Personal Bio – Your LovingStPete Sherpa

Hope 2022 is off to a great start for each of you! After a vacation and subsequent Covid in the family, we’re back! Ready for a new year of scouting great places to visit!

First, friends suggested Colt and I start 2022 with a personal introduction, as it’s been 14 months since we introduced ourselves and LovingStPete. I’ll begin by noting I’m verbose and I don’t kid myself that people read every detail of our recommendations, however it’s simply something we enjoy. So whether you typically read the details or skim the posts, we still greatly appreciate you following along!

Why I Started LovingStPete

My six year old son (Colt) and I started LovingStPete after Covid lockdown for several reasons. First, I knew what too much family isolation did to Jack Torrance in ‘The Shining’. No, foremost we wanted/want to help Pinellas businesses struggling after a difficult 2020! It’s also provided great #FatherSon time, given Colt a feel for helping others and maybe even some business sense.

He doesn’t ‘get’ the social media aspect (intentionally), as I describe it as a journal of our adventures and supporting others. Doesn’t matter about how many likes/comments, simply promoting local businesses as best we can. My wife already made us a hardback book of our adventures with the posts and pictures. That alone has made it worth it. Finally, I’ve hardly mentioned it, but I’m a Realtor and it’s nice to have the page for clients to learn more about our incredible area! I typically just tag the bottom of the post for a #SoldByBraswell paper trail.

Adventures On Our Avocado Farm

My ‘adventures’ began while growing up in the middle of an avocado farm in South Florida. This meant manual labor together with my dad, mom and sisters during the summer and on weekends during the school year. We picked the 15 varieties from June thru November for shipment to grocery chains. While my mom passed away in 2018 at 76 (man on the moon 50+ years ago, though still difficult to treat pancreatic cancer ) my dad still farms every day at the young age of 86. He was also a Navy pilot and flew 39 years for #DeltaAirlines, which meant we traveled a good bit. #FreeFlights

Developed Vacation Rental Business and Sold to VRBO/HomeAway

After college I developed a vacation rental advertising business, acquired by VRBO/HomeAway after 13 years. I did this in parallel with my real job, customizing corporate financial and HR software. Speaking of which, I’ve recently been on a huge 8 month project, affecting my LSP time. However, it’s going “live” this month! I then plan to focus more on helping people buy/sell property around the Tampa Bay area and trade stocks. I’ve been an avid trader (that doesn’t mean good) since my dad encouraged it in 1997. I did get a shout out this month by a RealMoney/TheStreet author, so maybe there’s hope!?

Experiences over Stuff

As for LovingStPete, Colt and I chose to highlight experiences for you, as our family *tries* to choose experiences over depreciating assets (stuff). For instance, when not wearing a nice suit for clients, I generally simply wear cargo shorts (not cool) and flip flops rather than keep up with $ of changing fashion. I typically march to my own drum and don’t care about ‘cool’ or ‘not cool’. I mean I’m blogging on Facebook/Instagram, exhibit ‘A’, and something my frat brothers busted my chops on for a couple minutes.

However those same buddies know me well and still support. In fact a few even visited this summer for a Pinellas tour (and our Fantasy Football draft). Queue their “what are you doing man?”, calling out my reading glasses on the tip of my nose at Postcard Inn on the Beach happening beach bar. They hang around and support even though I’m a bit different and just don’t care. #FriendshipLitmusTest

What I DO value are EXPERIENCES! I remember the couple weeks living in a dirt floor house in Costa Rica (30 yrs ago), better than my favorite birthday gift. I hope Colt feels the same down the road. He’s been to 6 countries, seeing that some in the world live in huts with dirt floors, but can be as happy or happier than those who live in mansions. – Wife’s Business!

My beautiful wife owns her own business,! She designs (primarily) geographic art for locations worldwide. Lauren Conrad noted her products in a People Magazine feature and made their way onto the shelves of ie HomeGoods. As an only child, she doesn’t necessarily have an issue when Colt and I head out. Time for reading, a puzzle, or cleaning to the Hamilton soundtrack.

Our Adventures: We love supporting independently owned businesses, visiting nature parks, tubing, beach life, amusement parks, playgrounds, local restaurants and much more. Most everything is within 30-40 min of St Pete, otherwise it’s filed in our #LovingStPeteDayTrips category. We have big plans for 2022, with a brewery tour, date night suggestions & much more! If you have ideas, DM me!

Alright, bio is DONE! Onto adventures…

I’m a Tampa Bay Area Real Estate Agent, Florida native and know our area well! I started LovingStPete on Facebook and Instagram to help clients and others learn about our area. It’s now followed by over 15 thousand people! If you have any real estate questions, simply contact me. My past includes developing a vacation rental advertising company, which I ran for a decade, and then sold to HomeAway/VRBO.