By: Janice Lane Palko
We all feel warm and cozy inside when we help someone else, but now you can also feel warm and cozy on the outside and help a woman battling cancer.
Dione O’Dell and daughter Kaleigh O’Dell are the owners of The Gardenia Branch, an online women’s clothing boutique, and they are working with the Glimmer of Hope Foundation to support women battling cancer.
Several years ago, Dione’s sister was diagnosed with cancer, and while she was undergoing treatment, she realized that she felt most comfortable in a cardigan sweater.
During the pandemic lockdowns, Kaleigh, who was pursuing her love for fashion at Kent State, was home studying and proposed that she and her mother open an online store. Dione’s sister encouraged the idea and requested that they carry cardigans so that she could purchase them from their store. Sadly, Dione’s sister passed away unexpectedly from her disease, but Dione and Kaleigh carried on with their venture, but they wanted to find a way to help others and the “butterfly cardigan” was born because her late sister loved butterflies.
On November 12, 2021, The Gardenia Branch ran a campaign that for every butterfly cardigan purchased, a butterfly cardigan would be donated to a woman battling cancer. The sweaters sold out within a few hours. The demand was so high, they ran another campaign and sold out quickly again.
This year’s campaign starts on Oct. 10 at 10 a.m., and Dione recommends setting an alarm to remind yourself to shop for the butterfly cardigan at the website at www.thegardenabranch.com or in person at Ross Park Mall on the lower level of the mall across from H&M.
The butterfly cardigan comes in ten colors and the donated sweaters will be distributed through the Glimmer of Hope Foundation on Giving Tuesday, November 29.
“We want women battling cancer to know that there are women wearing these cardigans in support of you!” said Dione. “Please know that as soon as you put this cardigan on, that you are being hugged!”