Updated: Mar 31, 2022
Last year, when the-nurse Lori Julien decided to hang up her scrubs to transform her “part-time passion into full-time work,” she never could have imagined she'd be part of a movement on Kenmore Boulevard.
Her shop, Marigold Sol, was one of 11 new businesses to open during the pandemic, one of five women to set up shop on the Boulevard within a 12-month span. But what she refers to as the "essential corner store" has quickly become a destination for anyone looking to buy a gift, take a class or pick up something special for themselves.
"Honestly, I'm surprised I did as well as I did during the pandemic," Julien said. "Overall we've done really good here."
While the business was new for Kenmore, it wasn’t an entirely new venture for Julien. She had operated a similar retail shop for four years in Wadsworth until the property she was operating out of was sold and the new owners had their own plans for the space.
After closing the Wadsworth location, Julien sold at shows and rented booth space at other storefronts, but continued to wait for the right opportunity to present itself for her to open new shop of her own.
Her chance finally came one day while she and her husband were walking down Kenmore Blvd. and she realized Dragon’s Mantle – which had occupied 962 Kenmore Blvd. since 2015 – had moved out.
Things moved quickly from there.
Kenmore Neighborhood Alliance Executive Director Tina Boyes put Julien in touch with the building's owner, Julien signed the lease about a month later, and on April Fools Day 2021 Marigold Sol was cutting the ribbon on its new location.
"The support I got from KNA, the mayor, the media and the community, I was just blown away."
Now a year later, Marigold Sol is in full bloom attracting customers with unique home décor, one of a kind furniture and frequent DIY furniture refinishing, painting and craft workshops.
It's a favorite stop for antiquers, hobbyists and folks strolling the Boulevard at events like Kenmore First Fridays.
"I'm really looking forward to First Fridays this year, especially coming out of the pandemic" Julien said. "People are ready to get out. And I love the feel of the shop door being open, live music playing, people walking around."
Friday, April 1 from 6 to 9 p.m., Marigold Sol's hold its own celebration with a one-year anniversary open house event, which will include specials, giveaways, light snacks and refreshments. Marigold Sol is located at 962 Kenmore Blvd. in Akron and is open Thursdays and Fridays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment by calling 330-803-0419. Shoppers can find them online at marigold-sol.com, on Facebook @marigoldsol and on Instagram @mymarigoldsol.