Saturday, May 18, 2024

FAST FIVE: Holly Hansen's happy heart of service

Staff Writer | February 10, 2024 1:00 AM

Meet Holly Hansen, a fourth-generation Idahoan. Born in Coeur d’Alene, but having moved all over the Pacific Northwest, including a couple of foreign countries, she returned to her roots to start a business and family. Holly lives with her husband, Michael, who was born and raised in Peru and their son Leland, now 12 years old (fifth-generation North Idaho!) in downtown Coeur d’Alene. With a master’s degree from Gonzaga University, Holly is an entrepreneur at heart. She and her husband started Ruby Frog Entertainment, a DJ/entertainment company that has been in business in Coeur d’Alene for over 19 years, she’s a full-time real estate agent with Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty and claims to have satisfied her “shoe habit” by starting a successful Peruvian import leather shoe business called Eleanor’s. Holly is also a philanthropist with her passions being helping people struggling with cancer, companion animals and her country.

1) How long have you been at Windermere, and what are a few things you love about working in real estate?
I joined my mom at Windermere Coeur d’Alene Realty in 2014, after I returned home from basic training in the Air Force. Getting to work with my mom — my best friend — and being a top producer in our industry has been a blessing! We get to help people with one of the most stressful parts of life: selling, buying and moving. There are never two days that are the same and we both love a challenge. Recently my husband joined us and while working for yourself can be difficult, working with family makes it better. For the people we serve we have become their “go to” resource for anything real estate related and we love that! So many clients have turned into friends and every single one of them continues to enrich our lives.

2) When and why did Help Every Little Paw (H.E.L.P.) form?
My family started Help Every Little Paw as a response to what my mom and I were finding when showing homes back in 2008, when there were a lot of short sales and bank owned sales in the market. People would move and leave their beloved pets behind, not able to take them with them to their new living situation. Often, they just couldn’t afford to keep them. We would walk into a vacant home and find an abandoned pet, open bag of pet food and the toilet seat up. It was sad. Now H.E.L.P. is a thriving nonprofit organization, volunteer run, that is dedicated to the health and happiness of all pets. While we do acquire a few small grants throughout the year, our largest fundraiser of the year is the Bartender’s Ball which will be taking place Saturday, March 2, at the Coeur d’Alene Casino. This event funds 100% of the emergency medical attention program.

3) What makes the Bartenders' Ball special, and why might those 21 and older want to attend?
This fundraiser is about having a great time while supporting a wonderful cause. We invite the area’s leading bars/caterers to come and serve a sample of their finest in hopes of winning cash, awards and the coveted Bartenders' Ball trophy. There is a panel of judges but the almost 400 attendees also have a vote. It’s like an all-you-can-eat of the area’s best drinks and appetizers in one event! If that wasn’t enough, the liquor sponsor, Dean Opsal and his Beam Suntory team, serve samples of their products all night long! Our host, the Coeur d’Alene Casino, has graciously set aside a large block of rooms available for anyone who wishes to indulge. I glow with pride to note, with thanks to our generous sponsors and the countless volunteer hours our planning committee puts in, that 100% of the money raised at this event goes to the cause! You can find more information about this nonprofit and the event, at

4) What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
• My family and I LOVE to travel. I have visited 34 countries so far, 27 of them with my husband and son!
• I have been a scuba diver since I was 22 and now enjoy diving with my husband and son.
• I taught myself to speak Japanese when I was a teenager and visited the country twice before the age of 20 and I am conversationally fluent in Spanish (comes in handy with a husband from Peru and a son who is fluent).
• I was homeschooled my entire life and now so is my son.
• I am an officer in the Air National Guard and serve at Fairchild Air Force Base in the Public Affairs office. I joined the Air Force and left for basic training when I was 34 years old.
• I plan another huge fundraiser that takes place in the fall called Bras on Dudes which raises money for local people battling cancer. For more information about this awesome event, visit

5) What do you do for fun, when you're not helping people with real estate needs or raising money for worthy causes?
I like to travel the world with my family, experiencing different cultures and new foods. When at home I simply love to spend time with my family and our two rescue dogs, Lula and Peaches!