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.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
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).