For all those out there who think that a perfect balance of a successful career and a thriving family is impossible, meet Beth Schomp, a 53-year-old Woodbridge resident and master juggler of motherhood and business. Raised in Kentucky, Schomp has business savvy in her DNA. Her grandfather was chairman of the board, and her father was president, of Fruit of the Loom.
After going away to college in Texas, Schomp came home to the family business. “I was raised, more or less, in corporate America. I came home [from college]to work for Fruit of the Loom, in the marketing department.” Two months in, Schomp met her now-husband, Russ Schomp, while doing a sales presentation in New York. It was his first day on the job.
After a few years together, the Schomps found that their entrepreneurial spirit came calling. They decided to open their own textile company, R&B Industries, with a mill in Vermont. The decision was influenced by the couple’s desire to create a good work/life balance and have greater control over their income potential. “When you work for someone else, they’re always going to dictate how much you earn…So we formed our own company, and we found a mill to manufacture our garments for us; we found a niche market,” said Schomp.
In addition to running her textile company, Schomp works out of her home as an executive director for a registered pharmaceutical company offering a variety of household and consumable products with a focus on health and wellness. She has been very successful, quickly ascending within the company and gaining outside recognition as well. Most recently, Schomp was the keynote speaker at an American Business Women’s Association event.
While she loves her career, Schomp names parenting as her top priority, saying, “More today than ever in this economy, you can’t have one income coming into your home – it takes multiple streams of income. Being able to work from home, I was able to not only help provide for my family financially, but I have been able to attend every swim meet, every swim practice, every piano recital, every voice competition — everything.’
“That involvement paid off. The Schomps’ daughters excelled in scholastics, music and athletics, and are active in the community. Both girls competed in piano at an international level, went on mission trips and earned Robert C. Byrd scholarships upon graduation. The oldest daughter, Kristyn, also served as captain of the Woodbridge High School school swim team, qualified top 16 in the state for swimming and graduated valedictorian. After arriving at Duke University, she formed a student chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Taylor, their younger daughter, was co-captain of the high school swim team and graduated fifth in her class from the inter-baccalaureate program at Gar-Field High School. While studying at Vanderbilt University, she formed and led a chapter of Invisible Children.
“Both have hearts for service and have traveled abroad to participate in different missions programs. I always taught them to make a positive difference in this world. I could not be more proud of my girls,” said Schomp. Much like her work ethic, when it comes to community service, she taught by example.
A dedicated volunteer, Schomp tried to choose activities in which she could involve her children. For instance, in her 10 years as director of the Grace Baptist Church Children’s Choir, Schomp enjoyed a creative outlet with her daughters while helping to shape the lives of other children.
“Through the choir, we would take the message and put it into action. One year, we raised enough money to send 1,500 bibles to Tanzania. Another year we raised money for an organization in our own backyard, ARC. The kids raised enough money to buy an expensive piece of equipment for the children there, ” said Schomp. “The ARC Of Greater Prince William is an organization that provides opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities.
In recent years, Schomp became involved in Healthy Families, a not-for-profit which educates young and low-income families on how to create a healthy and productive environment for their children.
”My biggest contribution has been to mentor young teenage girls or help individual families, helping them in various ways to get ahead. My favorite way to make a contribution is to do so anonymously. That gives me the greatest joy,” said Schomp of her service.
In talking to Schomp, her desire to change people’s lives for the better is obvious. She has introduced others to opportunities to enjoy a better work and family balance, using avenues like her website, www.lifeonyourownterms.net, to spread the word. Having benefited from her own mentors, Schomp is always willing to give advice on how any parent can in her words, ”be involved with the family and the community and yet be successful in your work.”
One Of her top tips is to remain organized, using a calendar to schedule and set priorities. Schomp says, “I would put in family commitments first, and then I add church commitments, and that would show me the pockets I had left to work with… Put family first and you work everything else around it, and it will work.”
Another top item on the schedule? Date time. Schomp elaborated: “Sometimes people get so focused on being a parent, and they forget they’re a wife or they forget they’re a husband. Russ and I made sure early on that we scheduled in date time. And we do date night every week, because back then, we didn’t have time to do it every week, but we did make sure to do a couple activities, just he and I, every month.”
Another secret is to make roots and connections in the community, establishing relationships with those you can learn from and lean on when times are tough. “You have to have good parenting mentors. I realized when I was newly married, especially with children, I needed to find other good women for role models. And that’s what I did; I found them in my church, I found women in my work. Each Of them had different qualities that I would model after…You have to have a broad net for your support system.”
“Beth is exactly who she appears to be, and that knack for being a truthful, genuine person is one of the magnets that leads people to want to work with her,” says her husband.
“I have known and worked with Beth for over eighteen years. In that time I have never met anyone with the drive and enthusiasm Beth exemplifies in creating success in her business, as well as helping others achieve success in theirs,” attests Terri Gallagher of Keller Williams in a Linkedin post.
There is no slowing down for Schomp, as she forges full speed ahead with her business endeavors while staying involved in the community.
”Find a purpose,” said Schomp. “Even if the job you have IS not a great job or you may not particularly like it, be the best one there and take pride in your work. If your job is to flip burgers, then be the best burger flipper there. You won’t flip burgers for long and you will be promoted.”