A quick chat with local flower, gift box and event designer Melanie Perkins.
You are known for your stunning flower arrangements. What’s a common mistake people make when selecting a bouquet?
Personally, I don’t think you can make a bad decision when selecting a bouquet or arrangement, but I do think it is important that when you are choosing a florist to design your event or wedding, to make sure their aesthetic matches the look or style you are going for. You want to work with a florist whose designs complement your chosen style. My last tip would be to trust your florist and embrace their creativity. Let them create a design that is unique and special to you.
What’s your fail-safe hostess gift to bring to a dinner party?
My favorite gift is one that gives back. I love giving gifts that are made here on island to give back to the local businesses. My go-to is putting together a little gift box or basket containing local honey, handmade soaps, locally made candles, and other thoughtful items that are made on Nantucket.
I am also a registered nurse. The beauty of this island reawakened my creativity and inspired me to create my company Fleurish. When I am not designing blooms for my business, I work at the hospital as well as run another business providing mobile beauty and wellness services. People are surprised to hear that I am nurse and a floral designer, but I have always believed that just because you have a degree in one thing, does not mean you can only have one career.
What’s a secret tip about the island that only a local knows?
There are wild grapes that grow on the island in the early fall. They make the most incredible grape jelly. My mother-in-law Rachael has sworn me to secrecy so I can’t share the exact location, but if you explore the island and walk some of our beautiful nature trails, you are bound to come by a patch of wild Nantucket grapes.
If Nantucket had a currency, who do you think should be printed on the first note?
Nantucket has a strong history of women activists, but I would have to say Anna Gardner. She was a Nantucket-born teacher, abolitionist, and suffragist. She really devoted her life to fighting for the rights and education of Blacks and women.
How would you throw a memorable party on Nantucket for under $200?
A clambake on the beach. It’s a summertime tradition for my family. I mean, is there anything better than food, family, friends, and the beach?
What’s one thing you cannot live without?
The ocean. Sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be living on this little island thirty miles out to sea. After a good day, a bad day, a stressful day, really any day, going to the beach and seeing the ocean grounds me and helps me reflect on how blessed I am to be here.
Describe a quintessential June day on the island in your book?
Early summer is probably my favorite time on island. The quintessential day would start off with a long walk in Sanford Farm/Ram’s Pasture. Picking up a to-go lunch at Something Natural and driving out to Great Point/Coatue. Of course, ending the day on the beach and watching the sunset (my personal favorite is Ladies Beach).