Hoboken - ONE/SOL Resets and Reopens
From her new Uptown space, store owner Marisol Page reflects on challenges and change
The idea of hitting personal “reset”—pausing to rest, reflect and reevaluate—is so important to Marisol Page that she built a business around it. ONE/SOL, which she opened in Uptown Hoboken several years ago, was in one sense a traditional retail store, selling athletic and athleisure wear as well as unique and eco-friendly accessories for body and home. But it also served a spiritual and wellness mission, hosting events like meditation sessions, fitness classes and tarot readings. In other words, ONE/SOL brought people together to hit reset.
ONE/SOL was never just about the clothes, Page says.
“The concept came from ‘what makes your SOL happy,’” she explains. “The sun and the ocean make me happy. My healing place. My reset.”
So earlier this year, when COVID-19 forced Page to make the hard choice to close her popular shop at 1125 Maxwell Place, she didn’t close that chapter of her life. She just hit reset—buoyed by an outpouring of “outreach, support, love and guidance” from her community, friends and family.
“A cleansing of sort took place,” she says. “I had to come to grips with the fact that it’s OK to change what I was doing, what I thought this was, who I was and what I wanted to be. That the walls I built didn’t define me. I realized for the first time that I was enough and my dream could grow as long as I wanted it to, no matter the situation. It was just going to be a matter of pivoting to a new perspective and allowing myself to be humble.”
Part of her pivot was doing something she’d been meaning to do anyway: boosting her online presence. But she also did some SOL-searching and resolved to give brick and mortar another go. To the delight of her customers, Page opened ONE/SOL in a new Uptown location, 1422 Grand Street, in October.
She was still settling in when she talked to us about the move and her many life transitions: moving from New York City to Hoboken in 2014; starting her own business; balancing work and kids (she has four); and making the best of challenging times.
Had you ever owned a small business before you opened ONE/SOL?
Short answer: Yes. This was my first venture on my own. I’d been looking to open a restaurant in Hoboken for a couple of years, but the stars weren’t aligning. That was more my background and love at the time. So I’d been soul-searching to find what else I wanted to invest in—including precious time away from my kiddos—as I felt an overwhelming urge to create something. I found a partnership with people I thought I trusted, who brought me into the retail space. Sadly, the partnership failed due to several reasons—and was a catalyst to dig even deeper into my goals.
What was it about your circumstances that inspired you to open ONE/SOL in 2014? Was it your move to Hoboken? Your stage in motherhood?
Moving from the city was a difficult decision because I was so in love with it. But once we moved our growing family, the only thing I knew I needed to do was become a part of the community. Maybe it was the mother in me wanting to nest, maybe it was the dreamer in me that continued to soul-search, but what was supposed to be a temporary move became a journey and a mission. I’ve always wanted to be in a position of building something special—even today, I imagine it bigger than myself—something that feels safe, something that’s supportive of others in their own search. A place that makes people feel good on a spectrum of levels. I’m not saying I’ve achieved that yet at all. But it’s something I constantly strive for, and I’m looking for new ways to grow.
I do not come from a retail background, nor do I consider myself a fashionista. But with the retail side of my business, I know what makes me feel good. Focusing on the active life is something that also feeds my soul. It was never about the clothes—that was just a part of it. I’ve always envisioned growing this into something more. And maybe as a mother, I wanted to prove to myself I could. I wanted to know there would be a place for my children to feel good in their own skin. Maybe I wanted to show by example what it was to work hard for something you believe in.
How did you envision ONE/SOL before it opened, and how did it evolve?
ONE/SOL evolves on a daily basis. . . . There are so many elements involved with wellness, from being active and healthy to doing things that make you feel confident and worthy. And to never criticize or judge is important.
I came from an events background and wanted to create concepts for people to come together to learn and experience together. Since I’m not an expert, I collaborated with my community of amazing and talented people—from meditation circles, to fitness classes, to Botox and beauty parties, fashion pop-ups, and tarot and psychic circles. Because who are we to say what makes someone feel good and makes them a better person? I want to support as much as I can.
That concept had to change when the pandemic hit. I had to try to survive and really focused on the social media aspect of my business, and the retail side grew. I’ve learned so much that I didn’t even know I needed. I had to make a decision to sacrifice the space and am still working through how to reintroduce that side back, but it’s been an ongoing and special, imperfect lesson of how to roll with the punches and go with the flow.
What have the biggest rewards and challenges been?
Being a business owner is definitely challenging, beginning with the previous concept with my ex-partner—that was the hardest, and most expensive, lesson I learned as a business owner. I had always wanted to have something of my own to build and grow, and I’ve dreamt of the endless possibilities. When building out our dream space, it seemed magical. But that soon faded and reality set in and the partnership failed.
And despite what some may think, the work is not very glamorous or fruitful in the beginning. The challenges of overcoming what I thought would be and wasn’t, the massive debt that was accrued, and the need to have to start from scratch was all so overwhelming. But the rewards were in all that: the lessons learned, the experience gained, the relationships built, and the overall coming face-to-face with my own desires and goals. Being vulnerable enough to embrace them was the constant that still exists. I truly believe the rewards will continue to grow, as long as my mindset evolves and I’m persistent.
How did the shift to online go?
I’d been working on going online since the previous winter, so honestly this was the catalyst I needed. Survival is a funny thing. You can either fall victim to the fear and feel defeated—let’s be honest, I was paralyzed for weeks—or get up and do whatever it takes to stay alive. I still go through that on a daily basis. It’s always a challenge. But I’m really grateful for the result and super lucky with who I’ve teamed up with to make the virtual and online world possible.
Did you use the move to do anything different?
Moving to this new space was a step in between where I was and what I want to do next. What was nice was that I discovered that I love the intimacy it has created with my clients and I am beyond grateful for the flexibility it has given me with my family. Since my three young children are doing virtual school from home, I can be there for them. These moments are precious. And so many people are feeling this incredible pressure right now—the connection I can have one-on-one with them is special.
This time and change is allowing me to grow virtually; it’s giving me the space to reset, recreate, think outside the box, and seek the truth and honest objective of what I want to grow. New opportunities have already started to unfold, and I get to take them one step at a time. I am truly learning to do that and trying not to feel the pressure of it all, but instead to feel the blessing of possibility. And for the record, I take one day at a time but it’s not easy. In fact it’s incredibly challenging and super scary. But I’m still finding the space to be grateful.
What’s your favorite thing about this new location?
The vibe of this neighborhood is great. I love my neighbors—Mess Method, Bum Pilates, Mr. Robert’s, Hashtag Legal, Biergarten, Bwè Cafe, Hudson Table around the corner, just to name a few—it feels good. And I love the personal experience I get to offer and the connection with my clients. I feel full. Even after so much loss, I feel more blessed and optimistic than ever. I think people are feeling it too. It’s been refreshing. I’m excited about what lies ahead!
To learn more about Marisol Page and ONE/SOL, visit BeOneSol.com.