Towards the end of August I went to a different sort of blogger event to any I’d attended before. This was a Wellness event at Joy, a clothing and knick-knacks store based in Leeds.
Although I’m not much of a fashion or wellness blogger, I decided to head along for one big reason – they offered a yoga taster class, and I’ve been thinking about starting yoga as a way to deal with my new medical diagnosis.
I invited my friend Keeleigh, and after a catch up at mine we headed over to the store on Albion Street.
Joy The Store
Joy is dotted across London and the rest of the country. If you’ve never been to one before, they’re a lifestyle type store that sells stuff similar to Oliver Bonas. While the majority of the floor space is given over to clothing racks, there’s also multiple sections that stock books, home ware and various other items. Put simply, it’s a blogger’s paradise.
And if you’ve never been in the Leeds’ Joy store before, be aware that it’s absolutely massive. I’ve popped in a few times before, but until this visit I never noticed the downstairs that’s at least as big as the ground floor. The menswear is down there, but there’s some ladies items and sale stuff too. There’s also more of the unusual gifty items – and not just the ones that “appeal to men”.
Tune In With Joy
We arrived at the event and were greeted with either a glass of prosecco (avec strawberry) or a glass of refreshing strawberry juice.
Then we were left to wander the story for a little while. Keeleigh spotted a skirt she was pretty keen on, and as it was the last one left she rushed to try it on.
The style of Joy is very bright and fresh, which fits in great with my style. I’m often a little nervous going to shops I don’t frequent, as I never know how the sizing is going to work for me. But I chatted to the fitting room staff while Keeleigh was changing. They mentioned that Joy clothes maybe run a little big, if anything. Plus they are often a bit more generous in the backside area – fantastic news for Keeleigh and me!
We saved the rest of our perusal until after the yoga class.
Yoga with the Yoga Space
The lower level of the store was all cleared out for us to get our yoga on!
I’ve been considering starting yoga for a little while – probably not with the Yoga Space because I literally live 2 minutes walk away from Yoga Hero on Leeds Dock. But this was a great opportunity to try out the exercise, to see if it’s a good fit for me.
Unfortunately I realised about half way through the class that my foot wasn’t quite healed, meaning I struggled with standing on one foot and putting all my weight on it. This distracted me a little from throwing myself fully into the relaxing elements of yoga.
I’ve also long had issues with focusing too much attention on my breathing. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I really focus on taking long, deep breathes, in through my nose, out through my mouth… I start to feel light headed! Does anyone else experience that?
I’m not 100% sure yoga is the workout for me, but I think once I’m back from my staycation I’ll give Yoga Hero a try.
Clothes Shopping at Joy
Despite setting ourselves a modest budget, Keeleigh and I saw tons of items around the store that we wanted to try on. Luckily they had a 20% discount running for the event! That definitely helped us get the most for our money, although I think I held myself back a little too much.
I tried on three dresses. One’s waistline was a bit too high (a problem I have with a lot of dresses.
One was just a little too long for my taste. But the final one was actually a bit too big, so I asked for a smaller size. I don’t want to tell you the last time I tried on a size 10 and it fit! Yes, I know consciously that sizing is dumb and isn’t the most important thing when buying clothes, but it’s really hard to fight that sense of glee when you fit into a smaller size than you’re used to.
I actually ended up styling the dress up with a belt and thigh-high boots for the Crisis in Elysium megagame. You know a store is great when it caters to the Governor of Mars!
Meanwhile Keeleigh tried on another skirt and two tops, and looked fantastic in all of them. Showing impressive restraint, she only bought the polka dot top from her choices.
Accessories and Miscellaneous at Joy
Keeleigh added on a choker to her shopping haul, as well as buying her fiance a pair of “Happy Socks”.
At the last minute I also bought this little yellow bag. After a closet purge, I’ve been needing a new going out bag. Plus I had in the back of my mind that it might go perfectly at Keeleigh’s wedding, where the colours are blue and yellow.
I took the bag with me on my recent photo shoot with Laura Haley – keep an eye on the blog for more photos!
I decided to pick up a face mask. I’ve seen various bloggers trying sheet masks and wanted to give it a try. Rather than buying a Joy-own one, I went for the Nails Inc Gilt Tripper mask.
Trying it out later that week, I found that it left my skin awesomely soft and smooth afterwards. The only downside is that I kind of ended up looking like one of the Sons of the Harpy from Game of Thrones.
I really regret not buying a new pair of sunglasses. I tried on a pair and instantly loved them when I first walked in, but when I went back to the stand towards the end of our visit, I couldn’t remember which pair they were! Fail!
But what I regret the most is probably not buying any of the gifty items. There were tons that I saw around the shop, so if anyone’s shopping for my birthday next month, here are a few hints:
Nails with Nails Inc
Our last task of the evening was to get a free manicure from Nails Inc. Keeleigh went first while I was faffing about with sunglasses. She chose a glittery pink shade that looked super sparkly.
I chose a berry shade called Cambridge Muse, because I spotted that it would match perfectly with a deep pink lipgloss I own.
The Nails Inc staff were great too. I clumsily managed to smudge my polish twice while getting my bags together, but they were happy to touch them up before leaving.
Keeleigh and I left Joy feeling pampered, relaxed and ready to wow with our new outfits and nails. I’ll definitely be dropping by Joy again in the future – especially around Christmas when I’m looking for gifts!