- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Annalee Irani’s eyes sparkle when she talks about her world travels.

Her words paint such descriptive pictures that it’s hard to resist tagging along on her journeys.

The Cheyenne woman has a passion for travel and adventure.

Annalee and her husband, Farhad Irani, opened a store downtown on April 18 to share the treasures she has found during her travels.

They opened Marigold Global Boutique LLC at 220 W. Lincolnway.

Farhad Irani suggested the name Marigold, which is a popular flower in India that means good luck.

“It was just the perfect name,” Annalee Irani said.

The neat, tidy store sells handmade specialty items made by people around the world. They are from India, Thailand, Nepal, and Pakistan.

The couple plans to expand and add merchandise from other countries as well.

A vibrant, deep purple wall hanging made from recycled saris accents the space above the jewelry counter. Many wall hangings, table runners and yoga bags are there, all made from saris.

The store offers carved rosewood pieces, decorative door hangings, crocheted Nepalese bracelets, hand block-printed shawls and purses. Shirts that double as tunics to wear with jeans hang in one corner across from papier mache boxes and trays made in Kashmir.

Marigold stocks jewelry too, all hand-crafted pieces made by Annalee Irani and her mother, Madeline Algier.

Colorful punjammies, loose-fitting women’s pants, are displayed in one part of the store. Proceeds from their sales will help some Indian women escape the sex trade and human trafficking in India.

The store’s sells all fair trade merchandise. That designation is a way to make sure people who make the products earn a fair wage for where they live, Annalee Irani said.

The couple visited many of the places in India and elsewhere where the products were made.

Annalee Irani also does henna designs by appointment. She uses the dye to make intricate body designs.

She was raised in Cheyenne and earned her diploma from Cheyenne’s Central High when she was Annalee Laybourn.

She got a bachelor’s degree in textiles and merchandising at the University of Wyoming.

“This store is really a marriage of my two passions: the traveling and the merchandise,” she said.

She is the fourth generation of Laybourn women to own a business downtown.

Annalee Irani, 30, has visited South America, Southeast Asia and most of Europe. She also traveled through India for nearly a year. It was on that trip that she met and married Farhad.

She bought a rickety automobile rickshaw in India to provide transportation on her trip. But it kept breaking down and could not get to speeds of above 30 mph.

An older couple she met introduced her to Farhad and encouraged him to travel with her for safety.

He said, “It was nice to listen to her. I enjoyed her company, and I started liking her in my heart.”

Farhad Irani grew up in Mumbai, a city in India of 12.5 million people. He is a real estate agent and has a bachelor’s degree from Mumbai University.

He came to the United States for the first time in February to join his wife. He arrived on the same day as a weeklong snowstorm.

“I had never seen snow before,” he said.

They had been apart for 1½ years while he waited to get a visa approved.

Since his arrival, he has enjoyed watching his wife play as a member of the local Capidolls roller derby team.

Annalee Irani said she plans to keep the store in its present location.

“Downtown is the life of the city. I believe that it is up and coming and that people are wanting to be downtown,” she said. “I want to be a part of that.”


Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, https://www.wyomingnews.com

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