City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

A Cozy Lifestyle

Organic and sustainable products for the entire family

There’s a great new place to shop in town, and right in time for the holidays. Alicia VanWalleghem, who owns Leaping Llamas Artisan Shop, has brought her sense of style and love of organic and sustainable living to Topeka. With Jules - A Cozy Lifestyle - is located right next door.

“It’s in my favorite building downtown,” she says. “It was built on September 27th, 1887, and it's just a fascinating space with a lot of character. It has a sunburst entryway and it's all very art deco and fun.”

With Jules is divided into two parts. “The front part of our store is all about cozy living, or the hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) lifestyle, the Danish way of happy living,” says Alicia. “So there are blankets, socks, candles, teas and cocoas - all the stuff that makes you feel warm and cozy at home.” The merchandise will rotate for the seasons, so in the summertime, for example, instead of cocoas, there’ll be cold beverage mixes.

The back half of the store, which is the main area, will feature organic bath and body products. “The quality of organic is far better and it's good to know what you're putting on or in your body,” she says. “With our merchandise, we’re also introducing sustainable living, so we have shampoo bars that actually work better on my hair than regular shampoo. We also
have toothpaste tabs that have no plastic. So you just chew one and it foams in your mouth so you can brush your teeth. It's all about green living too. Although we have some plastic starting out, I'm hoping to transition to mostly plastic free, if not 100%.”

Customers will also find facial steams which are made from a variety of flowers and herbs. In cold weather, put these into boiling water and breathe in to help open your airways. And, shower steamers offer a great eucalyptus smell which you can inhale while showering. “We also have my favorite coffee scrubs and calm balms, which you put on the back of your neck
to help you relax.”

There’s also a section for kids and pets. “We have a bubble bath called Unicorn Dreams Sugar Polish that’s all tie-dyed colors and smells like cotton candy. For pets, we have dog shampoos and nose and paw balms to help when they get chapped in the wintertime, plus a calming spray that’s lavender based and helps dogs relax. There are even doggie toothbrushes!”

There’s also a line of products for men, including razors, shaving soaps, and cologne, plus fragrances for men and women. The clay-based face masks are also for both sexes. “These are actually powders you mix together with water, so they're better for your skin, more potent, and since you’re mixing them on the spot, no additives are needed to keep them fresh.” Many of the items are locally sourced, and Alicia says they are tested by her and her team before they are offered for sale.

Just like with Leaping Llamas, she and her staff work really hard to make people feel at home, comfortable and happy as soon as they walk through the door. Starting in 2023, people will be able to order online as well.

To find out what else With Jules has to offer, go to

  • Photography by Thomas Hall
  • Photography by Thomas Hall