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The Rise of Style

Eric Eremita Unveils 'House of XIII'

From HGTV’s Love It or List It to House of XIII, we sit down with Eric Eremita to unveil his new fashion brand and learn how his life’s significant connection to the number 13 has inspired his innovative designs. Join us as we delve into Eric’s captivating journey from TV to Style.

Staten Island City Lifestyle: Tell us a little bit about your background.

Eric: I am a born and raised Staten Islander. I got married in 2000 and moved to Annadale to build a home and start a family life. My wife Joanne and I raised 3 children; Mia, Eric Jr. and Evan. It’s been a great ride! I had always been interested in art and when I was growing up there was a big hip-hop, art scene. My clothing line isn’t necessarily streetwear but it does have some influence from this era in my life mixed with a more traditional approach. I had originally wanted to attend FIT and I even built a physical portfolio but ultimately I ended up helping out with the family business; this included a glass and mirror company, and a home improvement company. The design world was always interesting to me.

Staten Island City Lifestyle: How did you end up working in television?

Eric: It was never a plan for me. I answered a casting call for a show on NBC called American Dream Builders. It was a nationwide casting call. I was chosen as a finalist but unfortunately it took two years and by the time I was called for the show I had to refuse the offer because I was busy running a business and had to tend to my clients. Soon after I received a call to attend a casting in Manhattan. I brought my portfolio and contracts with me, went for the casting and I’ll never forget that day because I got in my car and drove home not realizing that I left my portfolio on the roof of my car and lost everything. Eventually I got a call saying Congratulations, we would like you to be on Brother vs. Brother on HGTV with the Property Brothers. It was a 7-week competition, when my wife dropped me off at the airport I said I’ll see you in 7-weeks. She said to me 7-weeks? People get knocked off every week in these competitions and I said I’m winning this thing! I lasted the full 7-weeks. It was a very controversial ending and I became runner-up. That same year I got picked up as the general contractor for Love It or List It. For the next 80-episodes which was about 5 years, I traveled from Staten Island to North Carolina on a weekly basis to film the show. TV isn’t an easy business and I am trying to parlay it into different areas now such as fashion and real estate under my own brand, House of XIII.

Staten Island City Lifestyle: Tell us more about the significance of the number 13.

Eric: I have a book coming out soon that touches on this subject so without divulging too much information, 13 is my wedding anniversary. February 13th is when I got married, Valentines Day and hearts have been special to my marriage. My third son Evan was born on Valentines Day and my wife was in labor on our anniversary. While I was on TV, I was using a branded tape measurer. I had to hide the logo on it, so I put a sticker on it and drew a red heart with a black number 13 in the middle. This was in honor of my family and a way for me to say Hi to everyone at home. I used it on every episode and people started to recognize it and wonder about the significance of the number 13. Thirteen spelled out also has my initials EE in it. I started designing and my trademark process in end of 2019, then COVID hits… in March of 2020 I ended up on a ventilator and almost died. The day after Easter I basically resurrected, April 13th. I had to learn how to walk again, how to eat again. After all this, I called my trademark attorney because I had never received any update on the process. When I checked my junk mail I found that all of my trademarks were approved on April 13th. Is it coincidence or divine intervention? 13’s have followed me all my life. I met my wife at 1300 Hylan Boulevard. My patron saint is St. Anthony, June 13th.

Staten Island City Lifestyle: You are involved in so many different endeavors. How do you balance it all and what are your plans for the future?

Eric Eremita: I do have a book that’s coming soon, but I would also love to do a collaboration with a bigger fashion house. I am constantly trying to re-invent myself. The custom shirts we make are really special because they are entirely customized. You can pick the materials, the collar, the buttons, the threads. You can add your initials and on every right sleeve is a heart with the 13 in the center, so you can wear your heart on your sleeve. You have to pick and choose what you want to focus on the most. I like to think that The House of XIII is going to eventually be a lifestyle brand. I want it to be a combination of all the things that I am passionate about.  

Staten Island City Lifestyle: What is some valuable advice you would give to someone trying to pursue their dream?

Eric: Don’t look back. When you’re driving in your car there’s a reason that the windshield is so big and the rearview mirror is so small. There’s a big world out there, always move forward. Don’t give up. The difference is in the details. The details are YOU. Be compassionate and a good person.

Is it coincidence or divine intervention? 13’s have followed me all my life.