Hive Trade Showroom in Palm Beach.

Francesco Lagnese

How Sara McCann Built a Palm Beach Design Empire

We're joining her for a day in the life.

May 10, 2024

About a decade ago, when McCann Design Group founder Sara McCann was brainstorming names for her new venture—a home and garden store just off South Dixie Highway in Palm Beach—the word “hive” seemed like a natural fit. “A hive is a home, a place with lots of busy bees collaborating and working together,” she explains. “Hives also organically grow and continue to spin off—I loved that aspect of it.”

McCann Design Group founder Sara McCann in her studio’s sample library.

Francesco Lagnese

The name couldn’t have been more apt. Today, when McCann refers to the Hive Collective “campus,” she isn’t exaggerating: There’s the original Hive Home, a sprawling shop with décor, linens, tableware, garden goods, a floral studio, and just about anything else you might need for a well-appointed Palm Beach pad (or yacht). Next door at Hive Kids, you’ll find everything from adorably smocked rompers to party supplies. Around the corner, there’s Hive for Her, with its carefully curated mix of apparel and accessories (think Isabel Marant dresses and Kayu straw totes for day, Proenza Schouler gowns and Loeffler Randall heels for night), and its guys’ counterpart Hive for Him. Feeling shopped out? Stop by Hive Bakery and Café for a quick refresh before heading down the road to the Hive Trade Showroom, where designers can browse textiles and wallcoverings from 40-plus brands as well as furniture from Lewis Mittman and Hickory Chair.

As if that’s not enough, McCann is still at the helm of her booming interiors studio (yes, they have their own building on campus, too), which tackles projects across the country. So how does she get it all done? We asked her to give us a peek at a day in the life at the helm of Palm Beach’s buzziest design empire.

Hive Bakery and Café serves breakfast and lunch.

Francesco Lagnese

8 A.M.

My first stop of the day is usually the bakery and café, where I’ll have a breakfast meeting with a client or friends. When we opened the store 10 years ago, the number one question from our customers was, “Where can I get a cup of coffee and where can I get lunch?” We’d have to send them miles down the road to South Dixie Highway, and we wouldn’t see them again! So we realized if we open up a bakery and café, we’ll keep ’em on campus! It really feeds us and our customers.

  • The Hive Home store includes a sprawling outdoor selection.

    Francesco Lagnese
  • An in-house floral studio handles everything from events to everyday arrangements.

    Francesco Lagnese

9 A.M.

We kick off our morning meetings at Hive Home from 9 to 10 a.m., and then I’ll go from department to department and just check in with the different teams. I’ll see what the communications team is posting on social media today, or I’ll meet with the buying team to approve orders and talk about what’s selling. There are usually lots of events going on during the day. Today we have a trunk show with Sid and Ann Mashburn, and we just hosted a book signing with Kathryn Ireland at the trade showroom. Right now, we’ve also got the Boat Show going on in West Palm Beach, which my floral team is doing arrangements for.

  • A rainbow of clutches at Hive for Her.

    Francesco Lagnese
  • Hive Kids is a colorful wonderland.

    Francesco Lagnese

11 A.M.

Later in the morning, I might head over to Hive Collections, our three boutiques with apparel and accessories. Hive Home always had go-to women’s and kids gifts, and when we saw that those items were flying out the door faster than other items, we decided to open Hive for Her, Hive for Him, and Hive Kids. At the women’s store, we carry a great breadth of designers—Jason Wu, Victoria Beckham, Lela Rose, Ulla Johnson, Ann and Sid Mashburn. I just had a Zoom call with our buying consultant who is in Paris for Fashion Week to talk about some of the new brands she’s been scouting for us.

12 P.M.

Around noon, I’ll head back to the bakery for lunch. I probably end up eating two meals a day there! We’re not open for dinner yet, but hopefully we will be starting this fall.

The McCann Design Group office.

Francesco Lagnese

1 P.M.

After lunch, I’ll probably have meetings with our design clients or potential new ones. We have four teams of licensed interior designers over at McCann Design Group, as well as a licensed architect who helps with interior architecture—many of our clients work with their own architect on their house’s exterior and floor plan, and then we take it from there. We do everything from the ground up, from selecting all the finishes and plumbing and appliances to furnishing the rooms. We also have five designers on the team at Hive Home, where we work with clients on smaller projects—they might just need help with a room or two, or maybe they’re on a shorter timeframe and just want to purchase off the floor.

The Trade Showroom carries furniture from brands like Hickory Chair.

Francesco Lagnese

3 P.M.

Later in the afternoon, I might head to a job site visit. These days, I mostly kickstart and oversee our projects, so I’m usually on the initial walkthroughs. Yesterday, I met a pair of clients who just bought a beautiful Marion Sims Wyeth home in the estate section in Palm Beach to discuss the scope for the job that they want us to work on. This is their fourth house that we’ve done with them in the last 10 years!

  • McCann in her office.

    Francesco Lagnese
  • The airy meeting room is perfect for hosting clients.

    Francesco Lagnese

5 P.M.

I’m pretty good at leaving here by five! We pack a lot in during the day. And then it’s often off to an event—the other night I went to the Ann Norton Sculpture Garden for a lovely evening of music out in the gardens. Especially during the season in Palm Beach, there seems to be a dinner or a party every other night!

Francesco Lagnese