After a hectic holiday season, we all deserve a little R&R. We talked with Comfort & Joy’s Julie R. Hopkins about how important it is to just kick back.
Tell us a little about why you started Comfort & Joy.
I was with my mom at a festival in East Greenwich where Yogibo was vending their bean bags. It was a hot summer day and my fibromyalgia symptoms were flaring. After reclining for only a few moments, I knew I had to have one. I told my mother, “I’ve got to tell my fibromyalgia friends about this. My pain is vanishing!” I had been running two support groups for the last 12 years, one at Newport Hospital and one at All That Matters, so I knew plenty of people who suffer this. And then I had an epiphany. Right then and there I knew I just had to sell these. Driving home I even came up with the name, Comfort and Joy, because that was how the bean bag made me feel. And it dovetailed with my New Year’s in- tention to live a life based in personal comfort and joy.
Finding joy in comfort is a key part of your mission. With our fast- paced lifestyles, do people still know how to relax?
We desperately need to relax for our mental, physical and spiritual health. We need to unplug, put down the tech and let go of the stress we hold daily. That goes for all ages. We can all learn to relax, but it takes commitment and a belief that it is essential for a healthy, happy life.
Last summer, a small group of local kids would regularly stop by my shoppe to relax in the Comfort Room and do their version of meditation. One day they all asked if they could go home and come back in their pajamas to be even more comfortable. It was precious.
Your products look so cozy yet stylish.
When I choose products for the shoppe, it must speak to me on a sensory level. Being challenged by fibromyalgia has taught me to be very picky about what I allow to touch me. It must be soft and supportive enough, a fine balance. Color affects me, too, and I love the color choices from happy and bright to sophisticated and calm. The products consistently make me feel good on many levels.
What are your hopes for the New Year?
I want my shoppe to be an engaging experience for my customers. When we are comfortable, joy has a real chance. And when we have both, health and happiness is following right behind.
Comfort & Joy
1220 Kingstown Rd, Peace Dale