When people think style on Martha’s Vineyard, a certain vision sweeps over the minds of the unknowing. Salmon-colored shorts spotted with tiny smiling whales. Pastel-pink dresses with teal embroidered flowers. She wears, but is not limited to, Vineyard Vines, Ralph Lauren, and Lilly Pulitzer. Martha’s Vineyard — home of the kings and queens of prep.
But anyone who’s spent more than an afternoon on this Island knows that’s a far-off presumption. Martha’s Vineyard can be a pretty casual place. So what is Island style?
Meet Tanya Rustigian. She’s the creative behind Trust Jewelry, and the new owner of Citrine, a boutique shop in Vineyard Haven. She bought the store last September, and merged the two brands to form Citrine x Trust, which embodies Tanya’s own aesthetic while retaining a lot of what former owner Emma Kiley created.
Citrine is a year-round staple for Island women. It’s commonly considered a difficult store to walk out of empty-handed. Whether browsing clothes, gifts, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, or baby wear, Citrine seems to have it all, and uniquely so.
Now that Tanya’s in charge, she’s focused on keeping a good thing going while sprinkling in bits of her own style. Trust, while originally a jewelry line, became more than that, and Tanya’s look embodies a natural transition.
How do you dress for work?
I always try to dress in a way that makes me feel the most like me. I definitely like to be comfortable, but not necessarily comfort clothes — more in the sense that I’m comfortable dressing in a way that makes me feel the most like myself.
I definitely wear clothes that are in the shop, but that’s basically my wardrobe anyway. I’m not wearing them just to sell them, I’m wearing them because I feel good in them.
I do notice that if I’m wearing something that’s on display, people tend to try it on. It feels good to be working there and see people buy the stuff you picked out. Then you know you’re doing something right.
How would you describe your style?
Desert meets the sea. Everywhere I’ve lived and traveled has helped me define my style. I just moved from California, so you’ll notice a lot of desert colors — beige, greens, browns. But there’s also a lot of coastal inspiration. I used to spend summers on the Island before moving here full-time, so coastal colors come into this whole vibe.
What’s your outfit staple?
I always wear boots, year-round. I wear them all summer long — even when it’s hot. Boots and dresses. Although now I have Vans sneakers on, but for the most part, boots.
I also love overalls. Anything that’s one piece is great, because then you don’t have to think about the outfit. It’s just one shot.
Any favorite brands?
I love a lot of brands: Diva, Auguste the Label, Spell, Kavari, Cleobella. The coolest part for me is bringing all these brands together and having them represent the shop — which is really a representation of my style. Trust has become a lifestyle brand.
Trust started out as a jewelry line; talk a little bit about how it’s evolved.
I started my jewelry line in 2014. Emma [Kiley] actually helped me start it. I started selling in stores across the country, and that’s when I moved to California — to spread it West. I’d be selling jewelry in different boutiques, and collecting clothes for myself as I went. People started asking me about my style, and I realized Trust was becoming more than just jewelry. That’s when I knew I needed to expand the brand. It was bigger than jewelry.
Emma was my mentor, and always said when I was ready to come back to the Island and she was ready to sell the store, she would sell it to me. The timing was right. Merging with the shop and bringing in some of my clothes and style was really what the next step was supposed to be.
Describe ways the shop has adopted Trust aesthetic.
I’ve added my own little renovations to put my spin on things. I brought in some new furniture — stuff I’ve collected over the years. Painted. The new farm table. Vintage hangers. An old door I made into racks. We switched the kids’ clothes to the middle room. My gypsy throne in the corner. I bring that bison skull hanging above the register everywhere. I also brought in a lot of plants.
Aside from Citrine, where do you shop on-Island?
I love going into Morrice Florist. I feel like I’m in another world when I’m there. But when it comes to clothes, I really just shop at Citrine. That’s probably not the best question for me.
Any favorite stores off-Island?
I love Planet Blue — it’s not on the East Coast, though. I love vintage clothes and flea markets, because then I don’t have the same clothes as everyone else. Having the store, I really do have a lot of the same clothes as everyone.
Has your style evolved since moving here full-time?
Only because of the seasons. When I lived in California, weather wasn’t a thing. That’s been an adjustment living here. You really have to dress for the weather. Winter’s not my season.
Is there someone at work you often shower with style compliments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll give ’em some love in the next issue of The Local.