Bridget Duffy: Bungalow Road Co-Owner
"I would say my style is beachy bohemian with a modern twist. But honestly, I have always been a true believer in not subscribing to one style and evolving day by day. Follow your instincts and have fun with everything, whether you’re decorating a house or picking out an outfit."
So, what’s it like giving birth to Bungalow Road, Atlantic Highlands?
I moved to Atlantic Highlands in 2013 from Hoboken, NJ and began working at the Bungalow Road Avon location. After almost a year of commuting to Avon for work, I’d return to Atlantic Highlands and find friends and neighbors constantly saying things like, “I love that, where did you find it” or “What is this great store Bungalow Road you’re always referring to?” I started talking to Katie and Kara about the Atlantic Highlands and the need for a good gift store in the center of town there. It struck me as the perfect spot and a great fit to start a 2nd location of Bungalow Road.
What’s your Backstory?
I was raised in Middletown, NJ and settled with my own family in the neighboring town of Atlantic Highlands. My husband grew up in Avon and was very good friends with Katie’s brother Matt; that’s how I first got introduced to Katie. Katie then introduced me to Kara. Small towns don’t require six degrees of separation; maybe just one or two. At some point along the way, it felt to me as if we were all practically related.
From an education standpoint, I have a BFA from the Design Institute of San Diego. After graduating from school, I worked for 5 years in project management for a commercial space firm in NYC, where I was an integral part of a team that helped design the retail space for a handful of outlets as they expanded nationwide. Shortly after starting my family, I chose to spend more time at home and took up work part time at Bungalow Road. I loved being able to bring my retail design experience into the store displays and merchandising needs of the Avon location. I immediately knew this was a business I wanted to be a part of.
How’s that whole Work/Home Life Balance Thing Working Out for Ya?
I am married with a husband and three children. I have 2 young girls, and it makes me proud to show them this business we have created run by 3 women, and staffed by many more, is a success and enjoyable. I’m a firm believer women can still be in the workforce as moms, and we can love what we do both at home and work. That we can have it all! Girlpower! I know…it’s cheesy! I enjoy working at the store so much and have come to think of everyone on the staff as my extended BR family. We are so fortunate to have a staff that always goes the extra mile: they treat Bungalow Road as if it’s their own, they treat the customers as if they were family.
I also have to thank my husband for his support at home while I am out on buying trips or working at the store. I have worked at BR through 2 of my 3 pregnancies. It has been a bit chaotic, but he encouraged and supported me to take this leap and partner with Katie and Kara. Without his help behind the scenes, it never would have been possible.
Also, there’s this guy who’s been there forever for me: my father. He lives in Highlands, babysits our kids several days a week, and is there at a moment’s notice if we need him in a pinch under time constraints. Without him, this wouldn’t be possible.
What is Your Style?
I would say my style is beachy bohemian with a modern twist. But honestly, I have always been a true believer in not subscribing to one style and evolving day by day. Follow your instincts and have fun with everything, whether you’re decorating a house or picking out an outfit.
A Dress? Do Tell…
I am a dress girl. I love investing in a good dress. I like the idea of having to pick one thing and then accessorizing it. To me, a dress is already an outfit. You don’t need to coordinate a top and bottom: it’s just one thing and it always works. It can be dressed up or down, depending on how you accessorize it. To me, a dress always just feels more comfortable and gives me a little more confidence when I am in one.
Haul out the Holly!
I love Christmas time in the store—there is always such a buzz and the energy is contagious. The store becomes a Christmas wonderland of ornaments and gifts and the most delicious smelling candles EVER!
Favorite Room in the House?
Right now, for me, my favorite room to decorate has to be my son’s nursery. I have 2 girls, Cecilia (4) and Eve (2), and just had a baby boy, Colin, in March. So I am loving picking out cute nautical elements from Bungalow Road and incorporating them into my son’s room. Tons of anchor hooks and wooden surf boards with starfish garland hung on the wall, and an awesome hooked wave pillow for my rocking chair have all come together to make a great nursery for my little dude.
What Gifts do you Give Your Tribe?
At this stage in my life, I feel as though I am constantly going to baby showers, and it is such a nice way for me to spend time with my friends and celebrate them on the exciting journey into motherhood they are on. My go-to baby shower gift is a cute onesie and a soft cuddly baby blanket. A new mom can never have too many onesies or blankets!!! And if they know the gender, or even the name, I always try to have it embroidered and personalized in some way to make it even more special.
What Aspect of Bungalow Road Gives you the Warm Fuzzies?
My favorite part of working at Bungalow Road is the feeling I have when I am working in the store. I love everyone who works at the stores and enjoy spending the day with them when we work together. And our customers, of course, are amazing too! So a day at the store turns into great conversations with staff and customers on an array of topics from the weather to our merchandise, town events, or even our families. Nothing about working at the store seems cold or corporate. Being there for the day and helping customers is so rewarding and so much fun.