A whole lot of Sol

The Island’s only boutique fitness center opens in West Tisbury.

Post-workout bliss is hard to miss. It’s warm. It’s weightless. It’s almost disorienting. Maybe you walk a bit lighter, speak a little softer, and process your world less catastrophically, even if it’s only for an hour or two. And it’s addicting. We want more, so we weave it into our days until it becomes part of our lives. The practice, the workout, whatever it is, becomes essential. It becomes a lifeforce.

This kind of soulful, palpable spirit exists for a community of students and teachers at a brand-new fitness studio — Sol Boutique Fitness Center in West Tisbury. It is new in the sense that it is a new space, a new business, and offers a new schedule, but the spirit of the place embodies a lot of familiarity.

Owners Emma Bryant and Kristin Ferguson are no strangers to this community. Ferguson is the owner of Hot Yoga MV, a studio that occupied a space on Mariner’s Way in Edgartown for the past three years — an always-packed studio with a dedicated following. Bryant is the former owner of clothing and jewelry shop Citrine in Vineyard Haven — a business she stepped back from in September 2018 after 12 years. As Hot Yoga MV outgrew its space, and Bryant began considering “the next thing,” the two combined forces and charged into a joint venture that opened Jan. 1, 2020 — essentially two businesses under one roof. 

“I saw such a beautiful business that Kristin had created with loyal and loving clients, and they wanted more,” Bryant told The Times. Bryant is also a longtime student of Ferguson’s.

“Emma was my angel,” Ferguson said. “The timing was right.” 

At 497 State Road, Sol Boutique Fitness Center occupies the old Blitz Fitness digs. The space is bright white with open ceilings, bolted post and beam detail, ample windows, and is swimming with natural light. 

In addition to Hot Yoga MV classes, Sol Boutique offers barre, hip-hop, and a soon-to-open boutique gym in the abutting room. “I want it to feel like a home gym,” Bryant said. “Not cookie-cutter. Nothing too gymy. Everything is hand-picked.”

The space will have do-it-yourself guidebooks, self-led exercise tools, weights, bands, kettlebells, mats, and technical equipment like elliptical, treadmill, stepper, and Peloton, “which is currently in my living room,” Bryant laughed. The rest is on its way, and Bryant hopes the boutique gym will be up and running by the end of February. 

“We want it to feel as welcoming and homelike as possible,” she said. “We want everyone to feel like they’re welcome here.”

But the plans don’t stop there. Ferguson will launch a Hot Yoga MV teacher training the first week of March, utilizing Sol Boutique’s studio space for posture practice and the abutting room for workshops and clinics. Ferguson and Bryant eventually want to offer regular weekend workshops, expand their dance offerings, integrate Pilates, retreats, and add more trainings.

“The laundry list goes on,” Ferguson said. “We’re dreaming big.” 

And the partnership, although both women prefer to call it a friendship, is the perfect match. Ferguson and Bryant are mothers to young children, and want to be there for their families above all else. That’s part of the reason why their friendship-partnership at Sol Boutique works so well. 

“It wasn’t just snack time and runny noses any more,” Bryant said, touching on why she handed off Citrine in the first place. “My family started to need me in a whole different way.”

“We don’t want to look back at 60 and wish we spent more time with our kids,” Ferguson said. “One of the biggest driving forces behind this is being able to spend time with our families.”

Ferguson just had a baby, and was at a crossroads as her Mariner’s Way lease neared an end. “The day after my lease ended, 497 State Road opened up,” Ferguson recalled. “If that’s not the universe, I don’t know what is.”

Ferguson and Bryant said they feel blessed with the studio’s early success: “I’m speechless … it’s sort of profound. I don’t know if we thought it’d be this big this quick, but I can’t wait to keep bringing it,” Ferguson said. 

“I couldn’t think of any other way to offer my time,” Bryant added.

 

On the schedule at Sol Boutique 

Kristin Ferguson teaches Bikram yoga Tuesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 7:30 am. The classroom is heated to 105° with 60 percent humidity. She also teaches hot Vinyasa yoga Tuesdays at 5:30 pm, Thursdays at 11 am, and Sundays at 9:30 am. Hot vinyasa classes are heated to 98° with 60 percent humidity. “If you haven’t taken Kristin’s class, you don’t know what you’re missing,” Bryant said. 

Erika Davies teaches hot power hour yoga Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 6 am. She teaches hot vinyasa yoga Tuesdays at 6 am, and Thursdays and Saturdays at 9:30 am. “This is a really great way to start the day,” Bryant said. “It’s usually a pretty fast, rigorous class, but it gets you sweating, which I love.” 

Kaila Allen-Posin teaches hot Vinyasa yoga Mondays at 9:30 am and Wednesdays at 5:30 pm. “Kaila is phenomenal,” Bryant said. “She trained with Kristin, and I’ve attended her classes for years. She’s a walking angel.” 

Samantha Morel teaches hot Vinyasa yoga at 9:30 am Tuesdays and at 5:30 pm Thursdays and Fridays. She also teaches Bikram at 7:30 am on Thursdays. “Samantha’s classes are packed all of the time,” Bryant said. “She’s incredible and super-sweet. You’ll walk out with a new perspective.” 

Robert Sidoti teaches hot Vinyasa yoga at 5:30 pm Mondays and 9:30 am Fridays. “His classes are often sold out,” Bryant said. “That says a lot about what he has going on.” 

Jessica Francis teaches hot barre Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 8 am, and dance/hip-hop Wednesdays at 7:30 pm. Jason Kelly teaches prana flow Saturdays at 4 pm, and breath and meditation Sundays at 4 pm. Both Francis and Kelly’s classes are the only two, for now, that stray outside the hot yoga mold.

Keep an eye on the schedule, and for more information, visit solboutiquefitness.com.