We have had the honor of working with Margo of Hoboken, New Jersey since they opened their doors a few years ago, and the entire experience has been absolutely lovely. When Maggie (owner) first reached out to us, I was so impressed by her commitment to carrying only sustainable brands with a give-back mission. It was an easy “yes” to come on board and stock our products on their shelves. Plus, the Margo aesthetic is something straight out of a magazine.
Over time I’ve had the privilege of hanging with and getting to know Maggie and her husband Doug and they are truly the sweetest people. Fun fact: Maggie and I were pregnant at the same time and she has the cutest little guy!
Read on to learn more about how Maggie came to create the Margo and tips for living a slow, sustainable lifestyle — something we are huge fans of.
Tell us a little about who you are and your journey to opening Margo. What's your background as it relates to nontoxic/clean skincare and wellness?
Hi, I’m Maggie Emma and I am the shop owner of Margo, a lifestyle shop featuring ethically made products located in Hoboken, NJ. bB trade, my background is graphic design and studio art, however, most recently through experience, my background has been retail management in NYC. My awareness to nontoxic/clean skincare and wellness has certainly grown over the years and especially in the last two years since opening Margo. My husband, Doug and I have become very conscious of the importance of clean skincare and overall wellness. One of our biggest visions of the shop, is creating a lifestyle concept, making ethically made and ‘clean’ products accessible for all facets of life. Wellness is incorporated as important layer of living a ‘slow lived’, intentional and thoughtful life.
What inspired your desire to open your own ethical and sustainable market?
I grew up around and working in family businesses, so the idea of owning my own business has been so deeply rooted in my dreams and goals for as long as I remember. While the concept of the business has certainly evolved over time, the enthusiasm behind it has always fueled my passion to open a store.
Working in fashion opened my eyes to the positive impact the industry can have, in regards to confidence and self-expression. However, the exposure to big box fast fashion also brought an enormous amount of awareness to the destruction it can cause, in regards to overproduction, excess waste, unfair and inhumane working conditions. This awareness really began to weigh on me, so I began researching and learning.
Tell us a little bit about the Margo mission. What is the big “why” that motivates you?
Our mission at Margo is to promote socially conscious consumerism through providing ethically made goods. The biggest ‘why’ that motivates us in our direct community is being on the forefront of a movement and spreading that awareness where there has been a void. Our city, which is one square mile, has over 50,000 people living in it. Can you imagine the impact and ripple effect the movement would see if all Hoboken residents made the tiniest step in a more sustainable, ethical and conscious lifestyle? Just picture 50,000 people taking a moment to think about where their products are coming from. It would be incredible.
What is your definition of success? What do you consider your most recent accomplishment?
This is tough one. For us, success never seems to be a stationary point. Once we reach a peak, we seem to realize there is a taller mountain we want to climb. Dreams, goals and aspirations always seem to grow parallel to the business. There are tiny glimmers of success that always come after a massive challenge we have faced and have worked hard through to preserve, but then it’s back to the drawing board.
Most recently, we have taken a little extra time to acknowledge the success of staying in business through a global pandemic. Our doors were shut for four months and being a small team of 2, we were nimble and fought hard to stay relevant and present for our community. We are so proud that we made it through, while being able to grow our community outside of our local city.
How are you practicing slow-living right now?
I am striving towards slow living by staying present. As you can tell from my definition of success, I am always looking to the future. What’s next? Especially with a 1 year old, I am realizing how important it is to be present and slow down. Part of that has been sticking to a skin care and wellness routine. It is pretty incredible to see how something that seems so small truly has such a large impact on your entire well being. This used to be a part of my day that I would skip over or ‘get to tomorrow’, but now I have shifted my focus and look forward to these moments out of the day.
Who is a woman who inspires you and why?
Easy, my mom! Honestly, she is the most disciplined, dedicated, hard working and faith filled woman I know. Growing up, there was never a challenge too big for her to conquer or a task at hand she couldn’t complete. Now as an adult and a mom myself, I see her sacrifice through a new lens and strive to handle the world with even the smallest percent of grace that she does!
What is something you wish everyone knew about sustainability?
What everyone should know about sustainability is that it is not about perfection. It is not realistic to think sustainability can be a fast change or done perfectly immediately. We just need everyone to start making strides towards sustainability one step at a time. It holds more power to see the world moving in a sustainable direction imperfectly than having a handful of people living 100% sustainable.
What is your favorite Berlin Skin product and why?
This is not fair, because you simply can’t have one without the other. Through my 20's I battled cystic acne flare ups due to stress and products I was using on my skin. I was pushed in to thinking I had ‘sensitive skin’, but didn’t really know it was the toxic products I was using. Since I met Monica and started learning about clean skin care, I really committed to changing up my routine and swapping out my daily lineup. I have to say Berlin Skin’s full product line is gentle enough to use daily and incredibly easy to incorporate into a skin care regimen. Since using the products myself, my husband has picked up the product line and every now and then we use a little Cocoa Eye Butter on our son for any dry rashes he gets.
My daily routine consists of Coconut + Aloe Cleanser, Carrot Seed Serum + Cocoa Eye Butter (all over face w/ dry skin). I use the Geranium + Rose Toner in the AM to set makeup. New weekly routine is the Matcha Mask!