Whether she's managing her business team or year-round swim schedules, Bold Eclectic Mom on the Street, Margaret Keithley, does it all with grace, laughter, and a strong swirl of color.
As long as I can remember, I've been passionate about empowering women. After growing up in SC and attending Florida State University, I moved to Virginia to pursue a corporate career. I met my husband, Matt, at work and we’ve been inseparable ever since. We now have 4 children - ages 15, 11, 9, and 4, and have happily settled in Williamsburg, VA.
After leaving my career to stay home with my children, I struggled with what might be next, but it was also in this season that I found my calling in life - working with women - encouraging, empowering, helping them to see their worth, opening their eyes to their capabilities.
I've owned a handmade doll business, spent time as a missionary in Belgium working with victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking, worked as a business consultant for a fantastic jewelry company, and ultimately found my perfect place in... selling dry nail polish (of all things haha - it’s amazing!). Every day I get to encourage other women in who they are, help them feel beautiful, and encourage them in using their gifts.
I also love to knit, read, strategize and celebrate any and every good thing.
Which three words best describe your style? Bold, eclectic, fun.
Where are your favorite places to shop? I love Cabi for jeans, wardrobe staples, and timeless unforgettable pieces. Small business is where my passion lies, so I love patronizing boutiques here in Williamsburg and when I travel. As far as more mainstream stores - I’ll hit Anthropologie or Nordstrom. I also utilize Rent the Runway and may be slightly obsessed with always having designer clothing at my disposal.
Who’s your favorite style icon? I’ve been inspired by Cynthia Rowley and Diane von Fürstenberg since high school and they continue to be my favorites! I love how their styles have evolved with trends but are always flattering stand-outs.
Stilettos or flats? Reluctantly I’ll say flats. I’m a mom who lives in her Rothys. But my soul says stilettos.
If you could go shopping with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be? I’d love to spend a day shopping with Coco Chanel to hear what inspired her to change women’s fashion and how she found the courage and fortitude to do so. If I could choose a third to join us, it would be Eleanor Roosevelt and I’d probably just listen and not get much shopping done!
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be? Claire Danes. I’ve loved her since My So-Called Life and the way she portrayed Carrie Mathison in Homeland was compelling and terrific.
What’s your best style advice? Clothes should be fun and make you happy. Take risks. Accessorize. Do your nails. And never leave home without confidence.
What article of clothing/accessory would you not want to live without? Big earrings - they go well with everything and make me feel put together even when I’m not.
Which trend would you want to see make a comeback? Circle skirts with petticoats à la 1950s style - paired with a starched shirt or three-quarter sleeve top and you have an extremely flattering, feminine outfit!
What should NEVER make a comeback? I could go on and on… tight-rolling cuffs and sleeves (am I dating myself with this?), low-rise jeans (no thank you ma’am), bubble hems, leggings (yes I said it), drop-waist dresses, pleated pants, and chain belts.
What’s your best style secret? Always have your nails done. Always. And I’m not saying go out to a salon and get acrylics or gels or dips (if that’s your thing, go for it!) but no matter what, have them polished.
Personally I throw on my dry nail polish strips in the passenger seat on the way to dinner or right before I go to bed - it takes me 5-10 minutes and they last me for a week and a half *at minimum*.
When I’m sweaty and in awful clothes at the gym, or running my kids to school (late) in PJ pants and a hat, all it takes it looking down at my nails and I’m reminded that really I’m a beautiful and put-together person who had to prioritize others ahead of my own real clothes, makeup, coiffed-hair routine that morning.
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? Spontaneous surprise car trips to somewhere fun. I love to keep everyone on their toes - when they don’t know where we’re going, they are wrapped up in excited anticipation instead of minor annoyances.
We also love to play games and work on puzzles. Family movie night totally works where everyone has their own bowl of popcorn, own blanket, own pillow, lol. With kids in so many age groups, it’s hard to find one family activity that appeals to everyone, so we also divide and conquer a good bit.
What’s been your best family vacation? We go to Holden Beach in NC every year and love it there. We’ve added a new tradition each summer and have a blast jet-skiing, looking for shells, and just sitting on the beach. A very close second (probably my kids’ first choice) would be a Royal Caribbean cruise - they really have something for every age!
What’s your go-to family dinner? My saint of a husband tackles this area thankfully! I happily eat anything I don’t have to prepare or clean up. We love baked salmon with veggies and rice.
What’s your favorite family restaurant? 5/6 of us would likely say Moe’s, to be honest. Taco Mexicali in the Lightfoot, VA area is a frequent go-to. When it’s just the two of us (Thank you, oldest child who can babysit!), you’ll find us in Williamsburg at Amber Ox or the Precarious Beer Hall, or in Richmond at Mekong or The Answer Brewpub.
Best parenting advice: Give yourself grace. Every day is a new chance to lead with love. Anything you can’t say directly to your child, pray over them aloud. They still get to hear it and they won’t interrupt.
My aunt told me once that each generation should just try to parent a little better than their parents did. It took me a long time to realize what a high bar that sets. Showing up for your kids is 9/10 of it - the rest will work itself out.
Find a mentor - perspective is such a gift and only someone older or with more experience can provide that. Date your spouse. Plan yearly goal-setting, “state of the family” meetings. Go away together. Go away alone. Most importantly - figure out what renews your soul - your definition of rest - and seek it as needed, regularly. You cannot care for your family at the level you’d like if you are not properly caring for yourself and your soul.
Parenting true confession: Wow, where to even start? Ha! We have basically given up on our house. When they are all older, we’ll start over with all new everything. If you get too hung up on keeping everything perfect, you’ll drive yourself crazy. Also - buy a house with a closed-in foyer.
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch? Well, this is impossible to answer. TV is my guilty pleasure. When I’m multitasking, anything on HGTV is fine, or I’ll rewatch ER or Downton Abbey. When I can focus, Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime, Homeland, Big Little Lies, Bosch, Chicago Fire, Grey’s, etc.
What’s your favorite beach read? Anything by Michael Connelly for pure pleasure - if I want to think then The Road Back to You (the enneagram is fascinating!), Jesus Feminist, or any of Ann Voskamp’s books. Contemplating her words brings rest to my soul.
What’s the best song to dance to when nobody’s watching? Juice by Lizzo. But good gracious friends - let’s dance when people ARE watching!! Our kids, our husband, friends, whoever’s around. Let’s love life enough to hear a good beat and move our bodies - however good or bad those movements may look. I think we’d all be a lot happier if we danced more.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? Hands down returning to Belgium. We adore Brussels and the people there. I’d also love to go to Paris, Switzerland, Greece, Italy - basically, we need to spend a month in Europe (and it will happen!)
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day? Truly the only thing that really works is to check off all my completed tasks, then schedule the next day and add any last-minute tasks that have come up. Once I’ve done that and can close the workday in my mind, my bathtub is my refuge. Throw in a Lush bath bomb and a good book and I feel ready to face whatever tomorrow will bring.
We love how Margaret encourages women to dance WHILE others are watching and nurture themselves and their callings. Be sure to connect with Margaret on Instagram and FB @NailitwithMargaretK, Facebook.com/groups/NailitwithMargaretK, colorstreet.com/margaretk and firstname.lastname@example.org.
And for more fun and fabulous moms, be sure to check out FamilyApp's Mom on the Street page.