Hello Local in downtown Springdale recently opened to sell a variety of products that are made in Northwest Arkansas. The shop offers area product makers and small-business owners a brick-and-mortar location at 101 E. Emma Ave.
Co-owners Dana Schlagenhaft and Mark Cloud have planned a grand opening for Sept. 22. The shop, known as the Experience Store, has been operating for about a month.
“Most small businesses in their initial growth stages can’t foot the bill for a downtown retail lease or are wary of taking on that kind of risk, but they need the exposure and foot traffic that comes with being centrally located,” Schlagenhaft said. “Hello Local was created with the idea that local makers and small businesses can work together, support each other and grow together in a bustling downtown location.”
Hello Local sells new products from more than 30 small businesses, including Onyx Coffee Lab, Pozza’s Pasta, Simkins Brothers’ Sweets and The Foundry Clothing Co. The shop doesn’t charge a fee to display the products, but when one sells, a small percentage of the sale goes to the shop.
The products are displayed in a gallery style, telling stories of the maker and brand, said Schlagenhaft, adding the shop is “very modern and industrial looking.”
In 2016, after establishing T-shirt company Bentonville Love, she looked to sell her products in a downtown store and was selling most of her products from home. She also sold T-shirts at downtown event First Friday and Yoga Story, and in October, Schlagenhaft tested the business model to sell other businesses products at 211 Cafe in downtown Bentonville. Over the past six months, Schlagenhaft and Cloud have looked for a location in downtown Bentonville and want to open shops in Bentonville, Fayetteville and Rogers downtowns.
Schlagenhaft, who declined to release revenue, said a significant portion of business can be attributed to gift box sales. Hello Local has three employees.