Thank you to our generous sponsor of this months Meet a Mom series
Kristin Krieger of Coldwell Banker, Frewen Reality
This weeks Meet a Mom is multi-faceted to say the least! Brandi Johnson has so many talents, it is tough to keep track. Want to redo a space in your home? She will start thinking of how to re-design the space the moment she walks in! Are you looking for unique rentals for an upcoming event or wedding? Brandi and her business partner offer gorgeous, vintage pieces for that very event!
Need advice on your health and wellness? She can recommend a workout or discuss ways she battled a year long fight with Lyme disease. Want to talk about farm life? Yes, you guessed it – she can do that too! Brandi and her family, have a horse (Charlie) & two miniature donkeys (Ringo & Clementine) on their beautiful property right in Mason. Don’t forget Rosie & Fancy too, the cutest Jack Russell Terrier and cat that are famous in her Insta stories♥
To say we are inspired by all that Brandi does would be an understatement. She is a breath of fresh air, keeps it real and keeps you laughing along the way. Welcome, Brandi!
Hi Brandi, Please introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Brandi! Over the last six years, I’ve been self employed in several different businesses. I’m a health and wellness coach, owned a vintage store in Old Town Lansing, own Brandi Johnson Design, co-own Shenandoah Rents, and also help manage/design in our family remodeling business. I have two children, a 15 year old son and a 10 year old daughter that we’re homeschooling the rest of this school year. To say I wear many hats is an understatement, but I absolutely love creating and growing.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in the Lansing area?
I grew up in Mason, fell in love with my husband in 8th grade, and we moved back to this area after college to raise our kids here. We just celebrated 18 years of marriage this year!I have lived in the Lansing area my whole life, with the exception of my college years. I was the typical “I’m never coming back to this boring small town” girl that went away to college, grew up a little, and realized my hometown was in fact the perfect place to raise children … so, I ate my words and have been mostly grateful ever since.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages? What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
I have two children, a 15 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. Parenting is humbling, challenging, the hardest job I’ve ever had, and by far the most rewarding. My favorite thing about being a mom is seeing who they’re becoming and having the “real” conversations. I can honestly say they make me a better person, even when I haven’t always thought I needed to change!
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
With our kids ages, it’s now easier for me to remember what it was like for me at that age or stage. I take a lot of comfort in reminding myself of my own path or how I felt at that stage .. and then when that doesn’t lend comfort, I call my parents. They live close and are my best friends!
What do you love about living in the Greater Lansing area? What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop in the area ?
I love the Greater Lansing area because of our central location. I love that I can live on 6 acres in the country with animals but then be in Ann Arbor or Grand Rapids in an hour, one of our Great Lakes in a couple of hours, or hop over to MSU in 15 minutes.
I absolutely adore EnVie in downtown Lansing. The ambiance and menu is to die for .. & the cocktails!
I love incorporating vintage into design and had a vintage store in Old Town Lansing for a short while, so I love to shop the vintage stores for a little escape. Maple Street Mall, Timeless Treasures, & Simply Vintage Marketplace in Mason are my frequent stops. Little Red Schoolhouse and Mega Mall in Lansing are next, and if I head out of our area a bit further, Livingston Antique Mall and Like Mother Like Daughter owned by my two friends, Jordan & Jada, in Howell are highly recommended.
You’re a mompreneur! Tell us about Brandi Johnson Design and how you got started?
I’ve always joked that I’m a serial entrepreneur and I’m always looking for new things to keep my brain hopping. I absolutely love a good challenge and I think it’s really important to get uncomfortable. I’ve always had an eye for design and we also have a remodeling business, so Brandi Johnson Design was a natural evolution. For me, it’s very much my creative outlet and my “fun.”
You also have a brand new adventure, Shenandoah Rents! Tell us about this as well!
I do! What’s one more business, right? My close friend, Amy, started Shenandoah Rents several years ago and the business had grown to a point where it really needed more hands on deck. We joined forces and specialize in curated rental pieces for special events – our largest clientele base being weddings, and have a large inventory collection. Amy & I are both creatives with design backgrounds so it’s been really fun bringing style into the rental world to help our clients create showstopping, wower events. I don’t think wower is a word but it should be!
We’re big on self-care for moms, as hard as it is to find the time, what’s something you do just for yourself?
Right now, getting an uninterrupted workout in at least 3 times a week and reading are my favorite ways to take time for myself. I’m also a horse girl so when the weather cooperates, my time in the barn has always been my escape for grounding. Now that my kids are getting older and busier, I’m hopeful that I can even get back in the horse show ring one day!
Now some fun ones!
Favorite beauty product-
Roccoco Botanicals skin care from local esthetician Erin Darden @ Lavender Esthetics, L’Oréal Volumizing mascara, and
Dr Bronners organic peppermint chapstick are my must haves!
Favorite color to design with-
I’m a big fan of tonal whites and/or moody colors. My designs always have a lot of texture and a cleanliness to them, and I absolutely love creating a space that is soothing while also feeling crisp. I think there is so much beauty in simplicity.
Last book you read-
I have lived a thousand years by Livia Bitton-Jackson, an autobiography of a Holocaust survivor. I’m currently reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I read The Handmaid’s Tale in college! (talk about feeling old)
One thing people would be surprised to know about you-
I started college pre-med (PA), graduated with a degree in marketing, and highly considered law school after graduation. I’ve always been a very weird mix of creative & business brain!
But I think most people that meet me now would be very surprised to know that I was largely bedridden by Chronic Lyme Disease in 2018. I flew to Germany for intensive inpatient treatment that included extreme whole body hyperthermia in March of 2019 and it saved my life. I’m forever grateful and it gave me a whole different perspective on life.
Last question, who are your mentors in this business or in general?
That’s a really interesting question. Most people are inspired by other designs or designers for their own spaces, but I actually lose creativity when I follow other designers. My work is a feeling. I often work off of a homeowner or family’s energy or the feeling I get from the house. Design has to match the vibe. I don’t know that I have a mentor in general, but I certainly couldn’t do this without the constant support of my husband. I can come up with the most random, ridiculous, wacky idea and he’s like, “hmm, okay. Why not? Let’s do it!!”
Best places for our followers to find out more information about you –
Instagram @thatbrandirae @shenandoahrents
Facebook Brandi Buchman Johnson
Website www.brandijohnsondesign.com & www.shenandoahrents.com