On the Way
The Covid-19 pandemic, with its shutdowns, layoffs and fear, sought many to change their lives, reinventing themselves, pursuing dreams, or taking drastic steps and moving to a far-flung island, previously known for “nothing to do in the winter.” Some of these people are the children and grandchildren of John and Sandra Hopf.
Mother-daughter duo Jennifer and Olivia Hopf were some of those people. As early as May 2020 Jennifer and her spouse and son moved to Block Island while daughter Olivia stayed back home in Westchester, N.Y. At 25, Olivia was working as a corporate recruiter after graduating from Hyde Point College where she majored in human resources. But, like many others, she lost her job early on in the pandemic.
Olivia says she “needed to redirect her energy,” and so she did, developing her own personal brand of tie-dyed clothing and accessories that she calls “The Sweaty
Blonde,” and sells on a website of the same name. The clothing line started with sweatshirts and sweatpants. (Hand shredding can be added to an order at checkout.) Then face masks were added, and additional clothing and accessories. There is a jewelry line that includes a “2020 Survival Cord” necklace.
Her home base for the business was her parent’s home, where she individually dyes each piece. But, she says, Block Island is “super special,” and so when the opportunity to open a shop arose, the family seized upon it.
The result? The store On the Way, which opened in May and is located in the old, tiny building on Weldon’s Way behind the Figurehead building, and next to the Empire Theatre.
Besides the Sweaty Blonde merchandise, there are other clothing lines and accessories.
There’s a soft, muted palette to many, if not most of the clothes – pinks, mauve, taupe, that find their way into loose drapey tunics, and old-fashioned gingham dresses with a modern twist, along with many other choices to suit a variety of tastes and ages.
Old is new again in many of the accessories too, including a new take on macrame bags in neutral tones to go with your entire wardrobe. Everything can be rounded out with hoop earrings, bangles or even a pendant fashioned out of a drapery tassel.
Make sure to get off the main street and check out this 2021 addition to the Block Island shopping experience. On the Way is located near the High Street end of Weldon’s Way.