They taught me that loyalty is a core value for successful individuals.
Those who possess a brilliant mind inspire me. Pam Danziger is my consulting partner and Ron Kurtz who’s been my mentor and friend for over a decade are both brilliant.
J. Robert Taglairino (Tag), Dr. Clotaire Rapaille and Uche Okonkwo have made a substantial impact on my life too; with apologies to those I may be missing.
THT: What is the best advice you ever received?
CPR: My father, in particular, found lessons to teach in most experiences. Mother and Father taught us to be lifelong learners. I’ve learned to love reading, learning and teaching. I’d like to think a ‘pearl of wisdom’ from every book I’ve ever read sticks with me. I hope that I’ve taught my children the lessons and values that my parents taught me. To those points, I have tried to live a balanced life, not be judgmental, to be loyal and to help others.
THT: Is there a common thread that runs through all great products?
CPR: Certain products and spaces have a soul or, as the French say ‘je ne sais quoi.’ Like a connoisseur, you see it once you understand it. We work very hard to ensure The Home Trust members and their products/services have a soul, and that each is a connoisseur of their category.
THT: In what ways has your company or industry changed over the years?
CPR: Our mission to serve those who appreciate the finest products and services for their homes has never changed. We’ve been called everything from a “Secret Society” and “Online Robb Report” to a “Talent Agency,” “Harrods for the Home” and a “Online Design Center.” The Business Observer called us “Angie’s List for the Wealthy.” In short, The Home Trust is a group of highly talented individuals and companies in design and luxury home who have integrity, and feel comfortable referring others who’s values match their values. Research tells us that being a resource beyond one’s own expertise is important to high net worth individuals.
Those who are sophisticated appreciate what we do because the world is full of poseurs. The Home Trust presents resources who possess integrity and talent without question. We have a higher level of responsibility to our clients and to each other. Perhaps I should add that we decline the majority of the firms interested in joining The Home Trust.
THT: Do you have a favorite book or author?
CPT: There are so many brilliant authors. Certainly Pam Danziger, Ed DeBono, Clotaire Rapaille, Noel Kapferer, Michel Chevalier and Uche Okonkwo are ‘must-reads.’
THT: Do you have a favorite city or place you like to travel?
CPT: Europe and most certainly Italy. Of course I enjoy visiting my children in San Francisco and Los Angeles too. Plus, it’s always nice to return home to Pittsburgh.
THT: When you’re not working, where are you most likely to be found?
CPT: I thrive on work.
THT: What is your favorite object that reflects extraordinary design and what makes a room?
CPR: I value simplicity and grace. Some things ‘sing’ and some don’t. It’s visceral.
THT: What makes a great organization?
CPR: A great organization fills a void and then blends its mission with shared values. Today, leveraging technology is essential to all great organizations. Everyone profits and grows in a great organization.
THT: Why The Home Trust International?
CPT: Our values are centered around classic luxury marketing – not design. This is important due to the proliferation of mediocrity in design, as well as the dumbing-down of products for the home. The Home Trust International is the one resource in the luxury home segment that is driven by pillars of luxury, including:
- Brand Sanctity
- Discreet and private
- Scarcity and exclusivity
- Sophistication and grace
- Unique point of view by founder
- Highest non-negotiable standards of quality
- Preservation of artisanship and craftsmanship
THT: Anything else you’d like to share with us?
CPR: My gratitude to all who have helped us succeed. And, of course, gratitude to every member in The Home Trust International. One need only look at the images on The Home Trust International website or Outdoor Luxury Design to see the extraordinary talent of the members.
Chris Ramey is one the most often quoted authorities in the luxury segment. He specializes in helping service providers, retailers and manufacturers understand and penetrate premium and luxury markets. He is a highly sought-after professional speaker and consultant. Ramey is president of The Home Trust International. His consultancy is Affluent Insights.
He started The Home Trust International to serve as a vetted resource for high net worth families and the design and shelter resources that serve them.
Ramey is a business leader, marketing technologist, professional speaker, writer, retailer, and consultant:
- National Speakers Association member where he speaks on marketing and selling luxury products, loyalty and luxury as a business model.
- Teacher: Ramey has lectured for Institut Supérieur de Luxe Paris, Politecnico di Milano, Asomercadeo in Medellin Colombia and LUXE Corp in Paris, University of Miami, Steinway, Luxury Portfolio, many trade associations as well as dozens of other organizations.
- Consultant: Ramey is managing director at The American Marketingn Group, he sits on the Retailwire.com ‘Brain Trust Panel’ and he has also earned the “Leadership–Top 5%” appellation from Gerson-Lehrman Group for his work with private equity firms investing in home furnishings and luxury brands. He also consults for Floor Covering Institute.
- Writer: Ramey has been a columnist for Hearst Business Publications’ ‘Floor Covering Weekly’ since 2007. His first book will be published in 2023.
- Business leader: Ramey’s business experience includes past president of The Luxury Marketing Council Miami and The Luxury Marketing Council Palm Beach where he grew his chapters to be the second largest in the world. He is also the former president of International Design Guild, where he grew the organization from 15 showrooms to over 95 showrooms, and founder and former president of Savvi Formalwear, where he grew the organization to over 400 stores.
Ramey and his wife are originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and they reside in Stuart, Florida.