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Ali & Ike opens in Rocky River with stylish clothing, accessories: Unique Boutique (photos) |

Ali & Ike opens in Rocky River with stylish clothing, accessories: Unique Boutique (photos)

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — There aren’t many things cuter than a mostly hairless Chinese Crested pooch named Ike. So, when Ali Milli decided to open a cozy boutique, naming it for her little dog was a no-brainer. Ali Ike offers up a zen vibe and a variety of fashions, accessories and gifts in the heart of Rocky River.

The boutique opened in December inside a welcoming little gray house with a front porch on Linda Street. “I want it to feel like you’re hanging out at your best friend’s house,” says Milli who always dreamed of opening her own shop.

Milli, who is just turning 53, has extensive experience in retail and merchandising. Her father had an orthopedic shoe store for more than 50 years called Marsal Scientific Shoes at East 105th Street and Carnegie Avenue. Later, she worked at Gap, White House Black Market, was a private investigator and then worked for her husband’s company.

Her plans were put on hold when her best friend was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. She left her job and for a year and a half she was her friend’s caregiver. After her death last June, Milli went to work creating the friendly little shop full of fixtures built by her brothers and photos of those who have loved and influenced her. The sense of family runs through the space.

She has stocked the store with a variety of styles from flowy, easy, colorful pieces and fashionable kimonos to cozy cashmere wraps, clever T-shirts and a smattering of options in between. “It’s a mullet shop, business in the front, party in the back,” says Milli, “I have a little bit of everything as my style changes, I buy for women like me and for their daughters and I try to keep the prices reasonable and the quality high.”

Milli has a good eye for unique accessories, some of them she creates herself. She buys vintage furs and with the help of a talented tailor she turns them into handbags, cellphone pouches, vests and even cuff bracelets. She sees it as a way to bring them back, to honor the old fur and to get them out of the closets where they’ve been forgotten. Ike, who spends some days in the store, likes to cuddle up on the vintage furs. With no fur of his own, we can see the attraction.

The shop is full of great gift ideas for house warming, hostess gifts and birthdays including coasters for men and women, socks, gloves and calming scented candles by Root Candles, they’re made in Medina.

As for the future, Milli will be bringing in new product lines including some skincare. She also retained the full kitchen in the back of the store and plans to host shopping events, private shopping parties and maybe even some cooking events.

Ali Ike Boutique details:

Location: 1245 Linda Street in Rocky River.

Winter store hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday

Facebook: Ali Ike Boutique


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