Gone are the days of bar bacchanalia, packed restaurants and society affairs (hopefully not for long), but Jess Dewar, founder of The Setting Collective, is tapping her event planning skills to create memorable and Instagram-worthy experiences wherever you are in the New York area, all while following COVID-protocol.

Her first set-ups – lounges and picnics – started in the Hamptons this past summer before the first phases of New York’s reopening were even a thought. Each Boho-style set-up was fashioned for less than ten people and situated on local beaches to keep everyone safely outdoors. Jess, a one-woman show who completely self-funded this venture, considers every design detail, whether you’re looking to have a day-time hangout or sunset dinner with custom tablescapes. And, with winter approaching, Jess is transitioning her beach layouts to intimate dinner parties at home.

With only a few months under her belt, it wasn’t long before Jess started getting noticed by local businesses and high-profile clientele thanks to social media. Soon after launching her event company, she was tasked with a beachy picnic at an oyster farm on the North Fork for The Real Housewives of New York City, while luxury hotels like Gurney’s Montauk and A Room At The Beach started enlisting The Setting Collective for special occasions out East. While this has truly been the wildest year of our lifetime, Jess is fully committed to creating one-of-a-kind pop-ups in any event to give us all a reason to properly celebrate.

Click through for our chat with Jess on her inspiration for The Setting Collective, creative process and how she plans to evolve in the current climate.

[Photos courtesy The Setting Collective]