Wife. Mom. Local TV host. And now, one of the only female licensed auctioneers in the state. Erin Kienzle won’t boast that she’s a woman who can do it all, but she’s found a way to fulfill her dreams — even accomplish new ones later in life — and be happy doing it.
Since 2015, Kienzle has co-hosted Lowcountry Live with Tom Crawford, the city’s most sought-after auctioneer. Serving as a describer, Kienzle worked alongside Crawford on an average of nearly 40 annual events, and, last year alone, they raised more than $10 million.
“Tom was the one who said I need to get my license. He had so much work and needed someone else,” Kienzle noted. “Did I grow up saying I wanted to be an auctioneer? Never. But last fall I went to auction school, and now I love it.”
The classes in Simpsonville, South Carolina took Kienzle away from her family for 80 hours in 2018 and lasted from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. She went to cattle auctions, car shows and more, then took her test to be a licensed auctioneer in South Carolina.
“I’m pretty good at it. It’s a powerful moment to get up there and raise so much money so quickly for these nonprofits like SEWE, The Point, Gourmet and Grapes and The Chocolate Affair,” she said.
For the past 20 years, Kienzle has worked in television around the country: first as a reporter, then as a meteorologist. But Lowcountry Live is her home. “The show isn’t news; it’s a lifestyle. It’s fun. Every day is different, and we have 2,000 guests a year, so you get to meet everybody,” she said. “Tom and I say we’ve never been this happy working in TV.”
When she’s not raising money or hosting Lowcountry Live, Erin, along with her husband, raises four daughters. The 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. schedule allows her the flexibility to pick up “the super sister squad” from school almost every day.
“I still think all of us as moms struggle with mom guilt. I can’t go on field trips or have lunches every day and feel bad about that always,” admitted Kienzle. “But I remind myself that doing a job I love and finding something later in life that I love is success. I’m showing my daughters that finding your own passion, your own career and doing something you love makes all the difference. I’m a better mom for them. I’m a happier mom.”
By Teri Errico Griffis