Whenever you visit a new city, a new state, a new country, shopping is one of the activities everyone recommends. Not only because it boosts the economy of the area, but it’s a great way to meet the locals that own these shops, connect with them and their brands, and support their ventures. Because our island is like a getaway for everything, we even “get away” with not having any big box stores or corporate shops on island, meaning most of the shops you walk into are locally owned or have some local connection. Whether you’re at the hardware store or the movie theater, you know that your money is well spent supporting islanders.
Today, we’re narrowing it down even further and showcasing ten island shops that are owned and operated by women. These shops provide a variety of options on island for the traveling shopper, while at the same time supporting the local needs of the island. As of 2016, it is estimated that there are now 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing nearly 9 million people (8,976,100) and generating over $1.6 trillion in revenues.
Remember, this is just a list of ten island businesses that are women-owned. There are plenty more, so make sure to meet the shop owners, talk to the staff at the stores, and support as many local businesses as possible when visiting!
Past & Presents
An antique shop on Main Street Edgartown owned by Jane and Beverly, two of the nicest ladies in town. They make annual trips to England to source and discover new items to bring back to stock their shop on island. It’s a great place for classic antiques and locally made gifts like glassware. The antiques are primarily classic English 19th century, sourced by the owners
Claudia features jewelry by local artisans, as well as noted jewelry designers: Alexis Bittar, Jamie Joseph, Chan Luu, Hidalgo, John Apel, Alex Sepkus, Seaman Schepps, Lola and many more. They also carry French & Italian perfume, hair accessories, eyewear, handbags, wallets and hand blown American glass. All are uniquely displayed amidst antique décor and Richard Lee artwork. Owned and operated by Claudia Canerdy herself, this shop has been a staple on Main Street Edgartown for many years. Claudia is also a big part of the community and town.
New Moon Magick
This candy shop in Oak Bluffs is a must when visiting the island. Don’t miss the Almond Butter Crunch, Stoner Food and Pirate Food - their most requested confections. In addition to the chocolates you'll find vintage jewelry-featuring Dorothy Bauer, linens, antiques and magical treasures. They also offer a full line of botanicals: herbal oils, island embossed soaps, mists, butters & teas. Some of their products include: Almond Butter Crunch, Pirate Food- Salty Cararrghmels, Stoner Food, Chocolate Covered Almonds with MV Sea Salt, Chocolate Covered Pie In The Sky Espresso Beans, Dark Vader Chocolate Bar, Nutty Islander Chocolate Bar, Cranberry Day Chocolate Bar, Martha's Vineyard Sand Bar, Prosperity Chocolates, Chocolate Runes, Chocolate Love Spells, Chocolate Pentacles, Sea Turtles, Chocolate Fudge, Keep It Real Hot Chocolate, Happy We Shall Be Herbal Teas and more.
Established in 2017, and owned by jetsetter Maggie Towels, Magnetic North combines cosmopolitan and New England style, and offers a curated selection of women's and men's clothing, jewelry, accessories, gifts, home and decorative items, and art. Among other things, they feature emerging and socially conscious brands and support local artisans, businesses and charities. Like its namesake, Magnetic North will help you navigate, explore and arrive.
Bunch of Grapes
One of only two island bookstores, Bunch of Grapes is a favorite among visitors and locals alike. Owned by Dawn Braash, the bookstore features a carefully curated array of local authors, national bestsellers, and hard-to-find classics. Plus, the quaint bookstore offers a great kids’ section and gifts of all kinds.
CB Stark Jewelers
This very Vineyard jewelry store celebrated its 50th year in 2016, just one year before its owner and founder Cheryl Barbara (CB) Stark passed away. The store continues to be owned and operated by Margery Meltzer, Cheryl’s partner and co-owner for well over 40 years, along with a strong and talented team of women. Known and loved for their unique island charms, and distinct nautical and beach-themed designs, CB Stark’s jewelry is like no other on Martha’s Vineyard.
This year-round clothing store is owned by powerhouse duo Erin Tiernan and Laurie Welch. Erin handles all the buying for the shop, and her eye for fashion helps keep Islanders stylish while not breaking the bank. A mom herself, Erin knows the importance of practical but attractive designs. Plus, Basics offers one of the best selections of adult footwear and baby clothes.
These designs are high-fashion for the modern woman, with an emphasis on comfort and quality. Bryb Walker boasts nine locations throughout the US, but Martha’s Vineyard is home to the only east-coast locations — one in Vineyard Haven and Edgartown — while all others are west-coast locations. The designer has been selling her wears since 1992 and has gained a loyal following ever since.
The Great Put On
Owned by Nicole Bilzerian, The Great Put On is one of Edgartown’s oldest shops – and there’s a reason for that. This trendy boutique in the heart of Edgartown’s downtown district has been pleasing shoppers since 1969. The owner prides herself on choosing up-to-date, high-end styles. The store’s success continues to grow, and they have recently opened a new shop focused on jewelry, Tesori by The Great Put On.
It's my job to love this place, and it's no work at all.