It’s a familiar question for mothers moving to Westport with young kids: How do I meet people?
It was particularly tough during the pandemic.
But Carrie Kerner “read the room,” and took action.
Carrie — who owns her own hospitality PR firm — found herself in that I-need-to-find-other-moms situation shortly after arriving here, and having her second child during COVID.
She was searching too for good books to read.
One Instagram post later, she had 20 interested mothers with young children. Carrie suggested a beach meeting, after sundown.
The first one was last July. It was a success, and word spread.
The next “Books on the Beaeh” sessions drew 60 and 80 women to Old Mill Beach. There are now 150 names on her group chat, and meetings are capped at 100.
That gives the restaurant sponsors a break.
That’s right: Carrie has made “Books on the Beach” a full event, complete with food, cocktails, pop-up shops with discounts, and swag bags.
In just one year, Carrie’s created a popular and very cool new tradition.
Along the way she’s helped dozens of women meet others, form friendships, have fun, get out of the house for a night — and read interesting books.
Also: meet interesting writers. Last year, Carrie invited international best-selling author (who was once a young mom herself here) Jane Green to chat with the group.
A small part of Books on the Beach …
The first Books on the Beach meeting of 2023 is tomorrow (Tuesday — but registration is closed). Local author Avery Carpenter Forrey will speak about her debut novel “Social Engagement.”
Bartaco is sponsoring light bites and cocktails. Sam & Lex will have a pop-up shop, with 10% off all women’s clothing and accessories. Swag bags come courtesy of wellness, beauty and lifestyle partners.
Last year’s sponsors include PopUp Bagels, Stocked by Three Owls and Norwalk Art Space Café.
… and a small part of a Books on the Beach spread.
Carrie did not forget about the children. For Valentine’s Day she hosted “Books on the Beach for Tots” at Child Pose Yoga. The Saturday morning book club and art class was led by Samy Souci of Westport Learning Collaborative.
The kids’ books were about love, kindness and inclusivity. Old Mill Grocery & Deli provided breakfast bites.
Book ideas for the adults, meanwhile, come from group polls. They’re generally romances, mysteries and best-sellers.
“This is such a cozy, inclusive group,” Carrie says. “Everyone’s happy. There are no cliques.”
It’s not all moms with young kids, either. Some women are older. Some are 20something singles. “We just call it ‘moms,'” Carrie notes. “But everyone mixes and mingles.”
No dads, though. “They stay home with the babies!” she laughs.
If you’re not on the list (and a woman), you won’t be at tomorrow’s Books on the Beach. To get on the list for future events, DM @CarrieGeorgette or @Booksonthebeach203 on Instagram. Carrie will add you to the WhatsApp group chat.
Meeting in March.
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