By Holly Finigan
Emily Ott will admit that she looks young. But don’t let this petite, pretty blonde fool you. The 26-year-old, who graduated in 2006 with a degree from Babson College in Entrepreneurship, has more business ventures up her fashionable sleeves than most adults twice her age.
Her new store, Milly & Grace (in the space formerly occupied by Addison Craig at 0 Washington Street) is named after her two grandmothers – Milly is the Sassy one and Grace is the sweet one. With these two in mind, Emily has created a store that is girlie, practical and fun with its combination of feminine clothing, beautiful furniture and pillows, vintage and nautical inspired jewelry, and even a kid section that includes “Good Manner Cards.”
“I wanted to have something for everyone, and a price point for everyone,” Emily stressed, and she has done an extraordinary job of offering merchandise at all prices for even the thriftiest of shoppers. Millie & Grace offers fashionable skirts for $55 and candles recycled from old wine bottles for $35 each. Her clothing lines, fresh to Nantucket boutiques, includes Soft Joie, Mini Rose, Julie Brown, Sine, Parameter, Bebe Dakota, with reasonable prices for gorgeous goods that will happily surprise you
If you asked her a year ago, Emily would never have believed she could open up her own store. No stranger to the clothing world, Emily worked retail for five years at Ralph Lauren in both Nantucket and Boston, and spent the past year under Karen Golov at Eye of the Needle. But as a summer resident since she was ten, and a year rounder for the past four years, Emily realized that she wanted to invest in the island. She signed the lease at 0 Washington Street at the end of this February. With the help of Steve Hollister, Emily’s boyfriend and local contractor of Cottage and Castle, the two painted the walls, built the three dressing rooms, constructed the clothing racks and installed a new sound system. After two months of learning the retail “buying” process, Emily opened up Milly & Grace on April 23rd, to an exciting and very busy Daffodil weekend success.
Her store, which she describes as both “classic and fun”, has walls painted a “pleasant pink” with gray trim to keep with the Nantucket theme. Her inspiration was to create a store with an “Anthropology” theme of both clothing articles and housing items, but to also include a little old and a little new. The backdrop for her vintage inspired necklaces include a door found right out of a dumpster and window frames that were going to get tossed from one of Steve’s construction sites.
Emily’s lines have been so popular, she’s literally sold her own bag off her shoulder … twice. Her $85 beach and day bag by Function has been such a showstopper that she’s rushed to carry more in the store, so she can keep one in her own possession.
You can build your own charm necklace and make your very own personalized and meaningful jewelry starting at $45. You can cozy up in Emily’s new favorite “cooler pashmina” cotton ruffle wrap by Mini Rose for $160 and grab a “Salt Jar” for $28, with a lead top to keep your kitchen’s summertime sea salt from clumping.
Whatever housewarming, kid birthday, new and inspiring jewelry or hot date dress you might need, you can find all this and so much more in Milly & Grace. And if things really take off this summer … you just might find Emily opening up a men’s store called “Cliff & Harry’s” in honor of her grandfathers in years to come.
But until then, enjoy Emily’s great taste and fresh ideas Thursday through Monday, 10 – 6 in the adorable and chic Milly & Grace.
Holly Finigan has been living seasonally in Nantucket for the last six years. The 26-year-old graduate of the University of New Hampshire has spent her winters in the Caribbean, New Zealand, and Maui, and Argentina. She tells people she was a monk in her former life. You can find Holly slinging drinks at Corazon del Mar. Check out her popular blog “the blACKbook” at www.hollyblACKbook.blogspot.com, or email Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org.