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The Best Remedy - Young Entrepreneurs Bring Their Vision To Life In An Up-and-Coming Area of Town

Jun 25, 2018 08:00AM

Tyna Swingler and Anthony D’Andrea were meant to be together. They met in Chicago in 1996, while working in retail. Since then, the couple has been inseparable, and today, they own and operate one of the hippest, most delightful stores in town: Remedies Parlor.

Owners Tyna Swingler and Anthony D’Andrea

Tyna, who was born in a small town south of Chicago, is a natural-born visual merchandiser with an eye for aesthetics that is second to none. Anthony, a native of Minneapolis, is a dedicated soul with a creative sense and a hands-on approach. They are two peas in a pod when it comes to designing and presenting their magnificent inventory of vintage furnishings, accessories, plants, antiques, jewelry and apothecaries to their customers. Their vision for Remedies Parlor is cohesive, appropriate and, to put it simply, perfect.

Remedies Parlor is nestled between Hough Street and Evans Avenue in the heart of historical Gardner’s Park. Named after the second mayor of the city of Fort Myers, Rev. William P. Gardner, this neighborhood retains many of the early structures that were built during his administration in the late 1800s. The store is playing a big role in the redevelopment of the area as a commercial, cultural and tourist hub, along with neighboring businesses such as The Butterfly Estates and the Wisteria Tea Room & Café.

But Tyna [pronounced Tan-ya] and Anthony were not exactly planning on changing the world when they opened their parlor in 2016. Anthony, who has a bachelor’s degree with a concentration of architecture from the Columbia College in Chicago, brings a strong sense of

design and structure to the team. Tyna, a veteran in the retail business, uses her keen eye for aesthetics to bring everything to life.

The shop, brimming with antiques, vintage furnishings and eclectic home accessories, is located in Gardner’s Park.

“We always talked about opening a store. started with a love of antiques and interiors, and mixing old with new,” says Anthony, who has helped create their inventory by collecting antiques and vintage pieces throughout their years together. “[Before the store], our friends would come over to our home and tell us we should be doing this for a living. Then they would ask us to come to their home and help with design,” says Tyna, who loves the challenge of great design, but also functionality.

The store first opened its doors in 2016, after they found the perfect destination spot, close to downtown and where they live, nearby Dean Park. “We took a very different approach than most retailers and decided to offer all of our favorite things, while curating an environment where all of these items could work together,” explains Tyna, who is an expert at finding the right arrangements for their products to create the most attractive displays.

Cleverly, the exquisite shop focuses on the five senses. “We wanted to provide a sensory overload,” say the entrepreneurs, whose entire offerings include home furnishings (old and new), apothecary, garden items, plants, jewelry, wine, beer and bubbles. All of the apothecary products are natural and made in the United States by crafters and small retailers. They also offer their own line of 100 percent pure essential oils, along with “Parlor” blends consisting of diffusers, sprays or perfumes that can be customized upon request. “We love a line from one of our vendors consisting of all-natural, vegan superfoods, elixirs, tonics, teas and bitters,” they say.

Another irresistible product in the store is incense based on pure, ethically sourced and produced palo santo, which is great for mediation or rituals, as well as an amazing scent for your

home. Their gardens are available for rent and ideal for small, intimate events. Tyna and Anthony also host wine/bubbles tastings once a month. In addition, the couple makes house calls for any home or business design needs.

Besides an indoor space chock-full of lovely home items, including the shop’s own line of essential oils, Remedies Parlor has an alfresco garden area ideal for special events and the monthly wine tasting.

“When you walk into Remedies Parlor, your eyes dart to every corner, your nose takes in deep scents of floral, spicy and smoky hints of greenery, and the music permeates your thoughts,” says customer Pam Nollar, who has been a supporter since the very beginning. “You find yourself tapping the fingers across the shelves as you touch the fine jewelry, making your way to the gardens, but not before being served a favorite libation,” she concludes.

Tyna and Anthony have a million ideas for the future, and they feel like they are only getting started. Their retail space has a thousand possibilities with something for everyone. Fort Myers just got a little better now that Remedies Parlor is in town. More information about the shop is available at remediesparlor.com.

David Acevedo is an award-winning visual artist, arts writer, gallery owner and curator living in Cape Coral, Florida. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez campus. Acevedo is the founder and president of the DAAS CO-OP Art Gallery & Gifts, located in the Royal Palm Square in Fort Myers.

Gulf & Main july/august 2018 entrepreneur small business