Celebrating women every day is what we do. There isn't an end date to supporting and empowering women and for April's Female Inspiration of the Month, we are so excited to feature Marisol Page! Marisol is the owner of an amazing Lifestyle Clothing Boutique, called One Sol, located in Hoboken!
You may already be familiar with her as she has supported and continues to support our organization. She has collaborated and hosted events with our WE members - are you one of them? We love how much she cares about empowering and supporting women entrepreneurs, so we hope you enjoy reading more about her!
1. Tell me about yourself and your business.
Hi! Where do I even begin?!
I will start off with what I am most proud of, I am a mother of four amazing kids that are my heart and soul. I believe I achieved my biggest successes when I started a family.
The oldest girl of my kiddos is 16 (I didn’t birth her but she is my daughter just the same)… and then there is my son (5 1/2), daughter (4) and son (15 months)… and of course Ms. Bella Ray my pup of 11 years. My family is my everything.
I grew up moving around a lot - but lived mostly in Florida and in New Paltz, New York. When I was 22, I moved to NYC to pursue my dream of becoming an actor!! I studied acting from the age of 12 until 30. I resided in the big City for 15 years and had the opportunity to experience a diverse set of different career opportunities. The restaurant business was the obvious path of a struggling actor... however I learned a lot being a GM and Events Director of some major restaurant groups. I worked in Sales and Marketing for different firms and dabbled in the Finance industry… but was most proud of being an Executive Producer of a movie with people I respect very much… It was around that time that I was pregnant with my second baby that we decided to move to the Hoboken area to find more space and different opportunities for my growing family.
My business came about from a trial of opportunities, errors, and successes. After years in the hospitality business in the City, I had partners and a business plan to actually open a restaurant! Unfortunately after a couple of years, we realized it just didn’t make sense at the time. I then partnered with others to open a high-end boutique, and that didn’t take off the way we had expected. But spending time in Hoboken, I discovered a passion to create a place to connect with the community on many levels. ONE/SOL was birthed with that exact purpose.
The name ONE/SOL maybe comes slightly from my own, “Marisol,” but also from the question: “What makes MY soul happy?” Honestly - My happy place is all about the sun and water. Interestingly enough, that is also my name’s meaning, (Sea and Sun) ...however I believe there is so much more. SOL is universal, it’s collective, it’s the ONE and only, it’s the center. It’s a version of “SOUL” and the idea that we are ALL searching for something. Something that makes us whole… something that makes us happy.
I have always had a passion to grow. To discover. To learn. To become more and work with those that encourage that… If I could daydream about what I would see myself as - I would want to be on Shark Tank helping people realize their dreams and then help them grow!!
2. What makes your business unique? We know One Sol is special - but tell us why in your own words.
The special part of ONE/SOL is the combination of my chic, fashionable merchandise and community events. I choose to work with people that act as a support and I reciprocate… because if I spend this much time away from my family… then I need to believe in what I sell. And I do!! All merchandise in store (from athleisure apparel, to jewelry, to perfume to home décor) is brought in with the thought of who is coming in - every type of women has a common thruline - we all need something to make ourselves feel GOOD!
My partnership success stems from working with brands that have been supportive and honest from the beginning. I never thought I would be running a business like this and have been fortunate enough to have my vendor base share their expertise to help me grow in this new adventure.
One of the most fabulous things about living in Hoboken, is the strong community we have. I wanted to leverage ONE/SOL’s location to be a forum for those who had a wellness message to share. I am always hearing conversations about people searching for answers in so many ways… so I thought - Why not? Why not be the host of the experts to help contribute answers to peoples questions?! Or maybe just be the host of a networking environment … since that is what it’s all about in the end right? Support of one another!
I am proud to say that the events at ONE/SOL have been inspiring and a collective learning space. I am excited to watch them grow and evolve.
3. Could you describe a day in your life? What does your day-to-day operation look like?
Oh geez… Well my day starts fairly early being that a couple of my kids like to wake up early!! The day usually begins with handling morning routine and getting kids ready for school and anything else relating to them or the household!! But honestly - being that I handle all my own social media, I wake up immediately thinking of what I should post or what event is happening that day or week… and what details I need to finalize. Marketing, especially social media, consumes most of my day because I know it is so important to engage with my customers and prospective ones. I joke that I have a lot of hats to wear for the job, but it is true! From being the buyer, to operations manager, quality controller, bookkeeper, events director, store manager, marketing manager, the list goes on… And honestly I couldn’t do it without my husband and friends who generously help out when they can.
On a daily basis I work on social media content, strategize future events and work through details for upcoming events, create graphics for events, order the inventory, budget the finances, network with potential new partners of fashion/events… planning the day to day and so on…. not to mention the day to day at the store with customer service. And trying to establish a new part of my business - E-Commerce!
4. Do you remember the turning point when you both decided to pursue One Sol? How did it go?
ONE/SOL was birthed out of a previous concept, and I learned a lot from that partnership - both good and hard lessons. Everything takes growth and acknowledgement… that is key… it may not always be pleasant or easy, but it’s all for a reason. To keep it fair - some partnerships just don’t work out. You live and you learn. I was dealt with making a decision on what to do with my partnership and I had to choose between continuing with the space or give up my initial investment. I had no idea how it would work, or if it would but I chose to stay and take over the space myself. In 2018, I rebranded and reinvested. It is a challenge daily to understand and grow the business. But for the most part I am comfortable with knowing that I am the one who is accountable rather than relying on someone else. It is a learning process … constantly!! And I am definitely open to it.
5. What were some of the obstacles you faced when you opened One Sol? How did you overcome it?
Listen - to be honest - there are always obstacles… depending on the day and the mood, is how I deal with them. Initially it was just the logistics… the build-out costs, permitting, the space opening in time, the investment doubling to unforeseen circumstances, etc… And then hoping that you have the business to just pay off the investment! There is scheduling, budgeting overhead, the buying schedule, marketing, and communication. A lot of this didn’t have a method prior to the rebranding so I had to create it from scratch. Rebranding and reinvesting takes a lot of capital and that was a big commitment in itself. Then to really try to figure out what that brand’s identity is, go to market with that, and have the faith and confidence to make it work.
While I run a majority of my business on my own, I learned early on I had to ask for help. From day one, I reached out to the community and friends to help out. One of the biggest acknowledgements I had to realize was that this was not something I can do on my own. When I surrendered to that – I began to see results.
6. What are some tools you use to run your business? What has been the biggest life saver?
Resources!! Accepting that I do not have all the answers and I resource those that do. I have mostly bartered my help (not an easy partnership to ask for, much less get lol!) But I constantly make lists of what I think I need and hope to meet people willing to help - and honestly couldn’t be more grateful for all those who help! :)
I am definitely open to advice and help - and then have to find the power of discretion to work with what works for me which is not necessarily for everyone.
I tap into my Events experience to run my events - that’s been helpful. And Operations I feel pretty comfortable with. But I literally had to learn how to do an Instagram story!! And have had my talented friends help with logos, have learned how to do graphics, how to build my website, who to talk to for ordering brands, and how to order properly.
Biggest lifesaver … Just being humble I think! Oh and I keep track of everything. One of my greatest skills is that I am super organized! It is time consuming but is important and helpful.
7. You have been so supportive of WE of Hudson County. Why do you think it's important to have a women entrepreneurship group in our community?
I absolutely love what WE does!! It’s so important to connect to people and have a support system. You never know who you will meet and how you can impact each other's lives. When you know others are going through what you are it makes a difference. Or you can learn something new or you can help someone else with your experience. Either way - it’s empowering:)
8. What advice would you give to those looking to start their own business or that are new to the entrepreneurial journey?
Be thoughtful of what your message is. Make a serious business plan. Understand what it takes to open a store front vs something private. BE WELL CAPITALIZED AND DO THE WORK. Really important to know that the dream is amazing - but that’s really only 10% of the business… just understand all of these facets going in. When you go all in - it really means going all in. It MAY sound like an amazing idea… but know that it uses every part of your being… it will have ups and downs and it’s a rollercoaster ride. Be ready. But then don’t look back.
We hope you enjoyed reading about Marisol as much as we did! Please comment down below and show her your love! Be sure to give her a follow and a like on her social media platforms!
To learn more about her upcoming events: https://www.beonesol.com/events
Please join us next Thursday, 5/2 for our WE Meetup happening at Brass Rail! Check-in starts at 4:20pm. Grab your ticket now! Tickets at the door will be $12.
Click the save the date below to purchase your ticket now!