Catching Up With Leslie Linsley on Nantucket

Each week in this column, we’ll catch up with one of our island luminaries to see what they’ve been doing lately. Sometimes it will be in their own words, sometimes mine. This week the words are from Leslie Linsley about her winter in Key West.


Hi Gene:

While in Key West this winter, I wrote a column for The Key West Citizen, a bit different then the I&M. I spent a lot of time interviewing business owners who have similar stores to mine, ie: home accessories, furniture, handmade gifts. Since Key West’s tourist season immediately followed the sharp economic downturn, it’s a good indicator of what Nantucket can expect this summer.

Sales for most businesses in Key West were up, and the owners reported that visitors were spending this winter. People on vacation seem to want to take a piece of the place they are visiting home with them. Some of the stores reported business up as much as 50% from the same period last year. I take this as a good sign for Nantucket’s up and coming season.

Aside from the two newspaper columns I write every week for The Key West Citizen (actually the most fun of all assignments because I connect with people in this way), I have been working on a new book for Sterling Publishing called “Aged To Perfection”, to come out next year. It’s about making new homes look old, giving them old world character with architectural details, building with reclaimed wood, and decorating in retro or country styles. The houses are all over the country and the photography was originally taken for Country Living Magazine so it is very diversified.

This month, Small Gardens magazine featured a story about the garden and spa area behind my Union Street house, as well as my store, Leslie Linsley Nantucket.

My decoupage plates will be featured in the July issue of Victoria Magazine, on the stands mid June. The staff was on island last summer, and I directed them to other Nantucket establishments that will also appear in the article, so watch for that.

At the moment I’m working on two new quilt books for the do-it-yourself market, as this craft is very hot once again due to new materials and short cuts on the market.

Aside from my writing activities, Jon [Aron] and I have been creating new products for the store which will open soon in our newly renovated building at Zero India Street. Craft classes will be offered beginning in May so it should be an exciting new season. This year we’ll be carrying cotton patchwork quilts at affordable prices – always my aim to offer well designed products at reasonable prices. It was great to take two months off but always good to be home.

Leslie Linsley

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