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Meet the Magic Beans team: Pati Brigham, Manager of Magic Beans Norwell

Just as all of our customers are individuals, so are our brilliant staff members. This series of blogs is here to introduce you to the kaleidoscope of personalities that makes Magic Beans an extraordinary baby store, and one we hope you’ll return to again and again!

pati headshotQ: Tell me a bit about what you do at Magic Beans.
I am the manager of the newest Magic Beans location, in Norwell. One of my central duties is training our baby gear gurus and toy whizzes – we want to have all of the answers to all of your gear and toy questions!

Q: Tell me a bit about how you got started at Magic Beans, and your trajectory up through the company.
I worked at a local toy store, and people would come in looking for baby gear, so I always told them to go to Magic Beans. So naturally, when Magic Beans was hiring, I sent in my resume, and I started working as a sales associate at the Wellesley store. It was amazing to learn so much about baby gear and furniture so fast – it was overwhelming, but it just made me want to know more!

After about 5 months, Eli sent out an email announcing the new Magic Beans location in Norwell, and asking if any staff members at other stores were interested in managing the new store. Of course I jumped at the chance! I miss the customers in Wellesley, but meeting all the amazing families in Norwell has been great, and I can’t wait to meet more.

Q: Describe a bit about your training process. What was your favorite part of learning about baby gear and toys?
I had already been selling toys, so I had a headstart on toy training (although there’s always a chance to learn more as new products come out). I started training on baby gear my first day in Wellesley, and it was so exciting – I love learning! I came into work and would practice folding strollers, and then go home and watch videos on strollers to learn about all their components, I even made flash cards to learn about all the specifications of the strollers, car seats, furniture, and baby carriers. (NERD ALERT!) I was determined to know everything! I love that we get to play with everything, from strollers to carriers to toys!

Q: What do you think makes your Magic Beans store extra-special?

We really get to know the customer. We find out their needs and we match our products to their needs. We’re not just trying to load you up with purchases; we want you to be truly happy with your purchase afterwards.

Also, the staff in Norwell is very diverse. We have a new mother, a grandmother with twin sons, a mother of two boys, an expecting mother, and a newlywed ready to start a family. So whatever life stage you’re entering, you can find a staff member at Magic Beans Norwell who’s just like you and can speak from personal experience!

Q: One of the many services we offer parents-to-be is their very own Baby Registry concierge. Talk a bit about how you walk expectant parents through the registry process, and what situations you’ll help them navigate.
We ask a lot of questions! When it comes to strollers, we want to know what they plan on doing with it. Are they hikers? Do they live in the city and it will be their primary mode of baby transportation? Do they just want a stroller to walk around town in the suburbs?

We really get to know our registry customers, because we want them to be happy with everything they put on their registry. I go through each section of our online registry, and I explain the benefits of the products that I think best fit their needs. For example, the baby monitor that they need is going to depend very much on their personality and needs. For instance, the new Mimo Baby Monitor is intensely high-tech and gives you the most thorough monitoring possible: you dress your baby in the Mimo onesie, and you clip a Bluetooth-equipped “turtle” on the onesie. Throughout their sleep, it monitors breathing, sleep position, skin temperature and activity level.

On the other hand, we’ve got plenty of simpler monitors – the Summer Infant Baby Wave is audio-only, and that’s best suited for a totally different family! You really need to get the know a parent-to-be to know which items are best for them.

Q: Let’s get a bit into some autobiographical details: where did you grow up? Are you from Boston? If not, how did you wind up living out here? What do you love about our town?
I was born and raised in Boston. I lived there until I moved to Avon with my husband, and I miss Boston everyday! I keep telling him when we move I want to move back to Boston. He has always lived in the suburbs and he does not like the hustle and bustle of the city, but I live off it!

pati coupleQ: What are your hobbies outside of work?
I like to play with my puppy. My husband, Will, and I go out every Sunday to hike with the dog. We love playing games, and we have a weekly game night with my in-laws. I love spending time with family, and I try to visit both my parents and my in-laws at least once a week.

Q: What’s your favorite TV show of all time?
I watch so many! Right now, I have started Once Upon a Time and it is amazing! But, I would have to say my favorite show would be The Big Bang Theory. It is one of the shows that I watch that I actually laugh out loud at.

Q: Do you have any special babies or kids among your family or friends who inspire you at your work?
I have 5 nieces and 1 nephew! They range from 7 years old down to almost 2 months. I love seeing how they are all different. My sister has 3 girls, and they all have very different personalities. My brother just had a daughter, and I love talking to him and his wife about what kind of baby gear they are using.

Q: Let’s talk about your favorite products: what’s your favorite stroller at Magic Beans?
Well, that is a loaded question. I cannot answer with one stroller. I have different strollers for different needs, and I also change my favorite stroller on a weekly basis!

If I HAD to choose one, I would choose the Bumbleride Indie 4. I do a lot of hiking/walking with my husband, and I love that the Indie 4 has all terrain tires, so I can bring it anywhere. I also love that it comes with a bassinet.

I’m also a big fan of the new Bugaboo Bee3.

Q: What other baby gear do you always recommend to new and expectant parents?
I LOVE the Nuna Leaf! I recommend it because not only is it a beautiful piece, it is useful. It has a max weight capacity of 125 pounds, so you can use it for a very long time. I love that it is not electronic, and the child can use it to self-soothe, since when they start to kick their legs, the swing will move. But, if that is not working for you, Nuna is coming out with an attachment that you can purchase to make it automatically swing.

Also, another baby must-have is the Nosefrida. Using the bulb to get a baby’s snot out is not easy! It can also backfire and you can push the snot up into the nose. With the Nosefrida you suck the boogers out (EW!), but don’t worry, there is a filter in there to keep it away from your mouth. Parents are grossed out by this product, but once they use it, they swear by it!

Q: What are your go-to toys to recommend for customers shopping for birthday presents?
It really depends on the child, but I tend to go towards items that enhance creativity. I love the Color a Cape by Creative Education! I bought one for all my nieces, ages 4, 5 and 7. They each opened them up immediately and started coloring them (I got down there with them and may have helped them a little). At the end of the night, my sister called me and told me that they said the capes were the best gift they got. They each got the same cape, but they all looked so different! I love that afterwards they can wear them and pretend play. My sister came into the store two weeks later and bought one for her friend’s son’s birthday. They were a huge hit.

Another one of my favorites is the Q-Ba-Maze. It is a marble run that you have to figure out how to make a creation so the marble goes from the top to the bottom. The directions give you a few ideas with schematics and you can go on their website for more. But what is more fun trying to figure out which piece will work where!

Q: What toy at our stores would you have been begging for as a little kid?
I would have to say Snap Circuits. I loved to build things and figure out how they worked. I would have to say my favorite Snap Circuits set would be the Snap Circuit Light. When you connect the circuit, your creation lights up!

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working for Magic Beans?
I honestly, love the people! I love meeting new families and building relationships. When you work with expecting parents, you learn so much about them, and you are excited to meet the baby. And then, you get to see the children grow up. For example, I helped a family back in May, and I see them all the time at the store. Today the mother came in and we were both so excited to see each other!

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