The Nantucket Girl – Jen Shalley

I am constantly asked, “What is it like to live on Nantucket year-round?”  Well, I decided to answer this question in a series of blog posts called, “The Nantucket Girl.”  Every few weeks, I will feature a friend who calls this beautiful island home.  She will share with you some of her favorite things about Nantucket and also her favorite picks at Milly & Grace!  I hope this will give everyone a glimpse of what it’s like to be a girl living 30 miles out to sea.

So, I present to you.

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Meet Nantucket Girl:  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­Jen Shalley


Tell us a little about yourself:  Although I grew up in the south (Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and Florida), I’ve come to find I’m a New England girl at heart.  I love everything about the ocean and, I’ve discovered, I must be near it.  Alas, Nantucket is a pretty perfect fit!

How long have you called Nantucket home?: It’s almost hard for me to believe this, but I’ve called Nantucket home for almost six years. Like so many islanders, my stay wasn’t originally intended to be a long-term, but I’m sure happy that it’s turned out that way!

What do you do in Nantucket?:  I have the oh-so-unfortunate job of selling beautiful island homes as a Sales Broker for Windwalker Real Estate.  As the firm’s Director of Research, I also produce a monthly and annual real estate report for our clients.  In addition to my real estate career, I’ve recently taken up instructing indoor cycling classes at Nantucket Cycling & Fitness.  You can visit me any Wednesday morning @ 5:30 am!

Hobbies:  I love anything related to being active, especially if it’s outside.  I love running, biking and swimming, and am so happy to live in a place where it’s easy to do all three in a spectacular setting.  I also have to mention my love for snorkeling — here, it’s best enjoyed while snatching up bay scallops!

Guilty Pleasure: When I’m not teaching spinning or working out early myself, I love a leisurely morning with a cup of tea, a great breakfast and time to catch up on the news, emails etc from home.

Favorite Quote: It is immensely difficult to pick just one! I have a journal of favorite quotes that I’ve collected over the years but I’ll select this one quote, as it is appropriate for anyone, especially anyone who has spent ‘quiet hours’ on Nantucket:

“I want to add just one more bit of advice: to keep growing, silently and earnestly, through your whole development; you couldn’t disturb your development any more violently than by looking outside and waiting for outside answers to questions that only your innermost feelings, in your quietest hour, can perhaps answer” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Favorite time of year:  My favorite time of year anywhere is fall but it is especially beautiful on Nantucket.  September, October, November and the beginning of December host some of the most spectacular months that also happen to be choc-full of exciting things to do but not so choc-full of people.

What’s your perfect day on Nantucket?:  Wake up just before the sun rises and, so long as it’s summer, start the day with an ocean swim.   After a refreshing start to the day, I love strolling through town, grabbing coffee and then hitting the beach with beach games, a great book, and a cooler full of snacks and refreshments to last the day until the sun goes down.   If it’s fall, substitute the ocean swim for a snorkel session of scallop gathering and, instead of the afternoon at the beach, replace with an afternoon spent walking any of the numerous conservation trails on island.


Shops:  For clothing, Emily Hollister and my credit card would agree that Milly & Grace is number one! The Lovely and Hepburn are also my go-to’s.

Restaurants:  Anyone who knows me knows I love fine dining and a great spot where I can cozy up and enjoy a great meal.  There are so many wonderful choices on Nantucket but my top picks would be Oran Mor and Dune.  On a small island, I really appreciate that the fantastic chefs at these restaurants regularly (and creatively!) change the menu and prepare not only a tasty meal but also a beautifully prepared one at that. Pi Pizza (especially this time of year!) and Millie’s Restaurant are my more relaxed go-to’s.

Beach:  I’m a south shore gal but I rarely disclose my favorite beach.

Nantucket Event:  I’m really a fan of them all but I’d have to say I particularly love the Nantucket Film Festival and I love Columbus Day weekend activities.

Tell us an interesting fact about living on Nantucket:  So many summer people wonder why/how we year-rounders choose to live on the island for 12 months of the year.  Here’s what I’d share – I’ve discovered more about myself during my time on Nantucket than just about any other time period and any other place in my life.  The quiet months, while challenging at times, are a huge gift – one that may be taken for granted, but one that you will forever appreciate once you’ve experienced it.  As so many of us find, it’s difficult to give ‘year-round’ up!

What’s the hardest part about living on Nantucket?:  It can be a frustrating place to get to and from, especially in the shoulder seasons.  I love traveling, but living on Nantucket means you may not always get home and you may not always be able to leave when you want to!

Tell us something others may not know about this little island:  Many may know this but it’s worth a reminder that Nantucket is the perfect place to look up and enjoy the night sky.  Numerous satellites, The Milky Way, planets and shooting stars are nearly always on display.

Milly & Grace Picks

Day Look:

Jenn’s chose this super comfortable and warm Christopher Fischer Cardigan that is perfect for the Holidays coming up.


Night Look:

Jenn is ready to paint the town red in this beautiful Ruby Dress from Erin Fetherston paired with this Ella Moss Faux Fur Jacket.


She paired her evening look with these striking black earrings perfect for any occasion!


Thanks Jen for being our last 2013 Nantucket Girl!



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