Annie Davidson Watson
Aug 8, 2023
Annie is wearing the Delphine Dress.
Annie Davidson Watson, writer, editor, consultant, and founder of @littleackbook, joins us at our Nantucket Pop-up.
Tell us about Little ACK Book and why you started it.
Little ACK Book is a Nantucket-based luxury lifestyle publication and concierge service (that also has a boutique with some pretty little things). Dating back to the 1400s, “little black books” were journals that contained one’s most prized contacts and secrets. Little ACK Book (ACK is Nantucket’s airport code) is a present-day take on this concept, acting as a carefully-curated portal into the island’s coveted lifestyle. The idea is that the editorial content provides aspiration while the concierge provides attainability, bringing the pages of the publication to life.
With my professional experience in journalism and personal connection to Nantucket, I always wanted to start a publication on island—but Nantucket already has that. I knew that if I was going to create something, it had to be distinctly different.
It wasn’t until my wedding that I found the angle that I needed: the concierge. My now-husband (who’s English) had family and friends traveling in from around the world for the occasion, many of whom had never been to our Little Grey Lady before. While I had my hands full with last-minute bridal to-dos, I felt quite guilty that I couldn’t be more available to our guests, especially after they had put in such great time, effort, and expense to be there for us. I wished there was a local expert who they could’ve easily accessed for anything they needed—recommendations, reservations, accommodations, and beyond—as and when they needed it. So now, I’ve made that possible—hosting every arrangement from groups and brands, to families and couples—through an unparalleled editorial-meets-experiential platform for all to enjoy.
You’ve had such a robust career as a writer and editor - what advice would you give women looking to get into that field?
If you want to write, start writing. There’s nothing stopping you other than yourself (and that goes for everything).
Keep failing until you don’t.
Make human connections. And when you make those human connections, be gracious.
What has been the proudest moment for you in your career?
It hasn’t been the big stories or titles that have been my proudest moments (don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for those, still) but instead, the transitions in my career. The moments when I’ve been most fearful and uncertain—leaving a staffed position as an editor to dive into the deep, dark waters of freelance life, or starting my own company in an unchartered, new category—are the ones I’m most proud of because they’ve challenged me to grow both professionally and personally.
What motivates you when you need an extra push?
When I’m feeling less motivated, thinking about the big picture and the life I want to have always gives me that extra spark. At the beginning of each year, I create a board of everything I want to accomplish and set it as my desktop; every time I open my laptop, I’m reminded of why I do what I do and I let that positive feeling transcend the rest of the noise.
If I’m truly struggling (writer’s block is real!), I convince myself to start with five minutes of whatever I’m resisting (which is much easier than convincing myself to, say, write a whole reported story) and I always end up doing more. Once I break it down and simply start, that big, daunting task becomes a lot more digestible, and I find I don’t need as much motivation.
How would you describe your personal style?
For me, the goal is to look timeless and tailored but not stuffy. Kate Middleton and Lee Radziwill, for reference, are my go-tos for style guidance. And Tanya’s Delphine dress is a favorite of mine because it feels polished yet feminine and fresh.
It’s also important to me to incorporate pieces with meaning, which is why I adore jewelry so much. Each jewel that I’m wearing with Tanya’s dress has personal significance to me.
Who are the women that inspire you?
My mom and grandmothers—and truly every mother. I’m not one (unless you count to my Golden Retriever, which I definitely do!) and I do not understand how they do it all.
If you were a color, what color would you be and why?
A deep blue. In the 1800s, wax seals were used as signatures, but the color of them also indicated a hidden sentiment. Blue seals were used between lovers and the deeper the blue, the stronger the feeling. I’ve always felt that blue was one of the most passionate and discreetly romantic colors, so I love how this notion illustrates how something can be powerful yet unostentatious.