All the corporate marketing and global promotions for The Walt Disney Co., McDonald’s and Hasbro Inc. that Kathleen Seguin did for 17 years somehow led her to becoming a small-business owner in a quaint seaside town in the tiniest state in the USA.
“I have always wanted to do this. It’s been my dream for a very long time,” said Seguin, who opened her Bristol House Bed & Breakfast in May 2011.
“I remember going shopping with my mom when I was in college and I saw this blue and white china I really liked. I said to my mom, ‘I’m going to buy this and use it in my inn one day,’ ” said Seguin. “I did buy it and I have used it. It reminds me that this was my ultimate goal and here I am.”
The details of the dream filled in over time.
“My mom used to take my sister and I on girls’ weekends and one time I remember we stayed at an inn in Pennsylvania,” she said. “I thought, ‘People make a living doing this?’ It turns out my dad was right. He always said, ‘Do what you love and you’ll feel like you never worked a day in your life.’ ”
Seguin lived in her house in Bristol for four years, while she worked at Hasbro, and intended to buy another property for her B&B. Instead, she did some renovation, added two bathrooms so all three guest rooms have a private bath, and has her private quarters distinctly separate from the visitor space.
So far, none of her guests have had to call her in the middle of the night, but the nature of the business means she’s pretty much always available.
“It still doesn’t feel like work, even though it’s a 24/7 venture,” said Seguin.”It just combines all of my favorite things. I love to cook. I love to entertain. And I love to decorate.”
With all the corporate travel in her previous work, which she enjoyed, she didn’t have time to put down roots and become involved in the local business community. That’s changed with her more flexible schedule. She’s the president of the Bristol Merchants Association, an organization that doesn’t put a specific time limit on the position.