It’s here!!! Brilliantly Resilient, the book, has arrived, to rave reviews! Immediately noted as a Hot New Release on Amazon, this book is the perfect gift to give yourself and those you love this holiday season! Order yours today!!!

Get ready to laugh out loud as these two women share their journeys, tools, and stumbled-upon secrets, saving you a seat on their Brilliantly Resilient ride of a lifetime. Kristin and Mary Fran will guide you through life’s “sucker punches” so you too will be brilliant, not broken.

What’s your train wreck? Everyone has one–past, present, or future. Why do some people come through stronger while others never recover? Have you ever thought…

    • This will never get better.
    • I’ll never get through this.
    • I’m not strong enough to handle this.
    • Everyone else is smarter, tougher, more resilient, better than me.
    • I don’t know where to start.
    • My life isn’t close to what I want.
    • I’ll never move up at work.
    • I’m stuck and I don’t see a way out.
    If you’ve ever run at least one of those miserable mantras through your head Kristin Smedley and Mary Fran Bontempo feel your pain. Life has a way of smacking everyone, and sometimes it just sucks. But you don’t have to live there. Kristin and Mary Fran can show you the way up and out, with strategies, tools and tips to help you uncover your Resilience and discover your Brilliance.

Sometimes life just sucks. The question is: Are you just visiting or are you going to live there?                                                                      – Mary Fran Bontempo


Kristin Smedley and Mary Fran Bontempo

Do you want to come through Broken or Brilliant?                            – Kristin Smedley

Welcome to Brilliantly Resilient! We are Mary Fran Bontempo and Kristin Smedley, and we know our Brilliance. But we didn’t always. In fact, we know what it feels like to be lost, afraid, unproductive, unsuccessful and unhappy. That’s a lot of yuck, but without it, there would have been no need for RESILIENCE, the key to uncovering your BRILLIANCE.

We’ve learned our lessons the hard way, with few resources and little guidance. And while the road was rough–like ugly crying rough–we also managed to come through with skills, tools and strategies that helped us not only survive, but thrive, in crisis and beyond.

We want to share what we’ve learned with you, because though the details of challenges may differ, we all have Resilience, and yes, unique Brilliance within each and every one of us. We’re here to help you come through Brilliant, not broken.

So check out our programs, online show, podcast, sign up for our Facebook Community, laugh, learn, and let’s be Brilliantly Resilient together!! 

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Our Programs


Who We Are


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“What a terrific morning! Mary Fran and Kristin did a marvelous job presenting very thought-provoking topics with their touch of humor.”

Joanne C., Brilliantly Resilient LIVE attendee

Mary Fran on TEDx stage


What’s your train wreck? Everyone has one–past, present, or future. Why do some people come through stronger while others never recover?

Hang on for the ride as Mary Fran and Kristin teach you to move beyond crisis to discover your brilliance and resilience, facing challenges with strategies for personal and professional fulfillment and success!

Mary Fran Bontempo and Kristin Smedley

Mary Fran Bontempo and Kristin Smedley know their brilliance. But they didn’t always. In fact, both Kristin and Mary Fran know what it feels like to be lost, afraid, unproductive, unsuccessful and unhappy. That’s a lot of yuck, but without it, there would have been no need for resilience, the key to uncovering your brilliance.   As a young mother, Kristin found herself raising two blind sons, with no idea of how to help them to live vital, successful lives. Mary Fran’s personal and professional lives were right on track, until she learned that her son was a heroin addict. Utterly unprepared to manage either crisis, Kristin and Mary Fran knew only that they would not allow themselves or their children to be defined by the challenges, and they were determined to not only survive, but thrive.

Kristin Smedley

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With two of her three children born blind, Kristin Smedley was thrown into a mother’s nightmare with her dreams for her sons’ futures torn apart. Determined that her boys would become productive, vital individuals, Kristin dove headfirst into uncharted waters to equip her sons with the skills and tools they needed to build successful, happy lives. Kristin partnered with Comcast to encourage and promote equipment for the visually impaired, testified before the FDA for legislation for better services for the blind, founded a non-profit for genetic disease research, delivered a TEDx talk centered on setting Extraordinary Expectations, and wrote a book showing both blind and sighted readers the possibilities that exist with imagination and determination. Kristin’s boundless energy and generous spirit allow her to carry her message of empowerment and hope to audiences beyond the blind community through her motivational speaking and programs. Find her at: www.kristinsmedley.com.

Mary Fran Bontempo

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Mary Fran Bontempo is an award-winning 2-time TEDx speaker, author, humorist and podcast host who teaches audiences to uncover their brilliance and resilience 15 minutes at a time. A sought-after presenter, Mary Fran is author of The 15 Minute Master and The Woman’s Book of Dirty Words and co-founder of the Brilliantly Resilient LIVE show and podcast. Mary Fran proves small changes can create life-altering transformations, allowing individuals to be positive and successful in a rapidly changing world. A Huffington Post, Thrive Global contributor and columnist for numerous websites, Mary Fran created a life-affirming brand of wisdom and wit after meeting the challenge of her son’s heroin addiction. A frequent media guest and speaker for corporate, faith-based, and educational organizations, audiences of all ages delight in her empowering and entertaining message. Find her at www.maryfranbontempo.com.

Our Programs



For more information or to bring BRILLIANTLY RESILIENT to your organization, please contact: howdy@brilliantlyresilient.net

BRILLIANTLY RESILIENT Is empowering content full of practical applications. It is ideal for groups including (but not limited to):

Corporate and Team Meetings, Educational (Student or Administrative), Faith-based Organizations, Conferences, Health Care Organizations, Employee Wellness Days

The program can be presented in various formats including:

Keynote, Workshop Session, Half or full-day Retreats Virtual or In-Person

For info and pricing, contact: howdy@brilliantlyresilient.net.


Brilliantly Resilient offers a message of hope that’s…well…BRILLIANTLY RESILIENT! Read on for media coverage of Brilliantly Resilient!

Creating Brilliantly Resilient Mindsets for Employees


A Message of Empowerment ~ By: Samantha Bambino for the Lower Bucks Times

Southampton’s Mary Fran Bontempo and Ivyland’s Kristin Smedley admit they have “wildly different” personalities. Still, one thing united these unlikely besties – experiencing crises and coming out stronger than ever.

Both women had their respective worlds come crashing down. Bontempo learned her son was a heroin addict on Mother’s Day 2010, while two of Smedley’s three children were born with a rare blindness. Neither was prepared for these unprecedented hurdles, but both found ways to empower themselves and their families.

“We’re aware that our stories are pretty extreme. Not many people are waking up to find out they have a heroin addict, although I’d say a lot of people are now getting that phone call. And not many people are going through blindness, but we relate it,” Smedley said. “We share where we’ve been and what we did with it.”

According to Bontempo, whose son is currently doing well after a pain medication overdose, everyone has a decision to make when life throws a curve ball. Read more…