MANCHESTER, NH – What could be better than bringing more beauty into people’s lives? If you ask Jen MacLaren she might say doing so with flair and in a spirit of collaboration.
And that’s exactly what she’s aiming for with Dew Collective, a new venture founded by MacLaren, who is partnering with longtime florist Janet Desmarais of Manchester Flower Studio to expand the joy of fresh flowers while making new spaces for creativity through a unique business model.
MacLaren, a Manchester resident and former corporate executive turned entrepreneur, is embracing fresh flower design and modern home décor under the Dew Collective umbrella, merging the existing Manchester Flower Studio brand at its current location at 388 Wilson St. with an eye to the future – which includes change.
The building is currently for sale and MacLaren has a plan to relocate the business, to a new retail space on Elm Street with higher foot traffic (location yet to be determined). Manchester Flower Studio will maintain its brand due to strong online presence and the storefront will take the name Dew Collective providing consumers with modern home décor, contemporary art and a space to gather, MacLaren said.
In the meantime, Manchester Flower Studio will continue offering daily flower delivery, special occasion flower design, bouquets, and plants.
“Providing beautiful flowers to the community is something I’ve had great pride in over the years,” DesMarais said. “Many of my clients are friends and I love to bring them joy with a creative approach and distinct fresh flowers at their special occasions or during life’s moments. I’ve enjoyed having Jennifer work with me providing me an outlet to share my expertise and passion for flowers and special occasions.”
MacLaren’s vision for the new location includes attracting younger generations moving into Manchester’s buzzing downtown area. Since launching Dew Collective, MacLaren has been seeking out local business collaborations. Her fresh flowers have been posted for sale in pop-ups at Hometown Coffee Roasters, Angela’s Pasta & Cheese Shop, Fresh Press Cafe at Fortitude Health, Bedford Events Center and Lighthouse Local Bakery in neighboring Bedford.
The surrounding towns of Bedford and Londonderry have embraced MacLaren’s concepts, with local businesses enrolling in monthly flower delivery services and participating in pop-up events and business raffles. Greet Bedford, a lifestyle publication, has even offered floral design and arrangement classes to its readership base, with plans for more in the spring. New England Dance Ensemble in Londonderry provided her bouquets for sale at the annual Nutcracker performance this holiday season.
“Community, events and local business are the foundation of our city and have always held a special place in my heart,” said MacLaren. “Being a devoted mother of three girls here in Manchester, I am energetically dedicated to upholding the traditions of our cherished local businesses while seamlessly integrating modern trends. This way, we preserve our rich heritage and create an inviting atmosphere that resonates with the aspirations of the next generation, ensuring Manchester remains a vibrant and thriving community.”
To celebrate Valentine’s Day this year Dew Collective will be hosting its first flower arranging workshop on Sunday, February 11, from 3-5 p.m. at Hometown Coffee Roasters. The event, open to the public, will feature live music, gift baskets, and delicious treats. Attendees will have the opportunity to create their own arrangements from the ombre bouquet bar. Interested individuals can register for the event here. Pop-up Valentine’s Day flower bars will be filled with grab-’n’-go bouquets at Hometown, Fresh Press Café and Lighthouse Local.
MacLaren is particularly excited to be included as part of Mayor Jay Ruais’ planning committee for the Feb. 10 Inaugural Mayor’s Gala at the Doubletree Hilton Armory.
Along with Manchester business owners Norri Oberlander of NorthEnd Properties and Laura Gamache of Gamache Real Estate, the event will feature florals and event decor by Dew Collective. Local artist and children’s author Peter Noonan has been commissioned to create Manchester cityscapes for the event backdrop, showcasing iron work from David Noonan Wrought Iron, known for his contributions to the city’s ironwork and landmarks like the Rock Rimmon archway (some tickets still available here.) A finale to a fun evening, the event will feature donuts from Lighthouse Local and Phantom Gourmet rated, Birdfood Baking Co.
Looking ahead MacLaren says she plans to expand Dew Collective to other retail locations, starting with the newest concept in Newburyport, MA, which just launched last week. Located at 70 State Street, The Newburyport Flower Studio– under the Dew Collective brand – will offer floral delivery to the surrounding area, along with contemporary art and home decor items. The spacious location will also host flower arranging and wreath-making classes, and a fresh bouquet bar. The quick scale of the business based on the market receptivity has necessitated the need for MacLClaren to hire staff in all positions, primarily at a part-time or contract basis for flower and arrangement design, retail store managers and flower delivery.
“Dew Collective is an umbrella brand to sell more than just flowers – contemporary art, home decor, packaged food and clothing in addition to the flower arranging classes and pop-ups,” MacLaren explained. “I’ve replicated Manchester’s brand for continuity. Newburyport Flower Studio is a member of Dew Collective, as the online destination for out-of-state shoppers looking to send arrangements locally to members of the community. I hope to translate the out of state orders into lasting local customers, the same way Janet has in Manchester.”
MacLaren says she is also committed to sustainability and plans to incorporate potted plants through collaboration with local potters and glass blowers to create unique and meaningful vessels for her flower arrangements. She believes that providing great service and a unique offering and a nod to the fine arts will keep local customers coming back.
In the summer months of New England, she plans to source flowers locally and embrace modern trends of horticulture.
To learn more about Dew Collective and their offerings visit their website at dewcollective.co and follow them on social media @dewcollective.