The Block Island Times

Block Star stickers turn 10

By Lily O'Gara | Aug 12, 2014

It all began on “a cold, blustery night at Club Soda,” Dominic Nardini, the brain behind the infamous Block Star stickers, said. Nardini and his band mates were playing to an empty house in the bar about 10 years ago. After performing a lengthy Led Zeppelin song and receiving no applause, the group joked around that they were “rock stars.”

It was then that Nardini realized that they were actually “block stars.”

The next morning, he said, he found himself “dismayed that there was no symbol for the island.”

“Martha’s Vineyard is not as cool,” Nardini said, “and they have that black dog everywhere.”

Nardini has a deep affection for the island. Originally from New York City, the musician and artist has been coming out to Block Island since the early ‘80s. As a teen, he worked at the Atlantic Inn, and has been playing in the island band, the Booze Beggars, at Captain Nick’s since 2003.

He worked on the stickers that very day. At first, he distributed them from the back of the taxicab he was operating at the time. Nardini said he probably gave away more of them than he sold, as they were originally used to promote the Block Island Music Fest.

He opened up a local shop, The Block Store, which he operated from 2006-2008.  While he enjoyed owning a business, the location was not conducive to merchandise sales. Block Star products are now being sold at MarMar, a jewelry store on Ocean Avenue. The products range from hats to onesies, and Nardini said he likes to add a new item each year. He’s thinking that patches will be next.

When asked if he initially thought the stickers would be wildly popular, Nardini said “yes.”

“I didn’t see any reason why they wouldn’t be,” he said.

Nardini was right; 10 years later, the sticker design still serves as the unofficial symbol for the island.

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