Christa McKamy Joins Braustin: A “Meet the Team” Series
At the beginning of this month, Braustin welcomed its newest member to the sales team, Christa McKamy. Today we’ll learn a little about who she is and just how she got to where she is now.
Born in Austin, TX, Christa’s family moved to San Antonio early on, buying a mobile home on the South side of San Antonio where she would live until graduating high school in 2011.
Christa got her first job at Texas’ favorite grocery store, H-E-B, where she worked evenings and weekends as well as the summer following high school.
“I knew that I always wanted to do something bigger, so I guess going with the trend of what everyone else was doing, I wanted to go to A&M,” she says, having done an internship at College Station the summer before junior year.
“My major was Bio-Medical Sciences. I just majored in too many hardcore classes. I knew then that school just wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to be in school for the next 16 years of my life.”
Having always been interested in hair and make-up styling, she decided to enroll in the AVEDA Institute in San Antonio and pursue a career in cosmetology school. Soon into this education Christa discovered she was pregnant with her first child. She graduated school and obtained her license, giving birth to her son two weeks later.
“Only four weeks after my son was born, I started job hunting for my first apprenticing job for hair. I actually really enjoyed doing that. The money just didn’t make up for the time I was putting into it,” she says.
A few months after working for a prestigious salon for minimum wage and chance commissions, Christa was hired at a large, local mobile home dealership to do miscellaneous administrative work with a higher wage and more reliable hours. A few months later, in January of 2017, a small team moved into a single office to develop and launch a strictly online division of the company.
“I felt like just a different kind of light was there. And I was drawn to that light. I kept trying to squeeze into the little thing they had going on and eventually [Alberto Piña] interviewed me and I started as the Operations Manager,” she says, “I was able to do everything with them in those three years that didn’t even seem fathomable. I got my first home, a good car, a savings account. But it all set me up to be prepared for what happened next.”
As you can read about here and here, Alberto and his team were very successful, but in November of 2016, the entire division was cut, and the highest paid individuals, including Christa, were laid off.
With her second child only two months old and a new home mortgage not much older than that, life was suddenly very unstable.
“I ended up kind of going into a depression not knowing what the next step in life was.”
But refusing to let failure become an option, Christa soon interviewed with another big name in the manufactured home industry and began there as Operations Manager in January of 2017. With her background in the business model of her previous division, it was the first time Christa would encounter the more traditional practices of mobile home sales.
“It was a system that was opposite from everything that I knew.”
For the next year, Christa would persist in a less than ideal job, determined to succeed in any way possible. In addition to the duties she had already learned, she would be given tasks in accounting and eventually the opportunity to make her own home sales.
A few months into 2018, she got a call from the company she had been previously laid off from offering her a sales position.
“It wasn’t an easy decision because of the past,” Christa says.
But, believing the job offer was part of a bigger plan, she accepted and started over once again. By her second month, Christa stayed in the top tier of the sales team and gained confidence in her own ability to be successful without the guaranteed salary of a manager.
“It was a true learning experience and I think it really prepared me for this next step,” she says.
From the time of being laid off, Christa continued to keep in touch with Alberto, and followed the growth of Braustin Mobile Homes. After almost a full year of learning the ropes in sales, she got the chance to make the switch, and become a member of the Braustin team.
“Long term I knew that they would just be light-years ahead of where everyone else was in our industry,” Christa says, in response to why she would take on the risk of working with a young start-up. “It’s so much more than just the dollar at the end of the day. It’s about being around like-minded people that want to grow. That have a passion,” she continues.
Only a few days into her new position with many members of her old team, Christa is looking forward to growing with the company and helping families become homeowners with a team all focused on the same goal.
I asked her if there was anything else she wanted to add, and here’s what she said:
“I was always shy and embarrassed about growing up in a mobile home, not realizing kids I went to school with lived the same way—if not homeless or in and out of low income housing. And now I see families have a need for affordable housing just the way my mom did when I was little. Having a home really meant stability in our family for a long time. And now I’m back in the Southside community getting to help my generation provide a home and stability for their family.”
Well, it seems life has come full circle for Christa and we’re certainly happy to have her on the team.