October 29, 2021
When Dona and Briar became friends, they quickly realized that they both grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the same time. They immediately connected over all their shared memories of the old Harvard Square: The Orson Welles Cinema, Bailey's Ice Cream Parlor and Woolworth's Drugstore, which are all now long gone. As they got to know each other better, Dona and Briar learned they had more in common than a hometown; through each of their life's journeys, both had come to value giving gifts as an important part of life.
Dona's career took her from studying business at Northeastern University and going on to the School of Fashion Design to working as a design consultant and establishing her own gifting company, Baskets of Enchantment, in the late 1990's. She loved hearing about how her baskets were received-and how smart her customers felt knowing that they'd given the perfect gift.
Briar studies classical voice at New England Conservatory, and then went into the hospitality business with her family, opening two Cambridge properties: The Mary Prentiss Inn and The Kendall Hotel. In 2007, she moved to the North shore and established her own events business. Willowdale Estate in Topsfield. In 2019, she added to her portfolio and opened a sister property in Rowley-Briar Barn Inn and Grove restaurant. Meeting hundreds of hosts, couples and planners, Briar saw firsthand how special occasions and gifting are all about the details.
Teaming up in 2021, Dona and Briar put their passion for gift-giving in Ava & Ruby; a gift bundle company that is a celebration of what makes giving gifts so special. In the process, they've given a nod to their shared roots in Cambridge by including local local Massachusetts vendors featured throughout their bundles.
Some of our MA-based vendors: Q-nuts: Somerville, MA, Noted Candles: Boston, Ma, The Corpsman's Apothecary: Boston, MA, Winfrey's Fudge & Chocolate: Rowley & Stoneham, MA, Three-Gingers Jerky: Beverly, MA, Source Bakery: Beverly, MA
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