When you meet Esther Caulton, a soft-spoken woman with gentle mannerisms, you don’t see the iron inside. Rather than forged in the fire, perhaps her iron was forged in the cold. Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Esther became very independent and determined at an early age. No parent drop off or school bus for this city girl—she took the subway to school.
Esther also fell in love with languages early on. She had opportunities to study English in England during the summers. And in 1988, her parents sent 15-year-old Esther as an exchange student to Florida for a year. The experience exceeded her expectations.
Since her mother worked for the Swedish State Department, Esther hoped she would seek an assignment at the Embassy of Sweden in Washington, D.C. In 1990, she acquired a threeyear posting, just as Esther was accepted to a college-prep foreign language program.
During her time in the United States, Esther experienced larger and more diverse opportunities than she would have in Sweden. After earning the equivalent of a Master’s in Education in her home country, Esther jumped into life. With her suitcase, determination, mastery of several languages and a J-1 trainee visa, Esther left for Washington, D.C.
Almost immediately, this iron-willed young woman applied to several private schools. Subsequently, she was hired as an intern teacher at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School. She stayed on permanently as a French, Latin, basic modern Hebrew, and basic Spanish teacher, and the school sponsored her green card helping her on the path to US citizenship in 2008.
Although Esther loves languages, teaching them wasn’t her passion. She knew there was something else for her. When she and her new husband bought a home, Esther was enamored with the process and fascinated with every detail.
After studying during pregnancy with her second child, Esther became a Realtor in 2010. “The slow market at the time gave me an opportunity to get my bearings,” Esther said. Using her diplomatic community connections, she became somewhat of a relocation expert. “I was working mostly with high-end rentals for embassy staff,” Esther said. “But that grew into buyers.”
Success grew as Esther and her family moved from Montgomery County to Frederick County. “I’m not an overnight success,” she said. “Real estate isn’t like that. I’ve been growing my business for thirteen years...there were a lot of transferable skills and knowledge that came from teaching.”
Esther says she’s still a teacher in several ways for both new and experienced buyers and sellers. Teaching and her mother’s job in diplomatic protocol for the Swedish State Department provided organization and people skills. In their reviews, clients comment on her communication skills of clarity and understanding, along with her thorough and deliberate research.
“My father was a government lawyer, but had a love for interior design and he liked to take my sister and me to visit castles, historic churches and state buildings every other weekend. At 20, I subscribed to Architectural Digest, Elle Decor and a Swedish design magazine. I obviously inherited the love for design and architecture as well as my attention to details and contracts from my father.”
Based on her past and her dreams, Esther became a real estate broker in 2022. As a lifelong learner, she sees this as a new opportunity and creative outlet. She wanted a local presence and wanted the opportunity to continue teaching and guiding new agents. As an independent woman believing in the American Dream, it’s also not surprising that one of her reasons was wanting something that was uniquely hers.
Creativity runs in Esther’s family. Her husband is the marketing arm of the brokerage. He photographs all her listings and finalizes her advertising. His drone photo from above their home in Brunswick, facing the Harpers Ferry Gap, is the basis of the company’s logo. In establishing her visual brand, Esther sent the photo to a logo designer in Kyiv, Ukraine. Since the work was initiated in March, 2022, there were days when they weren’t even sure if the designer was still alive.
Depicting the scenic beauty of Brunswick in her logo was important to Esther because she was in love with the town and all its potential. As part of her real estate practice, she’s created a Facebook page called Brunswick Maryland Living to highlight businesses and people in the community; and, of course, her listings. Given her international background, it’s no wonder Esther also thinks rather globally. Even though she lives in southwest Frederick County, Esther loves working with clients throughout the entire county and DMV region.
Whether changing careers or your home, the factors that influenced Esther’s changes apply to anyone. “Trust your gut. You’ll know inside of you if it’s right,” she says. “Dare to take the leap. Think about ten years from now. Do you want to be working or living where you are now? Satisfaction won’t be immediate, but it’s the growth that matters.” EstherCaulton.com