Getting to Know Stephanie Mead: BrightLeaf Sales Advisor
Stephanie Mead is a real estate agent, sales advisor and event planner for BrightLeaf. She grew up in a small town outside of Lansing, Michigan, graduated from Western Michigan University, and made her way into selling real estate as well as holding a few titles in corporate retail for companies like Nordstrom, Joneses Intl., and Amazon.
Stephanie has lived all over the United States, including Washington, Michigan, Florida, and Connecticut. These days, she resides in Oak Park, IL, and says Chicago is a very special place to her.
“The people here are unlike any I’ve come across elsewhere. They are always warm, real, kind, thoughtful, fun, adventurous. I took that for granted when I was young. I appreciate it tenfold now.”
She spends her free time with her amazing partner - a high school teacher in the city - as well as her three children. “They keep me on my toes,” she says, “but it’s well worth the sacrifices I make for their sweet hugs, laughs, smiles.” She’s also an avid outdoor enthusiast. She likes to run, bike, hike, and Cross Fit. Despite living all over the country already, Stephanie hopes to travel more. Her goal is to do a tour of State or National Parks to camp, hike, and explore more beautiful areas of the country.
Stephanie says she pursued a position at BrightLeaf because she wanted to move into a role that challenged and taught her more than the realtor position she previously held. So she did research on green builders in Chicagoland and was overjoyed to find BrightLeaf. “I stalked them for awhile online, kept in touch with Scott, and eventually wiggled my way in,” she says. “They are all amazing dedicated people. Couldn’t ask for a better team.”
Dating back to 1998, Stephanie has a long history of real estate experience. She’s been a mortgage broker, as well as managed an impressive 40 real estate clients at once. “Add in my Customer service background, green real estate education, construction knowledge, and the support and assistance from my BrightLeaf construction team. It’s priceless.”
Stephanie says she is constantly learning something new. She especially appreciates how her coworkers at BrightLeaf are happy to educate each other on everything. She enjoys learning the green aspects of building - the science behind it all.
“It’s the big reason I made the move to BrightLeaf from exclusive real estate. I was a little bored and hungry to learn more about other sides of the real estate market.”
What does a day in the life of Stephanie involve? Number one: coffee. Then getting the kids out the door to school, the cats fed and herself to work. She then kicks out a few research or kaizen projects and gets her clients home or market info, negotiates deals, shows homes or conducts open houses. She says, “I find joy in assisting and advocating for my clients and have a passion for green, sustainable construction and historic homes and I just love tying everything together and handing over the keys!” From there, she picks up said kids, settles them in at home, goes for a run, cooks dinner, hangs for a bit, and gets the kids to bed. She spends the last bit of her day cruising Netflix or reading with her partner, then tucks herself into bed. (Whew!)
When she was younger, Stephanie said she wanted to be either a costume designer or a teacher. She’s always had an interest in fashion - especially fashion of the 1940’s 50’s and 60’s. Stephanie has a ton of vintage clothing inspired by the trends and movies from the old days. She also collects furniture and decor from the Mid-Century Modern (MCM) era and admires the style of these homes. Looking back to designs of the old days, she says the colors and lines were so much more interesting than they are now.
When asked about her own home, Stephanie says, “Ours has a cozy sunroom that I can’t get enough of.” She says a screened in sun porch can be the best part of a home. Given the chance, she would add a master bath - hands down. “We have to share one bathroom between 3 children and 2 adults.”
Despite being a classic fashionista, Stephanie’s first job wasn’t as elegant. She was assigned to painting lines on airport tarmac, where she was, “Bathed in the absolute hottest sun.” She had to wear steel toed boots and got up before the crack of dawn all summer, but she says she was in the pool by 2:00pm, so it had it’s benefits. The next summer, Stephanie was promoted to a camp counselor - much more fitting of her love of the outdoors and children.
We asked Stephanie a few questions that realty experts don’t often get to answer about themselves to get to know a different side of her personality.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you pick and why?
As of today - I have had many people tell me I belong in Asheville, NC. I’m a big nature girl and I hear they have fabulous vegetarian restaurants. Plus it’s a bit warmer there! It’s super artsy, located in the foothills of the mountains, and filled with ‘crunchy granola people’ like me. Ask me again tomorrow.
What would you be doing if you didn’t work for BrightLeaf?
Likely working with children in need, or at a green company of some sort. Maybe just maybe, running a veggie food truck or cafe. These were some of the things I was looking into before I found BrightLeaf.
You’re driving alone in your car, what are you thinking about?
Finding a good song. I mean, I have Sirius radio why can’t I ever find anything worth listening to?!
You’re only allowed to watch one movie for the rest of your life. Which one is it?
The Jerk. I can’t handle it. Steve Martin cracks me up. "I'm picking out a thermos for you.."
Personal or professional, who is someone you admire, and why?
Audrey Hepburn. I admire her wherewithal, desire, and persistence to get where she wanted to go as well as her moral stance, humanitarian efforts, and individuality. I could go on and on. She lived through the Nazi regime and had gone through so much and still came out as such as kind, giving, talented human. I wish I was her friend.
Do you have any skills or hobbies that your BrightLeaf coworkers would be surprised to learn?
I’ve climbed a few mountains in my day. Miss the view from the top! Maybe thrifting and flea marketing- I’m quite amazing at it, but does that count as a skill?!
If there’s one goal you could accomplish what would it be?
My children being kind, productive, helpful, happy members of the adult world. Please lord help me.
If you’d like to build/buy/sell - or maybe talk great hiking locations - connect with Stephanie.