Barbara's Bests (Part Two) Lion And Blue
When friends visit from out of town I always take them to Lion and Blue, a Lakewood landmark that has something for everyone, and a lot of heart. “It was our first baby,” co-owner Tina Dolatowski says.
She and her husband Michael opened it in 1996, less than one year after they married. (They went on to have two human children, Calvin and Esther). “When we married each other we married our talents. I previously had a shop in the Arcade, and was good at managing. Michael had worked for a jeweler, and was a jeweler himself.”
The result? A store that sells (obviously) jewelry, but also clothing, Birkenstocks, candles, books, essential oils, decorative mirrors, incense, beautiful Turkish lamps, cards, journals, musical instruments and more: “a world of treasures,” says Tina. Michael crafts jewelry, including wedding rings, to order, and also repairs and re-designs pieces.
Most of the other items sold in Lion and Blue are certified fair trade and crafted by indigenous people from all over the world. I’ve given many of these objects as gifts. And my granddaughters love choosing from the assortment of tiny hand-carved “spirit animals,” each of which is said to represent certain talents and traits.
The store’s name, like some of its items, is whimsical, and was inspired by a beautifully illustrated book of the same name that Tina gave Michael shortly after they met. It’s a story about a lion who searches for, and finds, a beautiful blue Brazilian butterfly he loves.
Lion and Blue’s eclecticism and charm make it perfect for Lakewood. Tina says that her favorite things about our city are its sense of community and acceptance of everyone. Lion and Blue is welcoming too, and, with its hundreds of colorful and beautiful objects, seems its own little world, a restful place. “It’s a peaceful environment I get to come into every day, a sanctuary,” says Tina. “I just relax and enjoy the vibe.”
Barbara Raymond is a Lakewood resident and author of nonfiction book, "The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption".
Lakewood resident and author of nonfiction book, The Baby Thief: The Untold Story of Georgia Tann, the Baby Seller Who Corrupted Adoption.