We had the good fortune of connecting with Athena Brownson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Athena, how do you think about risk?
I have to say that growing up in my household our motto for really everything was “fast is fun, faster is funner, fastest is funnest”, from this motto I think one can gain two important things about myself and my family. First, grammar is clearly not our strong suit, but more importantly, second we were far from being risk adverse and in fact we tend to be thrill seekers in all ventures we encounter in life. My father was a professional speed skier turned race car driver so naturally I grew up watching him go as fast as humanly possible at all times and as such I have always viewed risk as the best means to reap reward. At age 11 I set a world record for the fastest 11 year old recorded on skis at 87 mph and went on to have a professional skiing career competing in slopestyle and big air competitions around the world where if you were not willing to put it all on the line than there was no career. Well 9 knee surgeries and a broken neck later, I tend to be physically more risk adverse but have a strong mentality that the best things in life come when you are uncomfortable and that he or she who is willing to take risks are those that will find success in life and kick a dent in history. I am a firm believer that I am the most successful version of myself when I am a bit uncomfortable and as such I find that taking risks is a huge part of the way I live my life. I have always been quick to make decisions and truly believe that even if you try something and “fail” it really is not actually failure but an opportunity to learn and grow and thus one should always take risks.
What should our readers know about your business?
Well I am a Real Estate Broker and team principle of The Vesta Collective at Compass. I have also recently ventured into the world of residential property development which I could not be more excited about as it is something my family has done for decades and it truly feels like an opportunity to pass on their legacy and create a lasting impact and mark on the city of Denver in which I love so much. I grew up in a family of residential real estate developers and interior designers and never in a million years thought I would end up in Real Estate, but looking back this experience is what sets me apart as I understand the creation of the home from start to finish. Coming from an athletic background, competition and hard work is also in my blood. I have a tendency to work obsessively and I am grateful to have a job I love so much that I want to be working on it nonstop. I think it is rare to find a profession that you are truly passionate about and I feel so grateful everyday that I love what I do. Is it easy? No, it is a struggle sometimes as I think there are struggles in any path we take in life but if you love what you do than the struggle is worth it. Late nights, emotional roller coasters, working 7 days a week, highs and lows with clients it will always occur but through hardship and trial and error you learn how to be the best version of yourself for yourself and your clients. I have learned the value of surrounding yourself with people who are also striving to be there best, the value of setting boundaries and having accountability partners and that no matter what there will be mistakes made and the best thing we can do is dust ourselves off and keep pushing forward. I want the world to know that I genuinely care about what I do and how grateful I am to have the opportunity to be a part of peoples lives through Real Estate. I want my team The Vesta Collective to be known for providing the best service possible and for being a wealth of resources for our clients long after our transaction is over.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Man oh man so much to do so little time!! Obviously the last year has changed many of our habits as restaurants and businesses struggle to survive a global pandemic, however with this I think there is a whole new appreciation for all our city has to offer, along with some really creative new businesses entering all parts of city and how exciting that is! Everyday I hear of a new business opening that I can’t wait to see so I would happily explore some of my traditional favorites along with new businesses that I have not had the opportunity to see yet. Living in the Wash Park neighborhood myself I would without a doubt take my friend for a walk around the park with my dogs and maybe a picnic with sandwiches and treats from Devils Food Bakery which is right now the street and filled with delicious treats. I would absolutely take them down to workout with my amazing trainer Taylor at Resilience Code and follow it up with an IV from IV code which is a lifesaver for me as someone dealing with chronic illnesses. Being that our Compass office is in Cherry Creek I would likely book a room at the Halcyon for a night or two and enjoy a staycation complete with pool time on the roof, some delicious brunch at Narrative or Le Bibloquet and of course a little retail therapy at Gabarini. Lastly I would give them a tour of RiNo and LoHi likely route of several coffee shops such as Allegro, Black Eyed Coffee, Nurture or Death and Co. To round out the week vacation I would love to take them to the mountains for a couple of days preferably during the week to enjoy Colorado in its entirety. I would love to take them to Breckenridge and stay with my family, eat bagels from Clints and dinner at either Giam Petros or the Briar Rose. I would happily send them skiing with my parents who are in their 70’s and still ski every day or have them enjoy a relaxing day complete with a massage and maybe a hot toddy. Of course the list could go on and on but I think this would be a lovely way to experience all that Colorado has to offer and experience a wide variety of what our state offers!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Wow, I could not possibly agree with this statement any more. I believe with all of my being that you are as successful as those you surround yourself by and as such I would be nowhere if it were not for the incredible humans I have had in my life to teach me, push me to be my best and encourage me to push forward even when it feels impossible. When it comes to Real Estate I would be nowhere without my first mentors who were John Stegner and Charlotte Durham who were my mentors and business partners at the first Brokerage I was with, The New Era Group. These two are some of the kindest and hardest working people I have ever met and they allowed me to tag along on showings and appointments when I was first licensed and taught me the value of relationship based business and hard work. Their mentorship was invaluable and I owe my success in Real Estate to them hands down. I am so grateful to now be able to do the same and provide mentorship to my teammates who are all incredibly talented and hardworking newer agents. I am always seeking mentorship through humans whom I admire be it through friendships, Books, Podcasts or my coaching program Core. I believe that surrounding ourselves in these resources provides the mindset and opportunity to accomplish anything you can set your mind to.
Photos by Kassia Phoy inside Charley & Co.