Nantucket Looms Owner Liz Winship Retires
Longtime Owner Winship Retires After 40 Years of Service
June 2, 2015
Nantucket Looms, the island’s iconic Main Street store, has announced that Elizabeth Winship, owner and Chairman will officially retire at the end of this month.
Winship’s daily presence in the store has been scaled back since the new executive management team of Bess Clarke (her daughter, pictured on right in photo with her mom) and longtime employees Stephanie Hall and Rebecca Peraner assumed co-ownership of the company in 2013. She will continue to spend summers on the island and the off-season in Key West, Florida where she and her husband Todd own a home.
As CEO, Clarke spearheads the business end, working to strategically grow and position the company’s online presence. Stephanie Hall, COO, heads up the retail and merchandising division and works with the interior design team; Rebecca Peraner overseas the weaving studio as master weaver, coordinating the production schedule and handling special orders.
Winship leaves the business in very capable hands. Clarke, Hall and Peraner have been running the company for the last two-plus years with a combined fifty years between the three women working at the Looms.
“Even now, after two years, longtime customers will call for Liz, or come into the shop looking for her to be working on the sales floor” said Clarke. “That is to be expected – she was such a fixture for so many years. But the essence of the Nantucket Looms has not and will not change. Liz ran Nantucket Looms with the high, exacting standards of [company founders William Euler and Andrew Oates]. We will continue that tradition while we also consider ways to carefully grow the business.”
Recognizing the need to direct the company’s focus to the changes in the retail industry, Clarke, Hall and Peraner have implemented a five year plan for strategic growth which includes developing a new ecommerce platform, expanding the interior design and bridal registry divisions, redesigning the website and exploring future potential partnerships with other island businesses and institutions.
Winship, started working at the Nantucket Looms in 1974 as a part-time salesgirl. She quickly became Euler’s right hand man – and he became her mentor. It was an enduring partnership – Winship considered Euler and Oates family
In 1993, Euler and Oates handed over the reins of the Nantucket Looms to their longtime store manager. Winship was to carry on a business she knew intimately, which she did for the next 22 years. The time has come to hand over the reins again.
“I am still very involved with the company, but after 40 years, it was time to pass the baton,” said Winship. “I am very lucky to have Becky, Stephanie and Bess; they are introducing Nantucket Looms to the next generation.”