HEADLANDS TEAM SPOTLIGHT
GET TO KNOW OUR TEAM MEMBERS: BRI & SUSAN
Bri, Brand Marketing Manager
Susan, Director of Brand Experience
What brought you to the coast?
Bri: I was raised in Albany, Oregon and my family would go to my grandma’s house in Waldport on the central coast of Oregon every weekend. It’s been my home-away-from-home since I was young and I still visit on a regular basis to recharge and spend time with family.
While living in Portland I began working as a graphic designer with the Headlands team in mid-2017, just under a year prior to opening. My initial role primarily focused on helping to translate concepts and ideas into something we wanted guests to experience and feel —bringing the brand to life. It was fun to create each of the logos for Headlands, Tidepools, and Meridian and to help tell the story of the Aleutian Cackling Geese. Over time I fell in love with the dedication to Headland’s sense of place and the care behind every bit of our guest experience, and when the time was right, I took on a full-time role with the company.
Susan: I grew up in an Inn in New Hampshire that’s been in operation since 1789. My family were the innkeepers for over twenty years. We lived in an apartment above the restaurant’s kitchen, in what had been the ballroom in the 1800’s, and I spent my childhood immersed in the world of hospitality, learning my “jobs” by osmosis.
After college I spent many years working in the spa and wellness industry. Along the way, I decided I’d like to combine those skills with hospitality. In mid-2017 I happened upon an article about the soon-to-open Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa and began to follow the progress from my home on the east coast. Later that year I was given the opportunity to join the team as a spa consultant, overseeing the opening of Tidepools Spa & Wellness. My role with the company was originally going to be a 6-week stint, but one thing led to another, and I now call Oregon my home!
What is your favorite coastal adventure?
Bri: Tide pooling is high on my list—from the time I was 2 or 3 years old I was mesmerized by the tide pools and spent most of my free time with my head stuck in the sand. My family spent a lot of time near Seal Rock and I was that annoying know-it-all 8-year-old constantly teaching adults about sea creatures. Fun fact—prior to pursuing a degree in graphic design and advertising at PSU, my original plan was to be a marine biologist! Depending on the season, my family is always catching or foraging for something—we love to combine kayaking and crabbing—and my mom’s fresh crab melts are legendary.
Recently I joined our Headlands Adventure Coach and tide pools aficionado Taylor on a guided Tide Pools Discovery. Our outing was timed perfectly with low tide, and we spent an hour exploring the tide pools at the base of Cape Kiwanda. It was truly mesmerizing, and I learned so much from Taylor. It’s been so much fun to watch our adventure outings evolve and this was a great example of our team’s dedication to sharing our sense of place with our guests.
Susan: I am a wanderer at heart and have been fortunate to have hiked trails all over the world. I consider the Cape Lookout Trail among my top favorites. While it’s not a challenging trail from my perspective (unless you consider the occasional mud you have to slog through) it provides a genuine Pacific Northwest experience. The trail meanders through rare and lush coastal old-growth forest and enormous ferns. It offers stunning views of the coastline and of migrating whales in season—it’s both magical and meditative.
Can you share a favorite part of the Headlands experience from your perspective?
Bri: That’s a tough one because there are so many, but I love the special touches in the guest rooms like the Head Out/Stay In Do-Not-Disturb light. I also really enjoy seeing guests enjoying parts of the experience that I helped to create, for example, when I see guests interacting with the area map in Haystack Hall, checking in at the front desk, or grabbing a snack from one of the pantries. Also, there’s nothing quite like taking a soak in the outdoor hot tub at sunset, ideally followed by a hand-crafted cocktail delivered directly to your guest room. It’s best enjoyed on your oceanfront balcony or by the fire. Pro tip: keep the balcony door open just a crack to enjoy the sounds of the roaring ocean throughout your room, even from that cast-iron tub!
Susan: I think our seasonal culinary classes are really special. We have hands-on Crab Shaking and Oyster Shucking classes and I love watching Chef John Nelson give guests the opportunity to truly immerse themselves in our coastal setting. I love the thought of our guests returning home, wherever home might be, with some new-found skills and a story to tell. Our Sunset Bonfire on the Beach is another favorite. What’s better than arriving at a blazing bonfire equipped with a bottle of wine, s’mores, and a Pendleton blanket to wrap yourself up in. From my perspective, it’s a quintessential and very special North Coast experience.