Faces in the Crowd: Hannah Lucas

September 6, 2018

By Gene Bodnar

On many occasions, I had passed by Maxwell’s Flower and Gifts but had never gone inside. Located in downtown Clare at 522 N. McEwan, I decided to contact

Hannah Lucas

Hannah Lucas

the owner, Hannah Lucas, for an interview. When I arrived at the appointed time, she had to take care of several customers, so I browsed around the store for a few minutes. I quickly became impressed with the wide variety of unique gift items – one-of-a-kind items that you would never find elsewhere. After the customers left, we got down to the interview.

Hannah, 42, was raised in Algonac, Michigan. She attended the Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, and while still in high school, she worked in her aunt’s Flower shop: Lucas Lawn, Garden and Flowers, Inc. Thus, she has been in the florist business most of her life.

She attended Oakland University in Rochester Hills, MI, acquiring a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology, with a minor in Studio Art. Later she attended Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, where she attained a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in 3D Studio Art, with a minor in Natural Resources.

She moved “up north” in 2002. Before buying Maxwell’s Flowers and Gifts, her previous employments included working at Lost Lake Scout Reservation, 4 Seasons Floral, Maxwell’s Flowers, and at the United States Post Office as a substitute rural carrier. She has also maintained self-employment by selling antique and collectables on eBay, Etsy, and Amazon, as well as selling via antique booths and antique shows.

In 2003, Hannah married Edward (Ted) Evans, who is an Artist with a Masters of Fine Arts from U of W. In August he participated in Art Walk Central hosted by Art Reach in Mount Pleasant and his piece was placed in the top 10 by the judges. Hannah and Ted have a daughter, Emily Evans, who is 5 years old and will start Kindergarten this year.

In May of 2017, Hannah bought Maxwell’s Flowers and Gifts. She is the sole proprietor, and currently she is its only full time employee. She works six days a week, but couldn’t do it without the help of her two part time employees and the support of her family.

Maxwell’s Flowers and Gifts

Maxwell’s Flowers and Gifts

Maxwell’s has a long history in Clare. Before 1946, the shop was called Louise’s Flowers. In that year, Dorothy Maxwell bought it and changed its name to Maxwell’s Flowers. She eventually sold it to Barbara Kunse. In turn, they sold it to Gus Murphy, who sold it to Steve Barns several years ago. Under Steve’s ownership, he moved the shop from its previous location at 601 N. McEwan to its current location at 522 N. McEwan. Finally, Hannah bought it last year.

Hannah has done wonders with the store in the short time it has been in operation. The “flowers” part of the shop only takes up about one-third of the available space, but it will remain the main focus of the store. Of course, you can find roses, lilies, and a host of other kinds of flowers for sale, and you can find innumerable house plants – everything you would expect to find in a good florist shop. But the other two-thirds of the store is devoted to “gifts,” and this is the part of the store that really impressed. Most of the gifts sold in Maxwell’s are made in the USA, and a large percentage of the gift items are made in Michigan, and many of those are made locally. Furthermore, all of the items are more environmentally oriented: less plastic or synthetic materials, more items are vegan, Natural, Cruelty free, and so on. Many items are refurbished goods or upcycled pieces. Hannah sells many one-of-a-kind items on consignment.

Much artwork is for sale, all by local artists, including Ted Evans, Roger Chase, Tamara Mackie, Denise Mackie, GerryAnn Ryan, and Laurie Orban.

Hannah says that flowers will remain the main focus, but she will be adding more personality, color, and artistry. Her goal is to turn the store into more of a “destination shopping experience” with specialty and small batch items.

Hannah has provided a list of the unique items that can be purchased in this store. Let’s start with items made in Michigan:

Handmade soy candles, Lotion, Room Spray and Lib Balm from the Green Daffodil Company, all natural and vegan.

All natural olive oil soap and a wide array of scented soy candles with a Michigan Theme from Aroma Scents Company.

A variety of Honey Soaps and lotions from Bee Lovely Botanicals, natural and wonderfully scented and well as themed such as ‘the happy camper.’

A variety of Sanders Fine Chocolates, a Michigan tradition since 1875.

Fun Art Prints ready to frame or rustically framed from the Party of One Paper Company.

Laser engraved treasures made of locally sourced hardwoods as keychains from Habit Nation Company.

A variety of jams made in small batches with all natural ingredients from the Local Plump Up the Jam Company.

Seasonal Plants grown in Michigan: Hardy Mums, poinsettias, spring bloomers and more.

Now a list of items produced in other states of the country:

Hand-crafted vegan, cruelty free, 5-free, nail polish, from Black Dahlia Lacquer in Texas.

Enamel Mugs in which you can heat your stew on a camp stove or bake a cupcake in – one mug for all of your adventures – from PNW Enamel Company.

A wide variety of tea grown in America by the Charleston Tea Plantation in South Carolina.

Wood flowers, fabric flowers, and paper flowers made by the Sola Wood Flowers Company.

Greeting cards that feature colorful artwork not just on the outside, but on the inside too, by Oatmeal Studios Cards.

Greeting cards that feature award-winning inspirational greetings consisting of black and white photographs and handwritten inspirational quotes, by Bonair Daydreams.

Jelly Belly candy from the original Jelly Bean Store.

Hannah also sells vintage items, some furniture, birdhouses planters, and signs to hang on your wall. One sign says, “May you live 100 years plus one to repent.” She also currently has a beautifully made vintage cedar cabinet that is most impressive.

Hannah also participates in many local events. Her love of art leads her to donate a center piece to most of the 515 Art Gallery’s opening events in downtown Clare. She will be participating in the “Taste of Clare” on September 22nd by passing out samples of Charleston Tea Plantation tea, jelly bellies, and Sanders chocolates.

As I said, she is always looking to add new items and is currently preparing for the upcoming fall and winter holidays. You can watch her activities, see newly arrived items, and view some beautiful flower arrangements on Maxwell’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

When she has free time, Hannah and her family love to go on day trips, visiting other small towns, going to visit friends, visiting art galleries, or just walking on a beach… She also loves gardening, her pets, and photography.

Hannah is the owner of a very unique store that contains very unusual items, not only flowers. It is definitely worthy of what she calls it: a destination shopping experience.

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