If you’re looking for the perfect birthday or wedding gift this summer, you might want to visit Comforts N Joy Boutique at Central Park Place in Okemos. The boutique features high-quality items made from silk imported from China. From men’s ties to women’s scarves, cashmere clothing to bed linens and much more, owner Kathleen Maxwell is sharing her passion for luxury items and Chinese culture with the greater Lansing community.
Silk is warm to the eye and cool to the touch, and Maxwell has also made it affordable. The shop feels more like an art gallery than a clothing store. Semi-precious jewelry — including mother of pearl designed especially for Comforts N Joy by five artists — greets you when you first walk in. Silk and cashmere blouses, shirts, robes, pajamas, lingerie, duvets and other treasures are displayed to show off their distinct beauty. As Maxwell said “it has a little bit of everything.” But if you can’t quite find the right size or look, Maxwell also offers custom ordering.
The walls are customized, too. Delicate floral artwork reminiscent of the Asian theme are handpainted directly on the shop’s walls. Maxwell is very knowledgeable about the merchandise. “Made in Shanghai, it’s the best silk manufactured anywhere,” she explained. She should know; she traveled to China twice while working for the banking industry and for her work with a technology company before opening her boutique last fall. When she found herself transitioning out of the corporate world, the idea for the boutique seemed like the next logical step. “I love beautiful things,” she said. “And I fell in love with China.” As she writes on her website: “My spirit was overwhelmed by the country’s beauty, warmth, traditions and the culture in general.” Maxwell knew she wanted the shop to reflect her passion for both Asian products and the Chinese culture. She chose the shop’s name, because the items she displays are what bring her comfort and joy. To Maxwell, the people in China are treasures, too. “Those I met always have a smile on their face and warmth in their hearts,” she said. The people she met on her travels remain life-long friends to this day. Maxwell has always dreamed of having a shop of her own. And now that she has Comforts N Joy, she — and her supportive husband — have made that dream come true. “I love what I do,” she said. “I’m surrounded by beautiful things, and I feel the joy every day.” And she can share these beautiful things with others in the Lansing area, too. Visit www.comfortsnjoy.com or call (517) 381-2460 for more information. All photos by Mary McElgunn
Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.