Home is where the heart is. For so many people who weren't born here, (and even native Islanders will agree!), Martha's Vineyard has an undeniable call. Travel though you may: far and wide, high and low, the Island always beckons you back home. Kat McCourt and Coral Watkins of Salt Creative MV are among those called back to her scenic shores, verdant forests and rolling sheep pastures.
For McCourt and Watkins, coming back to the Island for good, was a no-brainer... and their shared love of all things MV is what inspired them to begin their business partnership here. Salt Creative MV is the brainchild of Coral Watkins, sponsorship genius and entrepreneur and Kat McCourt, social marketing-maven and hospitality-pistol. The two, after doing extensive market research, found they could use their varied skills and experiences from off-Island to "curate and tailor creative marketing projects and solutions for clients that span various industries on-Island."
Their website just launched recently, but the busy duo took time out of their jam-packed work week to chat with MV Patch about what their year-round experience has been like so far.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: How long have you lived on-Island?
McCourt: After a scenic cross-country journey from California a little over 2 years ago, I vividly recall my first day on Island. How can anyone not?! I was immediately captivated by the Island's pristine beauty, diverse landscape and unique Vineyard charm. I instantly knew I was home.
Watkins: I’ve lived on Island for almost two years this Thanksgiving. My journey to the Vineyard was a bit shorter in distance, moving from Brooklyn, NY, but nonetheless just as exciting and also fueled by love.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: What are some of your favorite off-season pastimes?
McCourt & Watkins: Beach walks on Lucy Vincent, meeting and visiting for hours at Off Shore Ale, reading a good book (there is finally time), creative work with local business. Running on the treadmill (with no lines!), dinner parties, and chilly up-Island hikes
Martha's Vineyard Patch: How do you know when the off-season has officially begun?
Watkins: I am not sure if there is one specific thing that marks off-season, but more a state-of-mind for me. There is this serene relaxed moment on a cold crisp sweater day that signals off-season best for me.
McCourt: Off season begins when I take my first trip off Island in months….off season begins when I can find a parking spot at Scottish Bakehouse….off season begins when the flipflops make their way into the closet….and most importantly off season begins when our favorite people start to make more frequent appearances in our everyday life.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: What do you personally find to be the most difficult thing about living here year-round?
Watkins: I am happy to share that I have not experienced much difficulty, but something that always adds a level of strategy to plans would have to be traveling. Love ferries, planes, trains, cars and buses, but when you experience all of them in one day, you need to be prepared! I have certainly honed in on my off-Island preparation routine making sure to pack plenty of healthy snacks, re-usable water bottle, hand sanitizer, power cord and a good book.
McCourt: I love all seasons on the Vineyard so much my vision is biased as to what I might not enjoy. I’m gonna say I’ll take the expensive gas – sleepy towns – and closed businesses….those are small prices to pay for year round living on this magical Island.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: What's your favorite thing about staying here all year?
Watkins: I really treasure Martha’s Vineyard’s unique and diverse beauty on a daily basis. No matter what month or time of year, I am always in awe of the natural landscape trying my best to take it all in. I find myself taking mental snapshots of Vineyard beauty every day.
McCourt: The complimentary ebb and flow of the Vineyard community mimicking the environment of the seasons. The fun, outdoors hustle and bustle of the summer but also the cozy laid-back winter. My favorite year-round months so far are October & May.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: In your mind, what is the first sure sign that spring is returning to the Island?
Watkins & McCourt: SKUNKS! One of my most prominent Vineyard memories was last year (right when winter was turning to spring) when I was driving with my friend who has lived here a while – the smell of a dead skunk on the side of the road put a huge smile on her face – I, of course, was baffled and asked about this ‘joy’ surrounding the smell of skunk…. and she said, short and sweet, “spring is here” – that’ll stay with me forever.
And of course…the Daffodils and Forsythia are always my floral spring mark as I am sure for many, but I absolutely love the birds’ song and high energy. My favorite Vineyard bird is the Chickadee, who I nicknamed, “Chubbas.”
Martha's Vineyard Patch: What advice would you give to those who might consider giving year-round Island living a shot?
Watkins & McCourt: The ‘Vineyard’ takes on a ‘real-ness’ in the late autumn and winter that you either fall for quickly and don’t see how living anywhere else could be possible or you start quickly planning your getaway – you might call it a love or hate (a bit harsh but borderline true).