In April 2011 my first little cousin was born. Since then I have become “Aunt Mol” to five little kiddos, ranging in age from six to two years old. I absolutely love shopping for them, especially finding unique and special items that truly make them stand out from the pack.
I was recently introduced to Andrea Romito, the founder of Nantucket Kids, a children’s clothing line that celebrates classic, southern-style pieces. Though she loves the charm and elegance of the south, Andrea says, “I really want to bring back that classic, preppy, New England look.”
For example, one of the signature Nantucket Kids pieces, the Jon-Jon, is inspired by John F. Kennedy Jr., who was regularly sporting a romper style while running across the White House lawn or along the beach in Hyannis.
Andrea suggests, “The colors - preppy seersucker, plaid - prompt memories of old-fashioned fun, and an unmatched regal charm.”
I sat down with Andrea to learn more about her fashion vision and how Nantucket Kids got started.
PBS: When was the idea for Nantucket Kids born?
AR: I grew up in New England. My mom dressed me in bonnets and smock dresses. A few years ago, I had twin girls and I passed that same style onto them. I really want to bring that classic, southern style back to New England. I love that look and the clothes never go out of style.
PBS: How did you decide on the brand name?
AR: When you hear the words ‘Nantucket Kids’ you get an immediate mental picture. The word ‘Nantucket’ evokes a sense of what the clothes will look like - the historical aspect, the seersucker, the preppy plaids. It’s carefree. It’s beachy. We live in Cohasset, so we’re beach people.
PBS: Are the clothes made here in New England?
AR: The clothes are manufactured in El Salvador. The team there are experts in smocking and embroidery. They do all of that by hand, no machines. For example, the detailing on our Alligator Bubble.
The factory is family-run. They are so wonderful to work with.
PBS: I know this is probably like asking you to pick a favorite child, but do you have a favorite piece?
AR: Honestly, I love all of them. The suits are fun for the boys and those are hard to find in New England. The suits are a classic take on the 1940s and 1950s styles and patterns. I also really love the bonnets. They make me want to have another baby! My mom sent me photos of me in bonnets as a baby. I had designed this pink gingham one and she sent me a picture of me in that exact same one! For girls, I also love the Country Club Dress. It’s refined, but it’s casual at the same time. It’s really understated elegance.
PBS: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about Nantucket Kids?
AR: As a parent, I want to share that everything is 100 percent machine washable. My goal with all of this is to bring that classic, traditional look back to New England. This is our summer collection, but in the fall we’ll have more plaids and velvets.
PBS: Thank you for sharing your story, Andrea.
I have done a fair amount of perusing on the Nantucket Kids website over the past week and my favorites are the Whale Watch Jon Jon:
And my absolute favorite, the Vintage Sunsuit:
The eyelet trim! The pink and white striped bow! I just can't.
An item from Nantucket Kids would make a beautiful baby shower gift, a first birthday present or even a holiday gift for a kiddo who lives in a warm climate.
*All images courtesy of Nantucket Kids.