This summer has brought a surge of new shops to the Nantucket retail scene. One boutique in particular, however, has caught N Magazine‘s attention.
For Now, located at 29 Centre Street, is “playing matchmaker between brands and people” and bringing up-and-coming lines right here to the island, allowing Nantucketers to expand their knowledge within the world of style and giving lesser known brands access to Nantucket’s discerning shoppers. From vibrant jewelry to handcrafted wall art, kids clothing to cool kicks, it’s nearly impossible to walk out empty-handed. So in advance of the last few weeks of summer, we spoke to For Now’s co-founders – Kaity Cimo and Katharine ReQua – and got a look behind the dressing room curtain!
*As an exclusive opportunity for N Magazine readers… Get a koozie and $25 off your next purchase at For Now with mention of this article. Redeemable in-store and valid until August 31st.
N MAGAZINE: Your website reads, “In a world of never-ending convenience, constant clicks and quick decisions, we’re saying it’s OK to come in and poke.” Tell us a little more about For Now and this more interactive and personal idea of shopping that you believe your boutique has brought to the island.
FOR NOW: Despite the convenience of online shopping and quick shipping, people still crave the connection that great shops can provide: a tactile, personal experience. Talking to someone friendly, learning something new, smelling a relaxing scent, touching a soft fabric can never be replaced. Do we still buy commodity products online? Definitely. Convenience is king … when it comes to toilet paper. But when it comes to the items that adorn you, we believe that shopping IRL is the best way to find something you love and are excited to wear.
N MAGAZINE: Collective brand stores have really taken off in the last couple of years. How do you think For Now’s mission can change the way that retail functions for the better, for both the brand and the consumer?
FOR NOW: For decades, consumers have loved multi-label stores. Collectives, in theory, are evolved department stores. Our space, which we refer to as a retail incubator, was created with both the brand and customer in mind. For the brands, For Now is much more than just a sales channel. It’s a place for them to connect with customers and gain insight into their products that they can’t get online or from a traditional boutique. For customers, For Now is a place where they can discover brands that they most likely have never heard of. They can trust that For Now curates brands that have been vetted – ones they can get excited about, believe in and want to support.
N MAGAZINE: How did the idea for For Now come about? Was it influenced by your time working together at a Boston-based athleisure retailer?
FOR NOW: Our working relationship began at our previous job but the idea of For Now didn’t take shape until we began our consulting business, which is what For Now originally was! After meeting with many emerging brands about their marketing and operations needs, it became very clear that what they all needed was an easier and more cost-effective way to get in front of customers in a physical way. This led to us opening our first store in the Boston Seaport.
N MAGAZINE: What three words best describe For Now’s aesthetic?
FOR NOW: Modern, fun, fresh.
N MAGAZINE: What process do you go through in deciding which small brands and designers to partner with and feature?
FOR NOW: On a broad basis, all our brands need to be selling primarily online and have a need for our retail incubation offering. More recently, for the Nantucket store, we rolled out a “Guide to Impact” which means each brand had to fall under at least two of our outlined socially-conscious business practices: Ethical Manufacturing, Female Founded, Heritage Craftsmanship, Made in the USA, Small Scale Production and Sustainable Materials. You can read more about each category and what they mean to us in this blog post.
N MAGAZINE: What can people expect with each “pop-up” event that you put on your calendar?
FOR NOW: Customers can expect to be introduced to an impressive emerging brand, meet the founder behind that brand (in most cases), learn something they didn’t already know about topics such as innovative fabrics, clean ingredients, manufacturing processes, business practices, etc and have fun conversations!
N MAGAZINE: Nantucket is a very unique place for retail. What brought you to the island? Do you feel like Nantucket will mesh well with your goals as a business?
FOR NOW: Our brands! We’re working with over 100 brands to date and quite a few expressed an interest in this market. We had also opened a store for our previous brand on the island about 3 years ago so we were familiar with what Nantucket had to offer: an idyllic setting with curious and thoughtful shoppers. In addition to that, we knew we wanted to test having a second store (our first is in the Boston Seaport) and geographically Nantucket made a lot of sense. We were able to test a new location close by for a relatively short time period to see how it went. We’re a new business and we’re all about testing to see what sticks. So far it has been a fabulous decision!
N MAGAZINE: You both fill many roles at For Now such as sourcing brands, merchandising, and managing the business side, but you also both serve as personal stylists. Tell us a little about your style consulting. Who do you look to for inspiration?
FOR NOW: Yeah, our roles at For Now are an amazing blend of everything that we’re passionate about. By nature our brands are creating clothing that last for years and do not succumb to trends that die. Because of this, our styling advice isn’t around what the hot trend is, but more around what’s classic, what looks good and what feels good.
KAITY: Other than my sister and a couple friends (including Katharine), I don’t have a specific person or influencer that I look to for inspiration… it’s more about trolling innovative brands on Instagram and taking cues as to what they are making and how they are styling outfits on shoots.
KATHARINE: Definitely Kaity’s sister. I tend to be that girl… the one who will ask where you got your shoes / shirt / bag / pants, etc. I’m always super curious about the brands that people gravitate towards and then how they choose to piece things together.
N MAGAZINE: What three items do you think every Nantucket woman needs in her closet?
FOR NOW: An active, versatile dress; a bring-everywhere outer layer; and comfortable yet stylish shoes.
N MAGAZINE: Do you have any favorite brands or items you are featuring this month in-store?
FOR NOW: We really don’t play favorites because we love all our brands! But an exciting event we have this month is a Dudley Stephens takeover of our annex. The part of our store on the right hand side will be alllll Dudley Stephens from 8/10 – 8/17 and the two founders will be there on 8/15 from 9:00 – 11:00 am to meet customers!
Visit For Now in-store at 29 Centre Street and online here.