Joy – a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. That’s what the dictionary defines but it also deemed true in actuality, on a crisp Wednesday evening in Leeds city centre a few weeks back. I remember paying numerous visits to the old Joy store in The Light back when I was a teen; the quirky tea dresses and the tongue-in-cheek gifts being right up my street – and with a timely tour of the modern version I discovered nothing has changed since it moved over to their bigger and better Northern flagship store. The brand has kept its signature niche of glamour and edgy clothing tailored to suit playful personalities (think vintage style Cath Kidson meets Urban Outfitters) and quite frankly, with all its glory, it is just a great big bubble of joy.
I was invited to enjoy a general laid back, informal event at JOY by the lovely Jennie and its aim for the night was to bring bloggers and members of the public together to see the commodities on offer, meet the old and the new, retrieve some great content and contacts, discuss ideas for future events and best of all – have a mingle, grab a drink, browse the collections, get your nails done and even participate in some yoga ran by a professional instructor (which I didn’t take part in due to my extreme clumsiness and lack of physical strength and posture but the music running through the grounds alone was enough to hypnotise the soul).
A delicious fruit smoothie and a glass of prosecco, lots of friendly faces and a warm welcoming saw me through my couple of hours spent roaming and admiring both upstairs and downstairs of the store. Laid out carefully and faultlessly were the array of arrangements that drew you in by their appearance, the fresh autumnal shades, and lots of unique pieces you wouldn’t find on the ordinary high street. For me, it was the dreamy homeware that won me over; from printed photo frames, to my beloved copper, plenty of cacti and influential reads – all carrying that retro theme that made me want to burst out into the house recruiting scene faster than the non-summer that’s mulled into September. But then there wasn’t just that assemblage that caught my eye, there were the floral prints, the wrap dresses, the stripes and best of all – a matching red crab handbag and purse. Very designer-esque with an affordable price tag!
As I ventured I wasn’t just able to admire the shelves and rails packed with clothes, accessories, furnishings and even a selection of novelty birthday cards, I was able to capture the ambience of the place whilst interacting with plenty of babes left, right and centre and that made the experience even more pleasant. I ended the night having a sparkly makeover and a giggle with the skillful Nails Inc team, where the smell and look of coffee was transferred onto my nails (crazy, right?!). There was plenty of positive feedback from the night and I’ve already told myself I must make it more of a norm to head down to Joy for a splurging shopping spree or two. Whether you’re searching for an outfit, looking for the perfect gift, holiday shopping, or set on bringing a room to life for ornamental purposes – this is the place to be and I’m sure the photos alone show why! My Instagram is about to become a whole lot more tasteful.
Huge thank you to Jennie, the Joy team and the lovely ladies at Nails Inc, I’ll 100% be back and can’t wait for more JOY fun to unfold!
Have you joined the Joy propaganda? There’s talks of a similar event happening in London due to the success of the Leeds introduction so keep a close look out for future occasions!