My team is an amazing carefully selected handful of magic-makers! I love to acknowledge their skill, encourage their passion and share with you what they bring to Team Crispinaffrench. It is always so nice to have a name and a face that match up with the interactions we share here. My goal to share behind the scenes, real-life business acumen begins with team introductions – there is just no way I could be where I am today without the amazing talents of these special people! Today we kick off a new feature, introducing each team member here. So, my friends, fans, followers and family, this is Brooke Bridges! She started with me as my Visual Communications Manager and has morphed into much more than that. While you delve into learning all about what Brooke brings to the table, let me ponder an appropriate title for this gorgeous powerhouse!
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Hi All! My name is Brooke Bridges. I do quite a lot over here at CRISPINA, and I think one of the reasons I resonate so greatly with Crispina and her work is due to what I accomplish and the dreams I have in my own life.
I am originally from Los Angeles California and I moved to the Berkshires in October of 2017. I moved here because I needed a change. Los Angeles just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. From the traffic, to the fast-paced lifestyle… I felt like I needed to slow down to truly get in touch with myself. The Berkshires is the perfect place for that. My mother grew up in Lee, and had moved back a couple years prior and had been trying to get me out this way ever since. Being in the entertainment industry I didn’t want to leave it behind; but finally I obliged.
The year that I got here was incredibly difficult for me. The major shift in environment, in people, and in career was shocking to my system. I started off at Canyon Ranch because I have years of hospitality industry experience, and after a year of being there I knew it was time to leave.
That’s when I met Crispina! I was doing a photoshoot for Braiseworthy - a meal prep food company based in Pittsfield, as I am also a photographer, and Crispina walked in to try some of the food. That’s when she asked me
“Hey photographer girl, can you shoot anything other than food?”
And I could, so I applied for the open position, and here I am.
Now, my main focus in my life is mental health. Like I previously mentioned about getting here, and the shock to my system, it was also quite the downward spiral for me. I went into a deep depression in the middle of winter, and didn’t think I’d make it out. I realized at a certain point that it was do or die - I had to decide whether or not I could survive. I know that sounds dramatic, but when you’re in the depths of depression, anxiety, hopelessness…nothing makes sense anymore.
I decided that day that I’d take the 2.5 hour trip to Belmont and check myself in to a 2-week residential treatment facility. I had been given a diagnosis, and I took that and ran with it - finding a way to heal myself so that I can live the life I’ve always wanted to. That’s also when I started knitting. Knitting was the mindfulness practice I decided to use during our quiet mindfulness practice times at the residential center. That’s also when I realized that crafting and making with your hands is about much more than just making. It’s about mindfulness and connection to your center. It’s a meditative practice.
From there, I built up a toolbox of clinical skills, spiritual practices, health + wellness skills, and I paid a lot of attention to my diet and my nutritional needs. I am also a personal chef at Your In-Home Chef, where I focus more on the whole person, rather than simply the food in order to lose a couple of pounds. Our mental health is truly the only thing we need to focus on. When that is taken care of, everything else seems to fall into place.
Now, I am also a mental health speaker. I speak primarily to children aged 11-17, or middle school and high school, and their parents, teachers, athletic directors, school nurses, etc. through an organization called Minding Your Mind.
Crispina and I share many of the same practices such as meditation, yoga and fitness, healthy eating, intentional living, and crafting. Those are things I resonate with deeply that have helped me survive the battle that mental illness presents in one’s life. With those skills I share my story in hopes that what I’ve learned and the darkness I have gone through will help others avoid that same darkness, and utilize skills that will truly benefit them in the long run!
If you know of any schools or organizations either in New England, or in California (I will be living bicoastal) that could benefit from these presentations, please let me know! I am always seeking to speak more, to share my knowledge, and to help others improve their quality of life by gaining access to valuable resources.
Take a look at my speaking website here: