“We designed Hilltop Flower Co. to feel like its own little world, enveloping your senses and transporting you for a brief moment into an old world flower shop,” Dannie says. “Amanda and I want to create beauty and share that beauty with others.”
Their new flower, home, and garden shop marries a love of whimsical, garden-inspired floral arrangements with a passion for well-made goods. “We’re a one-stop hostess gift shop,” Dannie says. The shop’s gorgeously curated collection of goods—including hand-poured candles by chalktree | WAX Candles, local handcrafted Wild Bee soaps, cards, jewelry, plants, children’s toys, and merino lambswool throws from Yorkshire—reflects the enchanting Hilltop aesthetic and commitment to quality, artistry, sustainability, and craftsmanship.
Seasonally inspired fresh flower bouquets, available in a variety of sizes, are the heart and soul of Hilltop Flower Co. “Each week’s new bouquet is like our signature,” Dannie says, “what we’ve crafted and our vision for the bouquets that week.” Every one is unique, and the beauty of each flower and the art of bringing them together are part of their eloquence. “Flowers have a way of saying what you can’t say in words,” Dannie says.
Dannie and Amanda designed Hilltop Flower Co. to complement Kennett Square’s award-winning collection of shops and boutiques, and their location across from the library on East State Street extends the interest and things to do in Kennett. With customer parking behind the shop and easy access for floral deliveries and loading vans for events, the space works well. They’re looking forward to the new French bakery opening soon in the space next to them too. “We also love the porch,” Dannie says, “because we’re able to create a garden and build the experience before people walk into the shop.”
A tale of two friends
Amanda and Dannie are both artists with a design background, and Hilltop Flower Co. reflects that sensibility. Dannie has a background in fine art and is a professionally trained horticulturist who has worked at both Winterthur and Longwood Gardens. When she started her own business, Hilltop Flower Design, several years ago, she needed a skilled extra pair of hands to help with weddings and events. But she needed someone who embraced the same design aesthetic and attention to detail—and love for flowers. She found all of that and more in Amanda. “I’m not prone to trust others with tasks that require that kind of artistry,” Dannie says, “but I knew right away I could trust Amanda. She helped me make bouquets for my first farmers market and was there with me at every single wedding. I couldn’t have done it without her.”
In Amanda she also found someone who shared her vision and brought different skillsets that perfectly complemented her own. Like the burgundy hydrangeas and O’Hara roses in Hilltop’s current autumnal bouquets, the two friends have combined their passion, expertise, and experience to create something beautiful together. Amanda, who has a background in graphic design, has created all of the branding for Hilltop. She enjoys building systems and communications, and as operations manager she leads all brand, marketing, and operations efforts for the business—which enables Dannie, in her role as head florist, to concentrate on creating proposals and visions for brides, flower sourcing, plant lists, and design prototypes.
The friends chose to open their retail space in Kennett Square, Dannie says, “Because it’s charming and picturesque—and our lives are here.” Even when Dannie and her husband Bo lived in Downingtown, she says, “Kennett felt like our community.” Amanda and her husband Johnny have also lived in Kennett and have close ties here.
Their backgrounds in the arts shape the way she and Amanda see things, Dannie says. “We both intrinsically understand balance and harmony—in the bouquets and displays we create and in the curation and design of the shop.” Fueled by a shared vision for Hilltop Flower Co.—as well as by candy, caffeine, and friendship—they transformed their new space at 217 East State Street. “It was like a tornado,” Dannie says of their frantic weeks spent fitting out, painting, and decorating the shop. “But we’re still friends!” And the result is a sensory oasis, a beautiful, gracious space steeped in the heart and soul of its creators.
Flowers at the heart of it all
Hilltop Flower Co. bouquets often feature roses, their favorite flower, in combination with other blooms and foliage that reflect the seasons. In the fall, for example, Dannie loves bringing in foraged foliage to add interest, texture, color, and a sense of rooted local place to the bouquets. This efflorescent alchemy all happens in their workshop, which occupies the majority of the shop’s cozy space.
Hilltop Flower Co. offers beautiful seasonal flowers in one-of-a-kind bouquets, custom pre-orders, and wedding floristry. Each creation, from a large-scale wedding arch installation to the tiniest boutonniere, comes from the heart and imagination of the florist—not from a catalog of cookie-cutter templates. Dannie, who finds inspiration everywhere, particularly loves working on weddings where she has the creative freedom to play with more unusual flowers, color palettes, and textures to create subtle tonal shifts. “We create a special experience for brides,” Dannie says, and brides choose Hilltop because they love their wild, whimsical, and natural style and commitment to sustainability.
Hilltop is very intentional about working to reduce the waste that’s so prevalent in the floral industry. They never use floral foam, for example, and present their bouquets in beautiful paper carriers with handles. “We try to use very seasonal flowers, from our gardens when we can, as well as foliage and branches to add structure and interest,” Dannie says. They also dry flowers they don’t use and incorporate them in wreaths and other projects. The stunning central ceiling installation in the shop was created with left-over flowers from weddings and dried flowers from their garden in Oxford.
Dannie and Amanda, who are both warm, engaging, and deeply knowledgeable, feel strongly about removing the stress people often feel around ordering flowers. “Walking into a traditional florist’s can be intimidating,” Dannie says. “We want people to feel comfortable and to enjoy the excitement and beauty of flowers.” Education is important, too. “We love the opportunity to work with brides and other customers to educate them. We never want people to be frustrated with such an important part of their special day. Flowers should be joyful.”
An old-fashioned Christmas
Speaking of seasons—Hilltop Flower Co. will soon be in “a swirl of sap,” Dannie says, creating beautiful wreaths for the holiday season. Garland, fragrant greens, and lots of twinkle lights will create a warm and cozy Christmas ambience inside the shop and inspire customers who want to bring a bit of Hilltop Flower Co. into their own homes.
As part of Kennett Collaborative’s Christmas in Kennett decorations this year, Hilltop Flower Co. will be creating an installation at the K2 sculpture in the Genesis Walkway. Dannie’s theme is “an old-fashioned Christmas with a twist,” and the display, inspired by Colonial Williamsburg, will be fragrant with a cornucopia of pineapples, oranges, cloves, and more, with materials like curly willow creating billowing shapes. Hilltop will tie these elements into the large planters at the intersection of State and Union Streets they’re also designing for Christmas in Kennett.
“We want Hilltop Flower Co. to be a nest of beauty and craftsmanship,” Dannie says, and she and Amanda look forward to welcoming people to their lovely and restorative oasis in the heart of Kennett Square.
Hilltop Flower Co. is located at 217 East State Street, across from the Kennett Library and a few steps up from La Michoacana Homemade Ice Cream. Find details about booking weddings and events at their website here and follow @hilltopflowerco