WYCKOFF, N.J. – Patrons of the All Is Well Boutique in Wyckoff are bound to see the signs.
The handmade, wood plaques that adorn the store’s walls are painted with phrases like “I choose joy,” “It is still a beautiful world,” and “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.”
These were some of the positive words that Jayne Gilbride-Bauer would share to encourage others, said her niece, Catherine Perna Saum, of Wyckoff.
Gilbride-Bauer, a longtime Ho-Ho-Kus resident, died of ovarian cancer in 2014, just a few months after the opening of the shop.
Saum now runs the store with a team of about 10 steady volunteers. And when she is there, “I feel her presence,” she said of her aunt.
The proceeds from the boutique go to the All Is Well Foundation which donates money directly to local patients battling cancer and also supports cancer research, local charities and education.
Saum said she and her aunt got the idea to open a boutique in Wyckoff after they helped refresh the gift shop at Hackensack University Medical Center, and brought in more items for people going through cancer treatment.
After the Hackensack gift shop started selling things like cute hats, headscarves and costume jewelry, it “took off,” Saum said. “Not only was it a place to shop for chemical free products, you had doctors, nurses and patients all shopping together.”
After that, the pair wanted to open a boutique in their own community.
Saum said she and her aunt dreamed up the Wyckoff boutique as a one-stop shop where people going through cancer treatment could go to shop, feel understood and learn about wellness. The store – located at 257 Everett Avenue -- carries items like fashionable headscarves, soy-based non-toxic candles, and home goods crafted by local artisans.
It also hosts wellness-based events – such as sessions on acupuncture, mixing essential oils, and thermography – which involves looking at heat sources within the body.