The Bronners Story
We love stories. We especially love stories with twists and turns, adventure and even tragedy, because good can come from bad. If we are fortunate enough to work with you, we’ll get to know you well. And because buying and/or selling a home is one of life’s biggest transactions we, Eric & Halli, thought you’d like to know a little more about us. This isn’t our fancy resume, (although it’s always good to check out our testimonials). This is simply a little snippet of the story that led us to love Real Estate and start Lockwood and Mason.
As we said we love twists and turns! And this story is full of them, beginning with an art education major meeting a Naval Officer while in a mutual friend’s wedding. Eric is from Milwaukee, WI where he comes from a family of 5. You may have heard of Dr. Bronner’s Soap or perhaps even use it. Indeed, we are related to the Magic Soap Family. Maybe this is where some of our entrepreneurial spirit was born. Halli is from Sikeston, MO and also comes from a large family of two brothers and three sisters.
When we were first married, we were looking for our first apartment in Norfolk, VA. It was during this search that we discovered our mutual love for historic homes. We were both interested in the character and charm of a house. We also figured out the things we could and could not live without – for Eric a fireplace and for Halli a front porch.
It was our own personal experience in searching for a perfect place that we realized we wanted to do the same for others. Perhaps you’re thinking this is where Lockwood and Mason comes to life. Fortunately, not yet, as the next few twists and turns would give us invaluable experience before taking the leap into Real Estate.
Between 1999 and 2005, Halli was an art teacher and Eric, having graduated from Annapolis and trained in Pensacola, Florida, was a Naval Flight Officer. Eric was focused on serving in the Navy and flying on and off aircraft carriers; while Halli taught art at Norfolk Christian Schools. But one thing kept happening; we continued to help our friends find places to live. We also helped friends design and decorate their homes. Halli loved picking paint colors and complimenting space with the right accents and furniture. We did it naturally. People move every 2 years in the Navy and we seemed to be the couple that helped our friends. We just found ourselves a part of the process and enjoying it.
We continued to discover our love for real estate ran deeper than looking and finding homes. Eric loves land and understanding the way things are laid out. He loves history. In fact, when we first started our relocation to St. Louis, Eric was training for the VA Beach marathon. We were staying with friends who were St. Louis natives and familiar with the area. By the time Eric finished one of his longer training runs, he could give a complete overview of the area sites, homes, restaurants, and landmarks; even teaching our friends some new things.
We also found we had a passion for the culture within a community; discovering the things that distinguish one neighborhood from another. Yet, before we even dreamed of Lockwood and Mason, there was another twist.
In 2005, we moved to St. Louis. Eric went to law school at Washington University in St. Louis because of his passion to help people. After graduation and clerking for a federal judge in East St. Louis for 3 years, he found himself practicing law that focused on municipalities and land use. His career also led to overseeing short sale legal transactions and working with Real Estate agents. It was then that we had an “a-ha” moment. Our love for Real Estate had not subsided; our desire to interact and help people had only grown more profound. So we found ourselves face to face with an opportunity to put the two together.
Remember that Eric flew off and on aircraft carriers – what could be more stimulating? For Eric, it is Real Estate. It is always fresh, always alive, always challenging. There is always an energy stimulating the experience or the hunt for a home. For Halli, she loves interacting with people and redesigning spaces. When Halli walks into a room, she sees a blank slate and thinks of things the ordinary person would not consider.
The Lockwood and Mason story is one with many twists and turns. We made decisions that would lead us to a perfect foundation for a business in Real Estate. Eric knows hard work, discipline and can manage stress learned from the Navy. Experience as a lawyer lends him to invaluable negotiating skills and knowledge. Halli’s degree in art provides an eye for beauty in design. A family of 3 children(and some chickens) teaches us daily lessons. And our genuine heartfelt passion for Real Estate has brought us full circle. We find we pinch ourselves and laugh at how it all was orchestrated along the way.