Out north, in the Nikiski Mall, Localz is truly a gem for locally made gifts, souvenirs, bath and body supplies, jewelry, and much more. Launched in 2019 by local entrepreneur Angelique Stanton, Localz has grown rapidly, now featuring items from over fifty Kenai Peninsula makers and artists. Now with over two thousand followers on Facebook, Localz has quickly become the most popular retail shop in Nikiski. With items coming from all parts of Southcentral Alaska, Localz is your one-stop shop for unique, one-of-a-kind treasures.
When you enter the shop at Localz, it’s easy to see why this new business has gotten off to such a great start. Everything has been carefully organized and cleverly decorated, making both the space inviting and the items enticing. It can take a while for startups to gain traction, but that was not the case with Localz. But then, the coronavirus hit Alaska. Localz was mandated to close its doors in March 2020, uncertain whether or not they would open again. Angelique pivoted quickly to online only, with an already blossoming website, but with everyone waiting to see what would happen next, demand was gone.
That’s when Angelique turned to the Alaska SBDC. With SBA Paycheck Protection Program funds quickly running out, she worked closely with Kenai Peninsula Center Director, Cliff Cochran, to secure a PPP, providing Localz with a lifeline from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Like many small business owners across the state, Angelique had great things to say about the assistance she received from the Alaska SBDC, sharing, “Thank you for your advice and support. Without your knowledge and help from the PPP, our doors would most likely be closed. We are truly grateful.”
After a rebound summer in 2021, Localz is thriving, nearly bursting at the seams in it’s now crowded shop. Cliff Cochran had the opportunity to visit Localz in August and the impact was powerful. He said, “It was so great to see one of my clients thriving as the result of the PPP. Not only did this program support Localz, but in turn the dozens of local artists, craftsmen and women, who sell their products in her store. The ripple effect of this one PPP is enormous for the community of Nikiski and I’m humbled to have been a part of it.”
If you’re a local or find yourself on the Kenai Peninsula, the short drive out to Localz is well worth your time. In addition to newly stocked seasonal decor, you’ll discover rich handmade soaps, tasty rubs and seasonings, hilarious coffee mugs, and mouth-watering chocolate, among other great items, all made locally.
Localz is located in the Nikiski Mall at 51775 Kenai Spur Hwy, Nikiski, AK 99635. Check them out on Facebook and browse their growing online store at www.localzak.com. With convenient options to pick up at the store or ship, Localz can deliver your next gift or treat anywhere.