In Celebration of the Female Curators, Collaborators, and Entrepreneurs We Work With

Nantucket has a proud tradition of women run businesses. When the whaling era was at its peak in the 1860’s, most of the male population was away on whaling ships, while the local business economy was kept running by the wives, sisters, daughters and mothers of the island. In this same tradition, Nantucket Looms is proud to be a female operated business for the past 26 years. It is no coincidence that much of the Looms staff, artisans and vendors who we collaborate with are also women. As a tribute to the talent that we surround ourselves with, we are highlighting a few of these collaborations.

Photo by Harry Platt, courtesy of the Nantucket Historical Association, P1662g.

Cara DeHeart | Seaweaver Studio

Cara DeHeart started working at Nantucket Looms as an intern in the weaving studio under Master Weaver and current partner, Becky Peraner, 20 years ago. She took to weaving masterfully and garnered a talent that has manifested into her own brand, Seaweaver Studio, creating bespoke blankets, apparel and accessories. Additionally, she continues to produce handwoven throws for Nantucket Looms, bringing in large, plush piles of blankets on a weekly basis. The other weavers call her "Yoda" in reference to her exquisite mastery and knowledge of all fibers. There lies a beauty and certain mystical grace within every movement Cara makes at the loom; a beauty that is inherent in everything she makes.

"Cara and I have always had a sister bond, me being the big sister. Having watched her grow up and grow creatively, I am so proud of her and what she has accomplished. When she weaves for us, she understands our style and our brand; but when she weaves for her own art, I can see her personal aesthetic really shine through."- Becky Peraner

Stylist Abby Capalbo & Photographer Erin McGinn

Social media star and content stylist Abby Capalbo has been working alongside the Looms for the past three years as the brand evolved further into the digital and Instagram world. ​“The beautiful pieces that come out of 51 Main Street are each like works of art - getting the chance to style their handwovens & home decor always feels like a privilege rather than a job.”

H​er business partner is the talented Erin McGinn, a New England based wedding and lifestyle photographer since 2010. “Having a team of strong creative women that embrace other creative women is what the Looms is all about, “ Erin said. “I love how they let us do our thing alongside their amazing products. This trust has created a lasting relationship and lets all of our strengths shine through.”

"Abby and Erin have been able to capture all that Nantucket Looms represents-the beauty of the island while highlighting the quality of our products. Their great attitudes, work ethic and sharp eyes make them the kind of girls we trust to represent our business-in front of and behind the camera." -Bess Clarke

Laura Cunningham | Yellow Productions

Laura Cunningham joined the Nantucket Looms team five years, hired to help build and launch the ecommerce site. Since then, Laura has guided the online growth of Nantucket Looms into the digital era. In addition to her work with Nantucket Looms, Laura and her husband Chris, run Yellow Productions, a photography and video production company.

“I am always inspired by Laura’s commitment and her ability to juggle numerous projects. It is her creative talent that allows her to share the Looms story on various platforms while having the organizational skills to execute in a strategic fashion”. -Bess Clarke

Laura and Chris have produced numerous videos for Nantucket Looms, helping to showcase our range of products, the lifestyle our brand embodies and the process in which our handwovens are crafted.

Barbara Clarke | Barbara Clarke Photography

Local photographer Barbara Clarke is the talent behind much of the photography on the Looms website and has been with us since the launch of the site 5 years ago. It is the combination of her patience, humor and keen eye that has allowed us to grow as a brand.

“On our first couple of product shoots we really didn’t know what we were doing in terms of styling the products and how to use various surfaces and lighting, but Barbara was up for the challenge and allowed us to keep changing our approach until we have fallen into a rhythm that works for all of us.”- Bess Clarke

A professionally trained jeweler, Barbara moved to the island over 25 years ago, owning her own jewelry store and selling real estate, before discovering her love of photography and starting her own business, Barbara Clarke Photography. Barbara specializes in family portraits and weddings as well as landscape photography. Her framed landscape prints can be purchased at Nantucket Looms.

Elisa Allen | Elisa H. Allen Design

Elisa H.Allen is a force of nature in her own right, as one of the few females specializing in all aspects of the design/build business- advising on the architecture, construction and design of projects. Our collaborations with Elisa are always exciting, allowing us to test the boundaries of colors and textures.

Elisa’s career has evolved, starting in real estate development and sales then moving into architecture and construction, giving her a unique perspective when designing and collaborating with contractors. Through her extensive experience she knows not only how to make a home unique and beautiful, she also has an understanding of the technical aspects of the construction industry.

“In the 90’s Elisa worked at the Looms as a 'shop girl', so she understands who we are as a business and as a sister-hood of women who work together. She feels very much a part of the Looms family, seamlessly providing her input on design jobs with humor and candor.”- Stephanie Hall

Holly Finigan | Nantucket blACKbook

You recognize her from her renowned modern day Nantucket guide, the Nantucket blACKbook, but what you don't know is that when she is not trying the newest restaurant, promoting island charities and events or writing her memoir, Holly Finigan consults local businesses on how to curate their voice and hone their strengths to thoughtfully market themselves with value, truth, and intent. Every occasion we have had the opportunity to meet and strategize with Holly has left us inspired to look within the heart of our business and find ways to connect to our audience in this new digital era we live in.

Holly is committed to honoring the businesses of 'old Nantucket' and aiding them to maintain a strong position within the 'new'; allowing a balance to be found with every season’s wave of change.

“Holly is in a unique position in that she really understands the island and what makes it special, while still being in tune with what various generations are really looking for in their experience here. She has the skill set to communicate effectively and passionately on multiple levels.” - Bess Clarke

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