Cathie Anderson

Carmichael-based interior designer chosen for national 30 Under 30 honor

Designs by Nar Fine Carpentry
Designs by Nar Fine Carpentry Fred Donham

The National Kitchen & Bath Association has named 26-year-old Ashlee Richardson of Carmichael-based Nar Fine Carpentry to its list of 30 Under 30 interior designers doing exceptional work in the industry.

A graduate of Sacramento State’s Department of Interior Design, Richardson started out at Nar Fine as an intern. She has now worked for the company for 3 1/2 years.

Firm founder Nar Bustamante said he didn’t expect to hire Richardson after the internship but was pleased with how the two challenged each other and shared a similar design aesthetic.

“Since Ashlee started working for me at age 24, she has not missed a day,” Bustamante said. “All the projects we’re working on together are getting nationally awarded and recognized, and that has a lot to do with my company, who I am and what we bring to the table, but I couldn’t do it without amazing people like her behind me.”

Nationally recognized interior designer Ellen Cheever joined Bustamante in nominating Richardson for the honor, writing: “Ashlee has a professional grace and sophistication uncommon in young, emerging design professionals. She’s a thoughtful listener who puts her clients’ lifestyles, dreams and project challenges ahead of her personal aesthetic preferences or personal business goals.”

A native of Copperopolis in Calaveras County, Richardson frequently redecorated her bedroom space as a child – an endeavor that she said was wholeheartedly supported by her mother.

“She helped me to redecorate and plan out the space,” Richardson said. “I remember doing one large redo of my room when I was probably about 12. … I watched a lot of HGTV, especially shows like ‘Trading Spaces.’ They really piqued my interest and showed me how design can change people’s lives.”

The National Kitchen & Bath Association told me it received nearly 100 nominees for the 30 Under 30 awards. Richardson will be recognized at the Jan. 10-12 industry show in Orlando, Fla.

Expanding health insurance

Insurance broker Rosamaria Marrujo will celebrate on Jan. 18 the relocation of her company, Trusted American Insurance Agency, into larger offices at 6556 Lonetree Blvd. in Rocklin.

Marrujo got licensed to sell insurance because she couldn’t immediately find a job in art education after earning a degree from Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y. At the same time, her grandparents were choosing Medicare coverage.

“My grandparents … were actually living in our home, and they were not doing well,” she said. “So we started to see that health insurance wasn’t really covering everything, so I really started to see how much work and effort it takes to deal with the insurance companies and go through the process of getting yourself covered for things.”

Marrujo, 33, moved to Placer County in 2011 after reviewing demographic data and finding that the region had many retirees facing the same dilemma. Her company does not charge clients for researching coverage and providing options, she said.

Rather, the company collects fees or commissions from any insurers who pay them, Marrujo said. Not all of them do. Regardless of commission, Marrujo said, her firm and its network of independent agents provide the most cost-effective options to clients.

“The baby boomers are turning 65, applying for Medicare,” she said. “They don’t understand this stuff. They’ve never had to deal with it. … You really have to analyze what they have, what they’re going to get if they stay on a plan or if they come off it. Once they come off that plan, they can never go back on it. You don’t want to jeopardize that process for them. You want to make sure you do it correctly.”

After getting help with Medicare insurance, clients often ask Marrujo to provide quotes for other types of insurance, she said, so she expanded her firm’s portfolio to life, long-term care, dental and other types of insurance products.

Cathie Anderson: 916-321-1193, @CathieA_SacBee