Northwest Arkansas start-up encourages locals and corporations to gift local for the holidays

If you’re shopping for locally-made or locally-themed products or gifts, Hello Local aims to become your one stop shop. The start-up is expanding into its first standalone brick and mortar retail location and is also expanding its year-round corporate gifting program. Hello Local’s storefront, dubbed their Experience Store, will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, September 22nd.

Hello Local started in 2016 when Dana Schlagenhaft noticed area small business owners needed an affordable venue to sell products in Northwest Arkansas’ quickly growing downtowns. In 2018, local entrepreneur Mark Cloud joined Hello Local to help guide its expansion.

“Most small businesses in their initial growing 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. 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,” Schlagenhaft says.

Hello Local now partners with over thirty Northwest Arkansas small businesses. The Hello Local Experience Store displays each local product in a gallery-like setting with a large Experience Bar offering samples of products daily. The store also offers a line of locally-themed t-shirts and custom curated gifts that can be shipped nationwide straight from the store.

While it expands its physical presence in the region, Hello Local is also expanding its corporate gifting program and kicking off a campaign to encourage Northwest Arkansas companies to gift local this holiday season. Hello Local offers a catalog of themed locally-sourced gift boxes, at various price ranges, that can be fully customized with a company’s unique branding.

“Can you imagine the boost local small businesses (and our local economy) will receive if Northwest Arkansas-based corporations chose to gift local this holiday season? It would not simply be an influx of sales for growing small businesses – it’s a morale boost and affirmation that they should keep pushing their business to the next level,” Schlagenhaft says.

Some examples of Hello Local’s corporate gift boxes include:

Theme: Culinary

What’s in it? From a custom branded Mabry Makings cutting board to a box of Tontitown’s famous Pozza’s Pasta, Hello Local’s Culinary Gift Box offers Northwest Arkansas products perfect for creating a classic Italian dinner. The box also includes Pink House Alchemy’s Pineapple Rosemary Shrub and Ramo d’Olivo Olive Oil, as well as a recipe card that details how to create a Pineapple Rosemary Shrub salad dressing.

Theme: Outdoors

What’s in it? Hello Local’s Outdoor Gift Box offers everything a weekend adventurer needs for a day on the trails. We’ll keep you caffeinated with a bag of Exclusive Hello Local Onyx Coffee and a custom water bottle, sustain your energy with a bag of Wicked Mix, and make sure you look adventure-ready with an Oz Trails hat and a colorful pair of Arkansocks.

Theme: The Tour

What’s in it? Hand-picked and lovingly packed by Hello Local, the NWA Coffee Tour Gift Box offers a unique tour of the well-sourced and meticulously roasted coffee beans from many of Northwest Arkansas’ top roasters.  The Tour comes with seven 2-ounce bags of whole bean coffee, beautifully encased in a high quality Northwest Arkansas photo gift box. A printed insert in each gift box details the region’s coffee scene.


Theme: Simple Pleasures

What’s in it? All the comfort Northwest Arkansas has to offer in one beautiful box. Pour a large latte mug full of Exclusive Hello Local Onyx Coffee or Savoy Tea Company Tea (don’t forget the honey!) and snack on decadent locally-sourced Markham & Fitz chocolate or smooth Simkins Brothers’ Sweets Chocolate Poppers. Finally, surround yourself with the soft scents of a Little Bison Co. candle.


The Hello Local Experience Store is located at 101 East Emma Avenue in Downtown Springdale or can be found online at