The BLOG: Lifestyle

Holding nothing back: How Cindy Stumpo is re-defining luxury home development

(Photo via Facebook)

(Photo via Facebook)

The Commodores didn’t write the 1977 R&B classic “Brick House” about Cindy Stumpo, but they could have. Their lyrics hammer out much of the story of her life. This general contractor of luxury homes is as gorgeous as the stately mansions she customizes. When you speak with Chestnut Hill’s number one builder, “She let’s it all hang out.” She “ain’t holding nothing back.” “That lady’s stacked and that’s a fact. Her sexy ways; make an old man wish for younger days.” As the song says … “this is how the story goes.”

The blueprint of Cindy Stumpo’s full calendar demands the star of 2010’s “Tough as Nails” HGTV series race between construction sites. Across Brookline and Newton, the blue jean-ed bombshell embraces her passionate obsession with perfection because it transforms her projects into palaces. Anticipating the needs of her clients, she holds nothing back when delivering a dream house to some of Boston’s most notable doctors, high-tech gurus and wealth managers.

Pre-occupied with precision, Cindy lands her jet-black wheels in driveways of the most posh stone temples to polish a newly installed marble floor, then rovers over to the front door of a fortress to oversee installation of sod. Until she hands over a set of multi-million dollar keys to her who’s who of clients and is satisfied that every nuance of the plan she’s designed is as promised, Stumpo sweats the details of absolutely everything in her pedigreed path.

Nothing escapes the watchful eye of the blonde who’s built her platinum reputation over 27 years as a leader in the field dominated by men. Stumpo believes women are under-represented in the approximately 3.8 million construction companies listed by the Better Business Bureau. Pounding the point home in a 2014 TED Talk she said, industry-wide, there are only 200,000 American women working in cross-disciplined construction jobs. Encouraging them to build their futures on their past by being fearless, true to themselves, and tough, she empowers trailblazers of today to join her in the sisterhood of entrepreneurship. Frequently modeling a shrink-wrapped blouse under a tailored blazer of white cinched by a Hermes belt, Stumpo enjoys torching the antiquated notion of people who say to her: “You don’t look like a construction worker.”

In addition to designing lifestyles of lux, Cindy spends her days chasing her crew and sub-contractors from project to project. The man-handler, who can toss an f-bomb with the best of them, says of herself, “I’m in charge of an adult day-care center.” Under a rubble of trash talk, Stumpo lives up to the reputation of those who share her ever-nurturing astrological sign of Cancer. Her loyal and talented employees of 20-plus years are loved. They’re family. The hard-driving dame, and her man-sized collection of elite contractors are at their best when she’s steamrolling them towards the realization of her discerning clientele’s dreams.

The character of Stumpo’s grandest estates is measured in more than bricks and square footage. There’s a visual richness and soul to each of her projects. Unafraid to buck trends, Cindy’s dogmatic, fanatic approach to functional practicality in upscale nests is fundamental to the amalgam of this genius’ work ethic. With an appreciation of old-school excellence, Cindy is always on the job suggesting new homeowners think about accommodations for comfort in old age or an unexpected illness. She thinks, too, of protecting assets in advance of the next real estate bubble’s “deflate-gate.” Although her Chestnut Hill clients tend to be insulated from market fluctuations, Cindy’s experience in the industry’s ups-and-downs add value to her comprehensive service that excels.

Suited in every way to the construals of construction, Stumpo’s foundational relationships also have concrete values. Living without margins, she pours herself into working, laughing, and crying with friends and family 24/7. Mom Bev and dad Bobby are her role models. Her kids, real estate broker Sam, who is a diligent student of her mother’s teachings, and professional golfer Chad are her mortar. Having lost her brother Craig when he was 28, Cindy’s family history coupled with a monumental sense of responsibility towards her parents, her job and her new baby triggered the first of her lifelong anxiety attacks at 26. Rather than hide her chronically debilitating disorder or self-medicate to mask its impact, Cindy takes every opportunity to share her personal crisis in hopes of building an awareness of human fragility saying, “whether we see it on the outside or not, we’re all struggle with something.”

Constant support and encouragement frame the family who grew together through heartaches and lucky breaks. The genes of former burlesque star, raconteur, and board-game impresario Nana were passed along in a simple plan that called for commitment to the business of family. One mantra of Stumpo’s kin is to “transform tragedy into triumph, brick by brick.” Extending that value beyond her own four walls, Cindy lends a hand with her hands-on approach to helping someone help themselves. Named 2014’s “Inspirational Woman of the Year” by Dorchester’s Brookview House, Stumpo sures up the charity dedicated to providing homeless women and their children with a safe place to live while taking skill-building classes to raise self-esteem.

Available construction lots in the landscape of Chestnut Hill, Brookline and Newton are limited. Razing an existing home is often the option of choice to make way for one of Stumpo’s signature-style manse. Redesigning what some perceive as an old man’s sensibilities within the tight community and honoring clients lavish wish lists, C. Stumpo Development uses only the best interior-exterior craftsmen and supply vendors on each project. Personal élan, tenacity, and love of perfection’s esthetic, have earned this namesake company, family and friends the right to rework the Commodore’s lyrics “How can she lose with the stuff she use, she knows she’s built and she knows how to please.” Literally and figuratively, like the super sexy properties she develops, Cindy Stumpo is a “winning hand — she’s a brick house.”

Contact Cindy Stumpo:

Facebook: Cindy Leonard Stumpo
Instagram: stumpocindy

C. Stumpo Management & Development
373 Boylston Street (Route 9 West)
Newton, MA 02459

Telephone: 617 964 5440
Fax: 617 964 5445
Mobile: 617 909 6868

Contact Diane Kilgore at [email protected].