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Oakwood Village -- Dolphin Restaurant owner Sandy Mihalek turned a tragic time in her life into a positive, by honoring her childhood best friend with a gift shop in her honor.
CW stands for Ms. Carol Woyton, Mihalek's best friend who passed away from colon cancer in June. Her favorite flower was the purple iris, so Mihalek named the store after her dear friend, CW's Purple Iris. The name goes even deeper than that, however. Mihalek said when searching online for images of the purple iris, she learned of the Greek goddess named Iris -- the goddess of the rainbow, the messenger between heaven and earth. She said that she became inspired to open a shop.
Mihalek said she wanted a place where people could come and have a cup of tea or coffee even if they weren't feeling 100 percent.
She said she wanted to bring Ms. Woyton in where she could come in for a while and sit and have a place to be outside of her home a couple times a week.
"When someone is ill, they spend a lot of time at home, lets make a place where you can get them up and dressed and they can come in and sit and have a cup of coffee," she said.
However, Ms. Woyton passed before the store could be opened in November. It was also during the same time that Mihalek's step-daughter, Anastacia, 26, was diagnosed with abdominal cancer. She died two days after Woyton.
"Everything that I have done here has been done with love," Mihalek.
Despite neither Ms. Woyton nor her step-daughter being able to see the store, she honors them on a memory wall as patrons enter the boutique.
She said she would like to see groups come in and share survivor stories, and have men and women's groups use the space including the outdoor Grecian patio, which features a mural of the goddess Iris, for inspirational meetings or cook-outs.
Mihalek said CW's Purple Iris, isn't necessarily a religious store, but she does believe it is inspirational. The boutique features flavored coffees which come with caffeine and in decaf, teas, olive oils and balsamic vinegars and many gift items.
In addition to tea blends, Mihalek carries Inca tea, and other higher end teas. Among the inspirational gifts are matching totes and pillows for people who may be undergoing chemotherapy.
Coronet jewelry, iris artwork, fairy gardens, hand carved wooden animals, greek imports and other gifts are available in the boutique. One of the other more unique items available are hand-strung greeting cards, from which the inserts can be taken out and the card reused over and over again. Mihalek's store associate Ann Kelly makes the cards.
The store is located in the same building as the Dolphin restaurant at 26091 Broadway Avenue in Oakwood. Store hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information call 440-945-6414.
Briana Barker: 330-541-9432