Meet Mariëlle Romeijn, Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer at ONE HUNDRED restrooms, a service allowing people to take a toilet break as a 5-minute well-being boost, a moment to relax and recover.
Mariëlle Romeijn is a brand evangelist on a mission to connect brands with people and change the world by making people’s lives easier and better. She worked for IKEA for 20 years, an organization with a strong culture, mission, and values. She was responsible for their marketing and branding. Romeijn started from a local IKEA store focusing on local marketing and later moved on to the headquarters. Growing up in a small village in the Netherlands, going to church was a part of her routine. She learned the importance of having good intentions and making a difference in the world, and IKEA resonated with her values. After it, she wanted to do something to create personal and professional impact and started her own business, supporting retailers and entrepreneurs with brand building.
One of these was the Dutch scale-up, 2theloo, that offered toilets on the go in public spaces. However, as the spreadsheet mentality took over the company, Marielle and her colleagues decided to do it on their own. They launched ONE HUNDRED restrooms with the mission ‘to create moments for better well-being’ and to set a new standard in public restrooms, based on the principles of health and well-being.
Elaborating on the concept behind the service, she says, “We see a movement towards growing global health awareness and increasing shortage of time. Evidence shows that regular micro-breaks are helpful for well-being, life satisfaction, and health. With our business, we want to make an impact on human well-being, by changing the definition of a toilet break; every toilet visit should be a 5-minute well-being boost; a moment to relax and recover and to feel refreshed and rewarded. Therefore ONE HUNDRED offers: one ticket with multiple rewards. The entrance ticket can be used for free drinking water at the hydration station, a free health check, a discount at the ONE HUNDRED vending wall, and at ticket redemption partners.”
“We keep on innovating and adding new services and offers. Because we believe the restroom of the future is a place, a sanctuary built around the principles of health and well-being and powered by smart technology, she added.”
Although they were the familiar faces in the market, and had access to a huge market potential, they took time to develop the brand and to find the right partnerships to demonstrate their ability to deliver on their promise. The investors gave them that time. ONE HUNDRED restrooms opened five locations between 2018 and 2020 and has since expanded and grown exponentially.
In the initial years of her career at IKEA, Romeijn had to learn how to manage a group of people, time, and budgets. She was also confronted with internal politics in larger organizations, which she successfully navigated. She has learned over the years how money can change people and how to stay true to her values, even when others may not have the same intentions.
ONE HUNDRED restrooms has received a lot of recognition from customers and partners, both appreciating their concept. They have been awarded multiple times for their designs, and the consumers rated them 9.2 out of 10. Marielle is driven by the desire to help people and make a real difference. She is a creative person who has used her brand building skills to incite change and provide people with access to a basic need such as a restroom. Leaving a short but inspiring message for her readers, she says, “Stick to your values, stick to your mission. Good intentions always win.”