'Wonderful' new gift shop opens on Lee Road
A new gift shop has opened in the space previously occupied by Simply Charming in the Cedar Lee neighborhood. Called S’Wonderful Gifts, the store opened on Nov. 17. It offers a wide variety of items, including jewelry, plush animals, ceramics, watches, purses, soaps and nail polish.
Bill Wort, 61, the new store’s owner, has spent most of his life working at museum stores. He grew up in the Washington, D.C. area, and worked at several museums there over the years. In 2007, he moved to Sarasota, Fla., where he ran the store at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. Then, in December 2011, the Cleveland Museum of Art hired him to run its shop while the museum was undergoing renovations. He left after about a year.
“I have wanted to open a gift store for some time,” said Wort, who lives on Scarborough Road in Cleveland Heights. “I was looking for a place with foot traffic. Living in the area, I knew about Simply Charming, and my wife shopped there a lot.”
When Simply Charming closed earlier this fall, Wort decided to open his store in the same space. Wort named it after the George Gershwin song “S’Wonderful.”
“My wife and I really like George Gershwin’s music,” Wort said. “So we decided to use his song title for the name.”
Wort’s wife, Nina Glueckselig, designs jewelry, and some of her items are for sale in the store. S’Wonderful carries a line of handmade scarves, created by a company called Rising Tide, and offers a large selection of unique socks. The store also features a line of Japanese ceramics, a variety of mugs and a selection of notebooks.
“It’s a place to find nice gifts and have fun,” Wort said. “I am trying to have a nice mix of things.”
Wort enjoys attending trade shows around the country. Last year, at a show in San Francisco, he saw a line of plush animals he liked, which are now available in his store.
Among Wort’s favorite items are modern tabletop pieces made from chrome and glass. They include salt-and-pepper shakers, oil-and-vinegar containers, and bowls. “I discovered these in Sarasota, and I think they are really beautiful,” he said.
The store carries a large assortment of cards for all occasions. They are all unique, and the wording is different from what one might typically find on cards in other stores.
S’Wonderful also has a line of handbags that is not available anywhere else in the U.S. Created by an Italian company, Full Spot, customers can select the bag, the handle and the trim to create a unique bag. The store also features watches that can be designed by the customer. “You can choose the watch face and the watch band,” Wort explained.
Wort is very optimistic about the store’s future, and very happy that he was able to open his own store. “Having my own store, I am not restricted in the items I can carry,” he said. “We have both fun and fancy gifts, and there’s something for everyone, from children to adults.”
2254 Lee Road
Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. through 7 p.m.
Sunday, noon through 5 p.m.
James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley. He is on the board of FutureHeights, and is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee.