5 Under 40: Brandy Pingsterhaus

Edited by Melissa Mauzy
Portrait Photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton


SLHL: Please share an experience that was a major influence on your career decision.
Brandy: I wouldn't say there was one experience but more of a life-time of experiences. Construction has always been a large part of my life. Growing up my parents bought rental homes and many of our Saturdays were spent remodeling them. I remember sitting up in the trusses helping my dad install the bracing when I was just in grade school. Working together on these projects was our "quality family time." 

SLHL: What has been the biggest compliment you've received in your career?
Brandy: My greatest compliment was being asked to represent my graduating class at Washington University's graduation. For the whole school ceremony only one of the top students from each department had the honor to walk across Beaumont Pavilion to receive a diploma. To me that was the crowning moment to my college career. 

SLHL: Who has been the biggest influencer in your career?
Brandy: My mother, Jeannie Brendel, is the biggest influence in my career. She went back to school to study architecture when I was 2 years old. I watched her work full time, raise three children and achieve her dream. Working alongside her now for 18 years, she has taught me everything about the business from bookkeeping to marketing, to construction management and design. She is truly an inspiration! 

SLHL: What was a project or experience that was a turning point in your career?
Brandy: The turning point in my career was the inception of Architecturally Designed Cabinetry, Inc. During this endeavor, I gained the confidence to take charge. I began meeting with clients, designing kitchens and baths, negotiating bids and managing projects. Once I earned my architectural license, that self-assurance thrived at Brendel Architects as well. 

SLHL: Tell us a story from your childhood where your creative design genius kicked in.
Brandy: When I was about 8 years old I was building a fence with my dad. We had been working on it for a while and there was one piece that he couldn't get to fit. After looking at it with him I came up with the solution and together we finished the fence. Sometimes it takes another perspective to bring the project together. 

SLHL: What does it take to achieve a high level of success before 40?
Brandy: Hard work, dedication and a goal! Working every day without a goal is like running a race with no finish line. If there is no sense of achievement why would anyone push the bar higher? It also takes a great support system. I would not be where I am today without my husband and my parents! 

Get to know our other 5 Under 40 winners.