PictureWendy Crowe.

Wendy Crowe has been in Mill Valley for 38 years, and has lived what can easily be described as an extremely interesting life. As a result, although Crowe makes her living running her own boutique real estate business, she’s widely known around town for a variety of other reasons.

Along with her husband Eric, Crowe spearheaded the Boyle Park Renovation campaign, a six-year effort that raised $256,000 to help the City of Mill Valley revitalize the courts. For more than 10 years, she worked at the old Sweetwater, first as a waitress and later as owner Jeanie Patterson assistant, a pair of roles that led “to many a night of fantastic music from some of the greats,” she says.

Crowe, a mother of three daughters, is also the arts chair at the Outdoor Art Club and has lately become very involved in the Marin chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America organization.

“I just really believe in giving back to the community as much as you can,” she says.

Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Crowe grew up in Rockland County outside New York City. When she was 17 years old, she moved to Hollywood with her then-boyfriend, a drummer in a local band. That drummer had a bandmate who was a friend of a woman seeking a caretaker for her son, so Crowe took on that job. That young boy, Beck Hansen, would grow up to be Beck, the mononymous, five-time Grammy-winning musician who is widely considered to be one of the most innovative musicians of the past few decades.

The drummer and his bandmates “thought the band would turn into a great success for them,” Crowe says. “It didn’t, but I ended up taking care of Beck and his little brother for two years.”

Crowe also studied architecture while living in Los Angeles, a move that would inform her career choice many years later. She also started working for Starving Students moving company, the then-fledgling company that has grown by leaps and bounds since its debut in 1973. Crowe and her boyfriend moved up to the Bay Area to open a Bay Area location for Starving Students, living first in San Francisco and later moving to Mill Valley in 1980.

“I just fell in love when I moved to San Francisco, and then when i moved to Mill Valley, I was even more in love with this place,” she says. After she realized she didn’t want to be in the moving industry, she began working for Patterson, a dream job.

It was around that time that she realized she was in Mill Valley to stay, a decision that was bolstered by each of her family members’ respective decisions to follow her out to California, including her brother, two sisters, her mom and both sets of grandparents.

As Crowe had children, she went back to school and garnered her degree in developmental psychology from San Francisco State University. She worked for Comforts catering and ran her own licensed home day care center, and also created custom stained glass windows.

“That’s when I started realizing I needed to make more money because daughter was going to college, so I went into real estate in 1999,” she says, starting with a small firm, then onto a couple of larger firms before launching her own indie firm.

Crowe has sold homes all over Marin but in the past few years, she’s branched out into the second home market specifically, helping friends, family and friends of friends find home in places like Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley. That includes her daughter, a design director at Facebook, whom she’s helped buy second homes.

“I go where the works takes me,” she says. “And I love just learning new areas.”

Another daughter, who works in public relations, recently moved back to the Bay Area from New York City and helped her boyfriend, Connecticut native Denzel Allen, open Strength Den MV on Miller Avenue.

Crowe says she simply loves the work of helping people find a home.

“I’m very sentimental about homes – I’ve lived in the same house for 34 years – and I love finding a home for a family to build memories in – just like I’ve been able to build so memories here.”

The 411: Wendy Crowe runs her own boutique real estate agency in Mill Valley. MORE INFO.

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