Growing up in the same general area of Connecticut, our parents having worked together for years, and sharing a similar appreciation for design and American manufacturing; it was upon finally meeting Jon Terbell that I felt we had already known each other forever.. During the three years since our first meeting, our perspective brands (he's the man behind New England-based shirt brand, Jack Robie) have continued to grow and evolve alongside, with frequent opportunities to work together at various pop ups and by Jon's offer to join in on the fun at his One Orange Shop in Nantucket. We always look forward to being a part of this island destination.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Jon and run a little Q&A by him:
1.) Tell us a little about yourself and how did the concept of One Orange came to be?
JT: I grew up and went to school in Connectictut. Now I run the shirting brand Jack Robie out of NYC and operate our retail concept One Orange on Nantucket. Split time between the two places. The store came about from wanting a physical location to represent ourselves, sell our shirts and curate a selection of some other favorite stuff.
2.) How important is a good story to you?
JT: A good story is everything to me. Specifically in the store, we like to have a personal connection to each of the brands we carry. The personal story behind the product is often times more interesting, and more powerful, than the technical details of its production. Every brand and every guy is different. Our guys take pride in their own stories and they like to connect with the stories behind the things they buy. Technically sound products are a prerequisite, I am more interested in the human side of things.
3.) How/Why did you guys decide to launch in Nantucket?
JT: I have always loved Nantucket. The island has so much beauty, energy, history, culture, and a unique sense of place all rolled in to one. It's a world all on its own. In town there was nothing like what we imagined for One Orange. We thought that it would fit the overall culture well and there would be an appetite for it.
Summer color, texture, and high quality are plentiful at One Orange Shop in Nantucket
4.) What cities are you eyeing next? How long do you stay in one location?
JT: 2014 will be our third season on island and I think we're now ready to further build upon what we've established here. We're eyeing a year-round stateside store opening for the holidays this year.
5.) How you decided what brands to carry?
JT: It's all personal relationships. We don't "go to market" like most stores. We've made friends through our Jack Robie brand at pop-up markets, I have friends from school that have ended up in this world, and my network is constantly introducing me to new stuff and people. In the end we always find our stuff by connecting through people we like.
6.) Is it becoming easier to find made in America brands?
JT: Yes, just because there are more of them. There are so many great products being made on small scales and that business model lends itself to making things domestically. Since there is now a growing demand for these goods the supply is naturally growing as well.
Jon Terbell outside the One Orange Shop in Nantucket
7.) I have 25 hours in Nantucket. What do I do? Where do I eat?
JT: There is a lot to do on Nantucket in 25 hours. It's a uniquely beautiful place and the food is amazing. Here's a rundown and a bit of guidance on some of my favorite activities/places to eat.
-Breakfast at Black Eyed Susan's on India Street. It's a tiny gourmet counter / hole in the wall restaurant. Everything is exceptional especially the french toast with orange jack daniels butter. Coffee is strong, tasty and bottomless. If you're seated by 9am there's no wait.
-Wander around town. From Black Eyed Susan's you take a left and wander uphill through narrow one way cobblestone streets. Eventually make your way back from the top of Main Street to see the homes built by 19th century Nantucket whaling tycoons, most famously the "Three Bricks." The island is regarded as one of the best historically preserved places in the US. The whole island is a historic district, it's like walking through a different time and place. And then downtown near the harbor, closer to reality, there are tons interesting stores. No chains on the island, it's the law (except for Ralph who opened his store before the law was put in place and was then grandfathered in).
-Go to the beach. Nantucket is just a giant sand bar and one can walk all the way around its perimeter on sand. The beaches are simply awesome. The south shore has 20+ miles facing open Atlantic Ocean and you can't go wrong. My favorites are Maddaquashim and Russell's Way.
-Lunch has to be sandwiches from Something Natural or Provisions. Both places are wildly popular and super crowded for a reason. Call it in so you don't have to wait in line. Another quick option, next to Provisions, there's the Straight Wharf Seafood store and they secretly sell the best lobster roll on island.
-Go to Cisco Brewery after the beach. It is an awesome setting with a crowd that's a real melting pot of local and summer culture on Nantucket. Dynamite beer and cocktails from their namesake brewery and sister distillery Triple Eight. There's always live music and raw bars.
- Dinner has to be Straight Wharf. There are probably 10 or so nice restaurants where I would be very confident sending any foodie (Company of the Cauldron & Oran Mor are my other top choices), but for just one shot to represent the island I'd send you to Straight Wharf. Amazing inventive local dishes and a very fun bar for after dinner. After that everyone goes to the Chicken Box for late night dancing and a continued party scene. Nantucket is a very social place.
Jon has graciously welcomed General Knot & Co. into the One Orange Shop since its inaugural run three years ago. We have promised ourselves each and every Summer that we'd make time to visit in person- and this year will be the time we do. Actually on the calendar- Look out One Orange!