Enjoying the Spice of Life: Steven Kinsey of Starfire Direct

Working on cars, riding motorcycles, indoor-skydiving, skateboarding—these are just some of the ways in which Steven Kinsey likes to unwind after a long day at the Starfire Direct sales office. An impulsive guy by nature, Steven loves to change things up and fly by the seat of his pants. Adaptable and quick on his feet, he lives life in the moment, knowing in every situation that spontaneity and change really is the spice life needs. His impulsive nature often finds its way into his friendships as well. When someone needs help, Steven will jump in without a second thought. As he dances through life—relishing each moment—he wants nothing more than for others to live their truths as well. “I sincerely avoid asking the question ‘How are you?’ because the first answer people give is usually a lie,” Steven muses, “Ask like you mean it. I’ll usually say, ‘Tell me something new about yourself’ or something along those lines. I am genuinely interested in people and their well-being.”

Steven has been with Starfire Direct for just over two years. As Steven looks back on his relatively short time with the company, he remembers being approached by Starfire Direct CEO Jonathan Burlingham while he was working at a company around the corner from SD headquarters. “I’ve known Jon for over a decade, so when he approached me about coming to work in the warehouse at his company....I said, ‘Let’s do it.’” Along the way, Steven learned the processes and thrived in his position—all the while setting records in the warehouse and helping to make it more efficient. When Jon saw Steven’s gift of gab, he presented Steven with the opportunity to move over to the sales team—a position he had never before held—and of course, Steven took it and ran with it.

To date, Steven has officially been a Junior Hearth and Patio Specialist on the sales team for about a year. In just 10 months of starting the new position, he set record numbers. Even with the unconventional hybrid schedule that was put into place due to the pandemic, Steven was able to bring in an incredible $1.6 million in sales—making him the lead sales rep for 2020. In a nutshell, Steven’s job is to be available for customers regarding their projects. Using his expertise and knowledge from his time in the warehouse and his personal passion for building things, Steven is able to point customers in the right direction to the perfect product for their envisioned project.

Left: Steven and his wife, Courtney, taking a drive on Steven's motorcycle, and Right: The couple strolling along a beach.

Besides his love of cars—building them, working on them, and driving them—Steven also has had a love of music from a very young age. From vocals to piano, brass, and woodwind instruments, Steven has been playing music since he was six years old. Always curious about the technical side of things, Steven has the unique ability to utilize the rational and logical left brain with the more artistic and intuitive right brain. This synthesis is never more apparent than when Steven is making music. “In music [composition], you have to get your technical brain involved with your emotional brain. It is cause and effect translated into music. There is an evolution of emotion that occurs from one chord to another” Steven adds, “one change of a note can make someone feel happy or sad, or anxious. That’s really interesting to me and that’s how I write my music.” Steven’s right-left brain synthesis comes in handy in many other areas of his life—including his work with the beautiful and very technical fire-related products that Starfire Direct sells.

Left: The Kinseys celebrating the purchase of their first home, and Right: Steven's beloved Subaru.

Beside every impulsive and adventurous man there should always be a grounded and loving woman to balance him out. Steven and Courtney met in 2015. For this couple, the phrase “opposites attract” has never rung truer. “She is the Queen of Compromise,” Steven reflects, “She supports me in all my crazy endeavors. She is forgiving and patient—she balances me out perfectly.” In all the ways that Steven is spontaneous and risk-taking, Courtney prefers comfort and consistency. But when Steven popped the big question—after coming out of an indoor skydiving tube of all places—Courtney agreed to take the most important “leap of faith” the two would ever take. Steven and Courtney were married in 2017 and proudly bought their first house in 2019, where they currently live with their four fur babies—three rescue dogs and a cat.

Main Image: Steven enjoying a ride down a quiet California road.


Katrina McBreen