For the Stowe family, pajamas are not just about a feeling of comfort and relaxation — they are a way of life. The Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based family opened Cloud Nine, a loungewear boutique, in September 2005 to spread their mantra, "Comfort as a lifestyle."
"The overarching concept for the store is facilitating ‘Comfort as a Lifestyle,’" said Jessica Stowe, daughter of owners Bill and Sam. "Everything from the design and layout of the store to the product mix has been chosen to help our customers feel their very best. We want to facilitate that ‘ahhhh’ feeling."
To do so, Cloud Nine has gathered brands it feels represent the best of comfort and luxury. "It's tough to choose the top three popular brands," said Stowe. "Tepper Jackson and PJ Harlow come to mind as being really comfy pajamas. PJ Salvage has an amazing fit and Pine Cone Hill carries a bamboo line that is easy to wash and wear."
One demand that is not tough to discern is the one for all-natural fibers and moisture-wicking materials. In fact, Cloud Nine was partly founded to provide menopausal women with sleepwear options that are comfortable and dry. Wicking J, Nitesweatz, KN Cool from Karen Neuburger and Pine Cone Hill are popular sellers among this crowd. And each brand is selected and hand tested by Cloud Nine staff before it is placed on the retail floor.
One thing you won't find in Cloud Nine is stiff, scratchy lingerie. "We actually don't carry any lingerie," explained Stowe. "Only Hanky Panky, but we buy the rolled version so it doesn't even look like lingerie."
The absence of lingerie from the shop is not something the family worries about, but rather an element that sets them apart from other intimate apparel retailers. "We made a conscious decision to make the store about comfort. The exclusion of lingerie makes the shopping experience comfortable for men and women alike."