Alexandra Bullen Coutts

Foodies of Instagram
For small businesses in the food and farm communities, social media is an essential communication tool.
Read More

You Can Go Home Again
For printmaker Althea Freeman-Miller, being an artist has always been about more than making art. From hosting workshops to being a force behind First Friday events in Vineyard Haven, Althea uses her work to build community — and has fun along the way.
Read More

Finding Your Financial Footing
Beau Begin suggests asking yourself the hard questions – and making choices.
Read More

For Young Designers, The Future is On-Island
Island businesses like Vineyard Decorators, Martha’s Vineyard Interior Design and Hutker Architects offer opportunities for career building – without having to leave the Vineyard.
Read More

Pro Tips: Five Ways to Stay Sane This Winter
Combat the winter wearies with art and cooking classes, beauty boosts and self-care.
Read More

Connect the Dots
Alexandra Bullen Coutts
"Only Connect!" If I were the kind of person who could commit to literary-inspired tattoos, this epigraph from E.M. Forster’s 1910 novel Howard’s End might be my choice. As someone who spent a great deal of time pre-pandemic thinking and talking about the importance of real-life connection – The Oyster began as a sort of in-person social survival network for young adults looking for things to do in the off-season –the prolonged periods of quarantine we’ve all had to endure in the name of public safety has felt not just personally devastating but also professionally confusing. How can I encourage social and personal connection as a strategy for emotional well-being from six feet apart? How do we reconcile caring both for our community and our own mental health? And how many days in a row can I possibly work from home wearing pajama pants without officially becoming what one friend calls a “pajama pants person?”

These are the questions that keep me up at night. And since we’re (still, STILL) surviving a pandemic, I recently did what any self-respecting person with a smart phone would do, and I asked Instagram for advice. I wondered– in the form of several stories and some targeted emails and DMs –in the absence of our regular off-season survival tactics (potlucks, movie nights, raucous nights downtown) what are people doing to stay connected, engaged and reasonably happy, during this, the second full winter of our collective discontent?
Read More