Williamston, North Carolina, United States
Big Mill Bed & Breafkast
There’s something really special about running my bed and breakfast on the family farm in the house where I was born. Who gets to do that!?! I meet the most interesting people from all over the world and I also have a fantastic community of other innkeepers that motivate and inspire me.
I’ve run the Big Mill Inn since 1995. It’s fun and rewarding. Some of my favorite parts of the job are experimenting with new menus, photography and creating new marketing ideas.
I’ve had a varied career path. Immediately prior to becoming an innkeeper, I was marketing and public relations director at a small hospital. Before that I was a cook and first mate on a private sailboat that sailed from Maine to Guadeloupe. And growing up on a farm, all this means I can fix most anything.
I am an adventurer, an artist, a sailor, a farmer and an environmentalist. And I have my dream job of owning a B&B.
When I was in college, I traveled a lot and stayed in B&Bs. From that experience, I knew running a B&B would be my dream job. So, when I inherited the family farm, it was a no-brainer what I would do.
I live in the swamps of North Carolina and when I started, everyone said to me, “Who in the world will come to this place?” But I have guests from all over the world. They come to this peaceful part of the Carolina countryside to escape the hustle of the city. I’ve created a sanctuary that people seek out. And you can too!
I work from home. In fact, I must live here for the business to be a bed and breakfast. It’s a gorgeous place. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
I will show you the good parts and the bad. What you give up in freedom and income, you more than make up for in quality of life. If you love people, you will love being an innkeeper.
Although I work seven days a week, I find time to do the things I love. I have a few employees to help with yard work, housekeeping and home repairs. At first I tried to do it all, but once I got help, my business really improved. My guests want to interact with me, not see me running around with soap and a bucket.
My first year, my gross income was $25,000 and that was considered good for a first year. That was before the internet came on strong. Now we have 65-70% occupancy and are as busy as we can be.
One of my specialties is helping aspiring innkeepers who want to start a B&B from scratch. I also have a knack for internet marketing, dealing with media, taking photos of the business, food, blogging and connecting the area and community with my business. I know how to network and enjoy its benefits.