Give Back While Checking Off Your Gift List
Located on Everett Street in Wyckoff, All Is Well was founded by Jayne Gilbride-Bauer in 2009. Jayne was undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer when she first proposed her store’s concept to her future landlords in Wyckoff.
Jayne was introduced to a similar store at the Hackensack University Medical Center while being treated there. She came to appreciate the unique relationships that bloomed among doctors and patients as they shopped for specialty items geared toward people undergoing cancer therapies. She soon began to advise the store on appropriate merchandise to carry.
She later began the All is Well Foundation and store in order to raise support for a variety of nonprofit organizations, especially those that serve individuals dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Jayne’s niece and store manager, Catherine Perna Saum, worked side-by-side with her aunt to help carry out her dream.
In November 2013, just a few months before Jayne lost her battle with the disease, Catherine took over the shop and foundation. She now manages the volunteers, purchases inventory and consigns items created by local artists.
“Jayne always lived her life as a very positive and encouraging person,” Catherine says. “When you met her, you would never think she had cancer. She was a reading specialist and worked with kids with language-based learning disabilities. She was all about empowering other people.”
The store is stocked with inspirational gifts and carries many specialty items appropriate for individuals navigating a cancer diagnosis. Candles are all soy, and the shop carries a variety of non-toxic toiletry items and essential oils.
“We carry an extensive line of beautiful hats and headscarves, which is unique for a brick-and-mortar store. People usually have to order them online. They can try them on to see what they like, and I can special order different colors, etc. I will find them what they need. My aunt wanted people to feel like this was a gift shop, but we also carry great products and resources for people who need it.”
People like the idea of shopping for a cause. In addition to the personal satisfaction of getting one’s gift list checked off, all purchases “give back” to local organizations such as Ridgewood Social Services, the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Pediatric Patient Free Care Fund. The volunteer staff happily shares the mission of the store with their visitors. Some gift lines such as Mudpie and Demdaco are sold below suggested retail price as an extra incentive to shoppers. Gift wrapping is complimentary.
The challenges of running a volunteer organization in a retail space are real.
“Retail life is a struggle. We operate with only volunteers, and we don’t have a big budget. Getting shifts covered with volunteers is a challenge year-round,” Catherine says.
Jayne chose the store to have a beachy look to make people feel good when they walk in.
“There is always a good vibe in here. You feel Jayne’s spirit in the store,” Catherine says.
Jayne’s positive outlook may best be characterized in the line of a poem that inspired the store’s name. Called “Death is Nothing at All” by Henry Scott Holland, the last stanza reads: “All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we should laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!”
All Is Well
257 Everett Ave., Wyckoff