A quick chat with Julie Biondi, Proprietress of Nantucket boutique The Lovely
N MAGAZINE: Tell us a little about The Lovely and what shoppers can expect when they step inside.
BIONDI: I had a very clear idea of what I wanted for The Lovely from the beginning when I opened three seasons ago. I wanted every visit to The Lovely to feel like a special occasion and to offer my clients my specific point of view. It is important to me to stock sophisticated yet approachable looks, and labels that you won’t see everywhere else. When people ask me to describe a typical day at The Lovely I always say it’s a cross between a sleep-over and a Nora Ephron movie!
N MAGAZINE: What 3 words best describe your style + aesthetic?
BIONDI: Spirited, bohemian, with a weakness for glamour.
N MAGAZINE: What do you think makes your store “authentically Nantucket”?
BIONDI: I have loved Nantucket both as a summer visitor and as an island resident. I know how I like to dress and have a good idea of what my clients will like as well. One of the things that makes me most proud of The Lovely is that in addition to our summer clients, we have a large local following. I adore knowing most of my Lovelies!
N MAGAZINE: What 3 items do you think every Nantucket “fashionista” must have in her arsenal?
BIONDI: Flats for the cobblestones (I wear heels all the time and keep my flats in a tote for “commuting”); A bathing suit because you never know when you are going to want to take a quick dip; An over-sized comfy shawl that can double as a wrap or a sarong. I also keep some jewelry in my bag in case I need to dress up what I have on for night.
N MAGAZINE: You only sell women’s clothing – where on island would you recommend the men go to get looks to complement their ladies’ Lovely outfits?
BIONDI: I’d say to mix it up with a little prep from Murray’s and some surfer chic from Force 5.
N MAGAZINE: Who is your style icon?
BIONDI: I have so many! Diana Vreeland, Drew Barrymore, Amanda Brooks, Patti Hansen, Blake Lively, Elizabeth Taylor, Kate Moss, Sophia Loren, Margherita Missoni, Carla Bruni, Rachel Zoe and MORE!
N MAGAZINE: What item do you absolutely require to get your job done?
BIONDI: A great soundtrack to set the mood for the day at the shop! Sharon Jones and the Dapkings and Lake Street Dive are currently at the top of my list. That and a tube of lipstick gets me through the day!
N MAGAZINE: What brought you to Nantucket?
BIONDI: I arrived on Nantucket, via The Uncatena, in a 1974 Caprice Classic station wagon with my parents and five siblings. We were Madaket devotees from the get-go and we have had the same house on Smith’s Point since around 1980.
N MAGAZINE: What is your idea of the perfect way to spend a day on Nantucket?
BIONDI: I’d start the morning with coffee from Handlebar Cafe and have an early stroll through town, window shopping and stopping to chat along the way. Then I’d pack a beach bag with magazines, tunes, and lunch from Provisions and I would stay ocean-side until after sunset. If my family is on island, you would find me closing out the day with dinner at The Club Car.
N MAGAZINE: If you could change one thing about Nantucket, what would it be?
BIONDI: Other than the long lines at The Juice Bar in the summer, not a thing!
N MAGAZINE: If you were asked to create a time capsule for Nantucket so that people could understand the island 200 years from now, what would you put in it?
BIONDI: A snippet of the vintage seagull wallpaper from my parents’ cottage on Smith’s Point; Nantucket family photos from over the decades; The original sign for Downyflake Donuts (my first and most favorite job ever was as a grill cook at the original location in 1985!); A beautiful sailor’s valentine; A pair of Nantucket Reds (although I don’t own any); And, of course, a big ol’ cobblestone.