Like so many others in Frederick County and across the country, Jordan and Quron Lewis suddenly found themselves with a lot of time on their hands last March.
With coronavirus cases — and fear — on the rise, Quron, who goes by “Q,” was furloughed from his job as an athletic trainer and Jordan saw a steep drop-off in clients to the beauty services business she owns on North Market Street.
Instead of letting themselves be overwhelmed with stress and sadness, the couple used the time to be present with their then-two-year-old son, Quincy, and to try new wellness products and strategies. They soon found that one of their greatest joys was sharing what they’d discovered with their loved ones.
That’s when they started dreaming about a way to share the products that sat in their medicine cabinets and on their countertops on an even larger scale. Soon after that, a storefront on East Patrick Street that Jordan had always thought was beautiful became available.
“All the stars aligned, and it was like, hold on, wait — we’re doing this?” she remembered.
It quickly became clear that the answer was yes — they absolutely were. The couple nailed down the space in April and spent the following months bringing their dream to life. And on June 5, Peace officially opened for business.
The little shop is bathed in warm lighting, with candles, oils, exfoliants and other wellness products carefully arranged on wooden tables and shelves. In the back of the store, customers can make their own flower arrangements at a floral bar or choose a journal at a small white table that sits below a wall decorated with open books.
Q said he and his wife organized the shop in a flow that they hope will encourage customers to slow down and take their time — a practice that is central to their own lives, despite how busy they may seem.
“Our thing is, ‘Be where your feet are,’” said Q, who recently started a new job at Quest Diagnostics. “We do our best to kind of just be in the moment.”
The store’s products will change and rotate over time, Jordan said, but she and her husband will always aim for them to be plant-based and organic. When looking for suppliers, Jordan says they prioritize businesses that are women-owned, sustainable and run by people of color. They also source from local businesses when they can; they want to make it easy for their customers to shop local.
“What’s important to us is that Peace be a place where everybody feels comfortable,” Jordan said. “We want people to come as they are.”
Jordan and Q both grew up in the area; they met each other in 8th grade and later married after reconnecting. Since Jordan was raised in a family-owned business and saw its good days and bad days, she knew what she and Q were in for when they started Peace. But they’ve been learning how to work together in this new capacity. And, they say, they wouldn’t have been able to come this far if not for the support of their friends and family.
On a rainy Thursday afternoon, the couple gathered in the now-finished store with Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor, representatives of the Downtown Frederick Partnership and other local officials and representatives to celebrate the beginning of Peace. Despite the dreary weather, the mood inside the tiny shop was energetic and hopeful. By this time, Jordan and Q have come to expect rain on their biggest milestones — it also rained on their wedding day and on their son’s first birthday.
They know now that it’s a sign good things are to come.
Follow Angela Roberts on Twitter: @24_angier