We had the good fortune of connecting with Chelsea Wingardh and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chelsea, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I know I am going to sound sooo lame and cheesy, though the answer to the most important factor behind my success is a deep desire to help people. I became a Realtor because I really wanted to make a difference for people and I was looking for a new (to me) way to do that. When you’re driven by a love for people and genuinely care, you do whatever it takes to get the job done. And, people can feel that. We can sense and we know when someone really cares about us and gives us their all. I strongly believe this is the reason most of clients are referred to me by past clients or people who know me. I think what sets me apart is that I truly do just want to be a problem solver for as many people I can, and real estate is simply the mode I’ve found I can do that the most in. When people are your passion, there’s nothing that can stop you.Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I didn’t always know I was going to be a realtor. In fact, I didn’t even consider it until about 2 weeks before registering for classes. In high school, I worked at a bakery/coffee shop, an accessories store, and I worked as a freelance graphics and web designer. I never wanted to go to college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, and I knew it probably didn’t look like a desk or being told what to do. I have lamented that part of my personality and path for many years. It would have been so easy to just go to college, get my degree, get a secure and well-paying job. And, I just couldn’t. I tried and tried. I made good grades. It wounded my soul. I wanted to make a difference. I kept feeling pulled away from the formal classroom no matter how hard I wanted to force myself to just do it. I found myself in retail. Everything from management, buying, marketing, merchandising, customer relations, clienteling, and the paperwork. It was a dream. Nothing lit me up more than helping a woman who walked into my store that needed help knowing what to wear to a wedding and how to feel confident in herself. I could dress her up in merchandise I had procured and displayed. It was meaningful. Yet, there weren’t enough of that customer to keep me going. It was no longer interesting to me to sell yet another pair of over-the-knee brown boots and the bag to match. I dabbled in personal training and managing a gym after transforming my own health and body. I loved helping people do the same…and somehow it wasn’t enough either. I knew I was once again in the wrong place. So, I went back to retail for as long as I could. When I couldn’t do it anymore, I decided I would leave retail, go back to school, and wait tables (the #1 college job.) I was taking my core classes while working at the restaurant…and pet/house sitting…and working freelance as a personal assistant. I had a pot on every burner, so to speak. Then, I was involved in two car accidents three months apart and suffered two major concussions that affected me in ways it would take almost a year to fully realize. I was finally in college and enjoying it, and I wasn’t going to be able to finish. Not any time soon, anyway. I was devastated. I went through a major identity crisis. Who was I after all? I did some soul-searching. I ran into an acquaintance who mentioned he had just gotten his real estate license. And out of nowhere, I said, “Oh really? I’ve been thinking of doing that!” And in an instant I wondered, “Gurl, what?” and “OMG THAT’S THE ANSWER.” The stars aligned. The dots connected. Everything made sense. Every skill I learned in business, customer service, sales, operations, personal trial, and even heartbreak had a purpose: to help others fulfill their dreams and follow their path. Everyone needs a place to live. Real Estate gives me purpose. I can fulfill my deep need to help others. I can utilize my sales skills. I can put my best problem-solving to work. I can contribute to the world and my community in a meaningful way. I can be my own boss. I can put literally everything I have ever learned to use. That’s how I got here.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When my best friend came down from Milwaukee to visit, I knew exactly where I wanted to take her! We went for a long walk at Buffalo Bayou and I was so proud to show off this covert hideaway amongst the city jungle. We cooled off afterwards with the best frozen drinks from Voodoo Queen Daiquiri Dive in Eado. On the way, I got to show off just a few of our city’s coolest murals in the East End. The next morning, we had breakfast at Local Foods in the Heights before strolling down 19th St and popping in all the fun antique shops and boutiques (Jubilee and Emerson Rose are 2 of my favorite go-to’s!) I love taking visitors to Urban Eats on Washington and that’s where we had dinner on her second day. On her final morning, we stopped into Mercantile in Montrose for a coffee and so I could show off that Houston has a coffee shop with a huge swing inside! There’s so many great gems in Houston–these are just a few of my favorites.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Tamika Caston-Miller! Owner and creater of Ashe Yoga, Yoga teacher extraordinaire, and founder of the Ranch Houston. Back when I was waiting tables, Tamika and her wife Lenie were regulars and I always looked forward to when they came in! Tamika encouraged me when I was first curious about starting a yoga practice and she really is one of those rare people you meet in life who has a positive impact on everyone who is lucky enough to come into contact with them. She’s the pure essence of positivity and it should be on everyone’s Houston Bucket List to visit The Ranch Houston. @diva_transcending and @theranchhtx

Website: chelsea-realtor.com

Instagram: @chelsearealtorhouston

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