Beals is the owner of Magnolias Boutique in Seabrook and co-owner of Lochaerie Resort in Amanda Park. “Like most moms, I do a little bit of everything, but these days I manage the business end of my boutique remotely, taking care of the buying and social media and making sure the books are balanced and the lights stay on.”
Mom to: Grey, 11, and Evie, 9
Hometown: Growing up: East Greenwich, RI
Now: Bainbridge Island, WA
Favorite ways to spend family time in WA: We are small-town people, which is what drew us to Seabrook in the first place. That and it gives me all the East Coast vibes without having to move back. We really love exploring all the small towns Washington has to offer; from Fairhaven and Eastsound to Port Gamble and Tokeland, we love them all. We also love spending time as much time as possible in Seabrook, which is where we lived full-time for four years before moving back to Bainbridge Island. Seabrook is the ideal location for our family because it’s so close to the Olympic National Park, which has the best hiking, but it’s also right on the Pacific Ocean. It’s the perfect small town for letting the kids be independent and grow up the way I remember growing up – we were outside until it got dark, or we knew it was time for dinner. Our PNW kids love being near the water so being right on the ocean is always a perfect spot for us.
Your most rewarding motherhood moment: We own two small businesses, so the kids have seen what it looks like to wear all the hats: customer service, tech support, janitor, salesperson, bookkeeper, etc. Last summer they made a plan to start a snow-cone business. They researched what supplies they would need (and the cost) and then they figured out, based on their cost, what would be a reasonable price to charge for each snow-cone. They pitched it to us and asked for a loan, which they paid back fairly quickly. We let them run the entire operation from idea to implementation, and it was such a great experience for them. We spend our summers at our Seabrook house, so they had a lot of customers who were on vacation, enjoying the Washington coast. The reward for me came when I would listen (from afar) to the way they would engage with customers; asking about their time in Seabrook and making recommendations of their favorite things to do in town. They were really engaging, and I was so proud of how confident they were; not to mention they made their own summer spending money and even treated us to ice cream from Sweet Life from time to time!
Biggest challenge as a mom: My biggest challenge is worrying about whether or not I’m teaching my kids enough to go out in the world and be confident and kind people. I try to model the behavior I want to see in them, and I’m constantly learning that their little eyes and ears see and hear everything…which really makes you check yourself regularly. Being a mom, specifically their mom, has really made me a better person.
A mother who inspires you and why: My own mom is a bit of an inspiration to me. We moved around a lot growing up, never staying anywhere longer than four years, which wasn’t fun for any of us. Now that I’m an adult I realize that moving around so much was probably the hardest for my mom. It is hard to make new friends as an adult and even harder to maintain adult friendships when you move away. She really focused on making sure my sister and I had what we needed, especially because we were the ‘new kids’ all the time. She sacrificed a lot in order for us to feel safe, loved and settled.
Best piece of advice for a new mom: The best advice I can give, which was given to me, is don’t listen to advice you’re given…lol. I know that sounds mean, but it isn’t meant to be. Every single child is different and there is no playbook – you will learn alongside that baby what they need and the best way to give them what they need. What worked for your best friend or your mom or your neighbor or the stranger in the grocery store will not necessarily work for you. So, smile, say ‘thank you’ and go about doing what feels right to you!
Your biggest hope for your children: I hope they will both be fearless. I hope they will really let life in and feel all the feelings; big and small, good and bad. I hope they will find the things that make them happy and say goodbye to the things that don’t. Also, in a world filled with social media, I hope they don’t measure their value on ‘likes’ or ‘follows.’
How are you celebrating Mother’s Day? Unfortunately, we won’t be able to attend one of the many awesome Mother’s Day events in Seabrook this year because my daughter started playing lacrosse, which keeps our weekends pretty busy. We’ll head to Shoreline to watch her play and then take the Edmonds/Kingston ferry home so we can go to Port Gamble and get the best fried chicken sandwich in the world at Butcher & Baker Provisions. Highly recommend!