Arielei Kinzer, owner of Entrada Azul Airbnb
Where are you from and how did you decide to live in Santa Fe as an adult?
I was born and raised in Santa Fe, as was my Dad and his Dad as well! So I'm a third generation native Santa Fean.
What led you to want to run an airbnb?
For the past decade (before Airbnb existed) I've wanted to some day retire and run a bed and breakfast in Santa Fe. The opportunity to do so came a bit earlier than expected, and Airbnb is a way I can do that right now at this point in my life - although I'm running another full time business doing wedding photography and raising three kids, Airbnb allows me to start this dream into motion right now!
How did you find this house and what makes it special to you?
The house is right next door to my parent's house! I was born AND raised in my parents house, and my babysitter actually lived in this house when I was growing up. I actually remember playing here as a child and hearing Spice Girls for the first time in one of these bedrooms! I wanted to buy the house for a long time, but couldn't afford to. When the last owner wanted to sell, she ended up being gracious enough to work out a rent-to-own agreement with me, and that led to my husband and I co-buying the house with my parents this year. My husband and I lived in and rented the home for 2 years prior to that, and now we have moved out and turned it into what it is today.
Tell us the story of the house...
The house was built by Lloyd Martinez. He built two houses basically by hand with his wife, although he was actually a Postman and not a builder! The only two houses he built are this house and my parent's house.
What's it like running Entrada Azul as a family business?
It's so cool, because this house has a lot of family history for us just in the sense that it's been next door to my parent's house for the past 35 years. It feels like an extension of my parent's estate now so-to-speak, and it's so cool that my dream has come alongside their dreams and we are doing this together. My husband and parent's have been so supportive and obviously had a HUGE hand in making this house what it is and what it is becoming. My Mom oversees the cleaning and maintenance of the house, and my Dad is doing landscaping and groundskeeping. My husband did a LOT of painting and a lot of fixing up to this place, and I did the decor and I run the Airbnb account and communicate with guests. It's really a team effort!
Can you share with us a few interior design and styling tips?
Make a mood board, then keep your vision/vibe in mind while shopping! I think it's so easy to get side-tracked while shopping. Ask yourself "does this vibe well" before you purchase things. But also, don't be afraid to buy it and try it in the space! If it doesn't work you can always return it.
What's your favorite thing about what you do?
I really love getting to re-vamp this house that's been in my life for so many years. Also working with my husband and parents on this long-term project has been really fun. It's also such a new and challenging creative outlet for me. I'm involved in visual art in my other job (as a Wedding Photographer) but interior design is something I've enjoyed since a very young age, but this is the first time I've really gotten to take it by the horns and run with it.
What's the most challenging thing about your work?
Running an Airbnb is a very time-consuming and almost full time job! There's so much to do from communicating to guests to cleaning to upkeep! That's why doing it as a team is working for us.
What makes Santa Fe special to you? What is/are your favorite thing(s) about this place?
Santa Fe is special to me because I was born here, and I have so many great memories of going to breakfast and walking around downtown with my Dad when I was little. Santa Fe really feels like home to me, and being able to take a modern approach to Santa Fe style in this house and welcome visitors into the space is so rewarding!
What are you passionate about outside of running Entrada Azul?
My three little girls, my husband, and photographing weddings in Santa Fe!
What are your goals for Entrada Azul?
I'd really like to incorporate more local goods into the house. I'd love to partner with local artisans as the decor changes and evolves so it can be a truly Santa Fe experience both visually and physically.
Why do you do what you do?
Again, it goes back to romanticizing about running a Bed and Breakfast someday. Many years ago my husband and I stayed in a Bed and Breakfast in Williamsburg, Virginia and I thought "this is exactly what I want to do someday! Someday when I'm old and retired, but in Santa Fe!" I guess this is the first step in that process for me.