Fashion industry veteran Lauren Makinson said her new store will offer active apparel that functions as well in the gym as at the bar or at home.
By Matt Skoufalos | May 10, 2017
Although Lauren Makinson hasn’t yet cut the ribbon on her Haddonfield athletic boutique, Sole Active, many of her future customers may already be familiar with her work.
Makinson is a fashion industry veteran who’s designed women’s activewear and loungewear for brands like Urban Outfitters, Lilly Pulitzer, and Under Armour, where she produced a line for tennis pro Sloane Stephens.
As workout gear has moved into the “athleisure” space—industry jargon for clothing that’s used for exercise and lounging—designers have followed demand for apparel that functions in multiple settings. With that in mind, Makinson has curated a collection at Sole Active that is as usable at the gym, the supermarket, or happy hour.
“All the tights that I’m carrying have technical properties [like]wicking, moisture control,” she said. “Everything will function other than [as]loungewear.”
The brands Makinson carries include many cross-functioning lines, like Onzie, Spiritual Gangster, and Teeki, which perform equally well in a variety of fitness activities, from cycling to yoga to cross-training.
Others, like those from Satva and Alternative Apparel, are made with recycled or sustainable components, while a brand like Koral appeals to those with high-fashion sensibilities.
Sole Active also carries Manduka and Magic Carpet yoga accessories, and soaps, lotions, candles, and bath soaks from Big Spoon, Little Spoon of Asbury Park and the Bucks County, Pennsylvania-based Green Market Purveying.
Per-item prices range from the mid-$20’s to as high as $135, with the average garment coming in between $50 and $60. Makinson said offering a variety of options was important to reaching a diverse clientele.
“There are some people who are true followers of these brands; others want to try things out,” she said.
Makinson also applied her retail knowledge to creating the look and feel of the storefront itself.
Together with her husband, Brian, she built its changing rooms, live-edge counter, and brass wall fixtures.
Every display rack is on wheels so it can be moved to shift the flow within the space, or for event programming.
“I want people to come in and want to be in the store,” Lauren Makinson said.
“I want it to be a whole-brand feeling, from the fixtures to the apparel, and being super-selective in the brands we carry.
“It’s spacious,” she said. “There’s time for people to take a second to chill and not be overwhelmed.”
After settling in, Lauren Makinson said she eventually hopes to add her own line of apparel to the store inventory. That’s a second-year goal, along with plans for workshops, service demonstrations, and meditation sessions.
“Fitness isn’t just physical; it’s mental, too,” she said. “Getting people in here with different practices would be really great.”
A Cinnaminson native and Palmyra resident, Lauren Makinson said Haddonfield was the right place to locate her business because she feels the town has a strong sense of community.
She already spends a lot of time in the borough (Brian teaches math at Haddonfield Memorial High School), and said it’s an active community that values different fitness options.
“We spend a lot of our time down here,” she said. “I feel like the area is so community-based, which is what I want the store to feel like.”
Sole Active will have its grand opening Thursday, May 11, with a 6:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting. The shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, until 5 p.m. Saturday, and from 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday. The storefront is located at 107 Kings Highway East.
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