Best of the Beach // 2 Straight wharf
Don’t be fooled by the Nantucket-emblemed merchandise displayed out front– this is not is not your mama’s beach souvenir shop. Rather, another one of those stores you, my darling readers–if I’ve taught you anything–will walk into and mindlessly utter “Emily” without even realizing you’re doing so. Here you’ll find seaside-inspired homeware [everything from plastic tumblers to fine silver platters], beautiful linens and bedding, women’s clothing and accessories [you’ll recognize brands like Gretchen Scott and Vera Bradley], and the famous Nantucket 02554 zip code jute bags. Screw registries– this is where I plan on picking up wedding gifts for any and all of my likeminded friends.
Ship to Shore // Straight Wharf
RIGHT off of the ferry dock lies Ship to Shore, making it the perfect place to stop for that gift you forgot to buy you sister’s cousin’s niece. But again, don’t dismiss it as another silly souvenir shop– while small, this store had some of the more attractive ACK apparel I saw on the island. Jewelry, ornaments, books by local authors– don’t pass it up because you assume it’s home to a stack of lax-bro pinnies with NANTUCKET LIFEGUARD plastered across them.
Milly & Grace // 2 Washington Street
Meet my Christmas list. Girly dresses, preppy home goods, pastel kitchenware, darling stationary. Read more about it and see my Milly & Grace-inspired outfit here!
Nina McLemore // 22 Centre Street
I feel fortunate to work in an office that has a, let’s say, less than professional dress code. If we’re being honest, people assume I’m job hunting or something if I show up in anything that could possibly be deemed business casual even. But, I feel for those of you who do have to follow a stricter dress code at work. Mostly because when I picture “business casual” or, God forbid, “formal,” I see nothing but black and gray pantsuits and stiff dresses. Until I walked into this vibrant shop on Centre Street.
Nina’s pieces are designed “to address the needs of senior professional and executive women and women who are active in their communities,” and they fill one serious void in this industry: COLOR. The jackets and the pants and the blouses oh my– these belong in your professional wardrobe ladies!! Her side-zip travel pants have to be one of my favorite pieces [maybe because I’m living in the past and miss the days of dressing up for travel?].These are comfy as yoga pants but chic enough for sharing a row on the airplane with your boss. Game changer.
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Freedman’s of Nantucket // 14 Centre Street
These photos don’t even begin to do this incredible store, and its owner, justice. Don Freedman preaches exactly what I’ve been trying to get across in the struggle to decorate our condo, and his furniture and home accessories fill the void: We want nautically-inspired decor, without filling our home with novelty items that border the line of cheesy and cliche. And his one-of-a-kind designs achieve that. Ship wheels. Brass compasses. Weathered anchor doorknobs. Hand-carved whale statues. Leather suitcases that double as portable bars and cocktail tables. An endless supply of clocks, each one different, that look like they belong in the captain’s quarters of a ship.
Don travels overseas to find his artists and craftsmen, and he works with them to turn these pieces that could be considered “touristy” or “novelty” into something that’s creative and unique. He has been selling on Nantucket for over 30 years, and his store has be considered the most creative on the island. Prices range from $25 to $6,000, so when I say there’s something for everyone, I ain’t joking kids. If nothing else, visit just for the chance to talk to Don, to hear his stories of traveling the world and garnering inspiration.