The first thing I noticed when I walked into Peace, a shop in downtown Naperville, is just how good it smelled. Kate, the owner, was waiting for me around the tea station and a doorway that leads to Abhyaasa Yoga, her studio upstairs. With a great smile she greets me and asks if I’d like some tea.
We wandered around the bright and comfortable aisles as she told me about all the small businesses that supply her with her all natural and all vegan products. She said she felt like she had to stop using the word vegan when she first opened because it made too many people step back. However, she and her family only recently became vegan and the whole idea of being vegan is just one more step in promoting nonviolence.
“Some people do consider being vegan as being hard or extreme, but really we just look at it as a new adventure,” she says after returning from a family trip to Portland which she said was ‘vegan heaven’. “Now I look back and, okay, I was a vegetarian. Why didn’t I take the next step? It really is another layer of adventure. We appreciate everything even more. We could look at it as more difficult, but really, when you find a new dessert or some item and you learn how it was made, it’s just more fun!”
In the window of Peace, there is a saying, “Lokah samasta sukhino bhavantu”, which translates from Sanskrit to “May all beings be happy and free”. This is the premise of Peace, but they are not rigid. Kate is a yogi - so she is flexible - and has been practicing yoga and mindful living for years.
“It may take some effort in ‘living mindfully’,” she says, “but once incorporated into everyday life it becomes second nature.”
Peace only buys from a handful of small businesses and one larger company called Free People Movement, a division of Urban Outfitters. ‘Being’ is a small company located in Washington state and is all about enjoying the moments - so, for example, drawing the hot water, taking in the aromatherapy and soaking in the bath.
I, myself, was looking for some tourmaline. She didn’t have any tourmaline, but she did have a variety of mala beads and a variety of stones and crystals in which she works with Healing Arts Metaphysical Center in Batavia.
“One item that is super popular here is My Bath Thyme bath fizz by Michelle Shipka who I met at the dog park. We can barely keep her items in the store,” she says. “Everyone comes in here and says, ‘Oh these are just like the ones at Lush’. Nothing against Lush, but they use parabens and artificial colors. Michelle makes everything by hand with minimal ingredients. She also has these soaps and lotion bars and salt scrubs.”
Other items you might want to check out:
Cheers to Kate Mason, the employees of Peace and teachers of Abhyaasa for their big spirits and generosity! Abhyaasa has recently joined the Yoga Peace Project, a collective fundraising effort, and will be having a charity Kirtan Monday, March 20th at 7:30pm.
Click here for more information about Peace.
Click here for more information about Abhyaasa Yoga Studio.