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New business aims to enliven creativity while helping women's shelter

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FORTY FORT, LUZERNE COUNTY (WOLF) -- Beyond the colorful wax papered windows on Wyoming avenue in Forty Fort is a freshly renovated studio - where people can come for what Cherie Cruz calls, a dose of "art therapy". Sip N Silk is open to anyone with a desire to paint, but Cherie's passion to open the business came from one group in particular.

"I've been painting all my life, but I thought of this to bring to other women, to empower other women, to come out, have a fun night, a girl's night out, and just feel the creativity and create their own unique artwork," says owner and artist Cherie Cruz.

Their grand opening is set for this Saturday to give people a taste - silk painting parties, designed to create wearable art like scarves and sarongs - also pillows and umbrellas. Their parties also include aromatherapy where people make their own essential oils and body products like lip balm.

Cruz's fiancé says there aren't many creative outlets in the area for women.

"This is something that gives women an alternative. They can come out, spend a couple hours relating with friends, making a project they never thought they could do and walking away with a big smile on their face," says Jerry Walsh, Cruz's fiancé

Not just an art therapy experience - a portion of their proceeds will be donated to the Catherine McAuley House in Plymouth, which helps homeless women and children get back on their feet. And once a month, Sip N Silk will offer a discount to customers who bring women's business clothes to donate to women getting back into the workforce.

Cherie's fiancé says she's an inspiration and he couldn't be prouder.

Sip N Silk also offers "couples nights" where couples can paint a matching tie and scarf.

Their grand opening is this Saturday from 2 to 7pm on 1142 Wyoming Ave in Forty Fort.


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