Within the first two minutes of talking with Kristin Brindley, her gregarious attitude and love for life is infectious. After hearing her story, those attributes seem miraculous.
Kristin is a Real Producers Publisher in the D.C., metro area. Her first publication, D.C. Metro Real Producers, recently launched in April, but her determination and people-skills have driven her business to the level she has achieved today.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND
Kristin grew up “in the middle of nowhere, Michigan,” where she was the first in her family to graduate from college.
In her ealy 20’s, Kristin starting selling Cutco, the gig she believes prepared her for current job and life skills. Post-college, Kristin wound up managing a Cutco home-show team office in Arizona, where she met her wife, Kellie, a now 20-year navy veteran. From there, the couple moved to San Diego, then to Chesapeake, VA, and eventually to D.C. -- racking up moves to five different states in a span of five years.
While managing a Cutco office in Virginia, Kristin moved to Maryland and started a realtor program, maintaining around 5,000 customers, 1,000 of whom were Realtors. As she began developing more relationships through Realtor gifts, her involvement in the real estate community grew.
During her time with Cutco, she became friends with Remington Ramsey, another top salesman. When Remington began a new endeavor, Real Producers, he recruited Kristin for a publisher position.
“When Remington first reached out about the opportunity, I was immediately interested since it went hand-in-hand with the relationships I had prior, but offered more freedom.”
While settling in D.C., the couple started to think about a family. Within a span of a couple weeks, Kellie was pregnant, the couple celebrated a year of marriage and then the big shock -- Kristin was diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 31.
“I wanted to take care of Kellie during her pregnancy, but she ended up taking care of me.”
Kristin’s treatment began with four, simultaneous blood transfusions, and laparoscopic surgery. She then went through a seven-week chemotherapy treatment while also receiving five to six radiation treatments weekly (46 radiation treatments total) -- five of which were deep-radiation therapy.
At the end of Kristin’s treatment, Kellie gave birth to their daughter, Avery, on November 21 -- five weeks early.
“I was so weak I couldn’t even help buckle in Avery’s car seat.”
“Now, I help with young women who go through cervical cancer. I like to be a resource because it can be terrifying -- you don’t expect that to happen at that age.”
When talking with other cancer victims, Kristin stresses the importance of keeping assumptions out of the disease. “Cancer is totally different in every case -- every treatment is different, the way you react is different, and your life after cancer is different.”
Kristin reflects with gratitude on the birth of their daughter and the timing of it all. “I didn’t have time to think about it. She was 4.5 lbs. How can you even dwell on anything bad when you’re holding this bundle of beauty? I choose to live by joy.”
Now, Kristin uses her experience to empower others.
During her time with Real Producers, Kristin has been able to hire several people and create a team, as well as partner with others to start their own businesses. “I work less, but smarter -- and as an entrepreneur who also loves helping other people discover their dreams, the Real Producers opportunity was a no-brainer.”
Kristin has big plans for her publication. She dreams out loud about how her area will grow, adding publications and how her growth can help charities. “I feel like I’m made to do this, and I love that my dream aligns with the way Real Producers is run.”
“I pinch myself with this too, and I tell Remington ‘thank you,’ this is such a cool opportunity. I barely see it as work -- it’s challenging but so fulfilling to help businesses and connect professionals.”
Through Kristin’s journey with cancer, the birth of her daughter, and her work with Real Producers, her time is of utmost value.
“The company is about work/life balance. I love that my time is my decision -- it’s my business. I can run it with amazing people, and I get to choose. I get to choose who I spend time with, who I talk to. It's amazing.”