In the Fall 2013 I was like any other College Senior, I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I was refining my resume, going to major cities on Job Interviews in heels that I had no business being in. I distinctly remember walking out of an interview in Reston Va, removing my shoes and walking barefoot back to my car thinking to myself “what I am doing here, I don’t belong in the city! I belong at the beach in my flip flops. I belong at home.”
When I went back to southern Delaware for a Fall Break that year, I shared my struggles with a neighbor. For the last 4 years I was part of a very special community at Virginia Tech, one where we had a culture of giving back to our Blacksburg community, university and each other. I have never volunteered so much in my life and was always so proud to wear my Orange and Maroon and lived by our university motto, Ut Proism, that I may serve.
I craved for that sense of community to continue throughout the rest of my life, and when my neighbor suggested that I look into Schell Brothers, a local building company in our area, I admit I raised an eyebrow to her. I couldn’t fathom that a company that shared the same principles I had for the last 4 years existed right in my back yard. I spent the rest of the day on the company website, watching the various videos which showcased the pride these people had in their company and their mission. I watched the Extreme Home Makeover Schell edition, where they rebuilt a home and soup kitchen for a local family during a literal hurricane, and they were excited to do so. I was hooked, I needed to be part of this mission, this community, this company!
For the last 7 years I have been with Schell Brothers and honestly couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. I have found my place continuing to help others enrich their lives in the new home build process. During one of my first weeks here, I got to witness a Homeowner get the keys to their new home at Independence. Their home in New Jersey was decimated by Hurricane Sandy. The building of her new home was just not a simple rebuild of property, it represented a new safe start. She cried when she got her keys to her new home. I’ll never forget how happy she was, and it was then when I realized this process represents so much more to people. It is not Tier III granite countertops and hardwood floors. It’s an improvement of a situation. It’s the beginning of the next stage in someone’s life. It’s the culmination of all the hard work over the course of a lifetime that has resulted in not just a dream home, but a dream itself. Nothing in this world gives me more satisfaction than seeing that dream come true for our homeowners.
Outside of work, I am your average Southern Delaware girl. I love being outside, long bike rides on the Breakwater Trail, and being barefoot about 90% of the time (they make me wear shoes to work ;) ) In the summer you can catch me at the drive on at Cape Henlopen State Park with my Husband, Josh, our sweet baby boy Jack and our two pups, Ollie and Stoley. I would say that I love surf fishing because we do it so often, but I am actually terrified at the notion of actually catching something and having to touch it—I leave those tasks up to Josh.
I love Southern Delaware, and honestly couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else. I knew back then that awful pant suits and heels weren’t for me, and every day I know I am blessed when I can wear flip flops on a regular basis. Delaware is my home and I can’t wait to share all the wonderful things about Southern Delaware with you. And if you are a fellow Virginia Tech fan, be sure to greet me with a boisterous “Go Hokies!” and I’ll know that we can talk about how sad we both are that Beamer officially retired.
I know that a new home search can be a huge undertaking but I look forward to both getting to know you while we go through this very special process together. I look forward to showing you what this process should be and of course having fun along the way!
- Grace Hoinowski