In November, Camp North End welcomed a new concept to its sprawling campus: Lokal, a collaborative retail space. The owner of Lokal, Garrett Tichy, already had a presence at Camp North End as the owner of hygge coworking when he saw an opportunity to connect more local businesses with Charlotte customers. By the end of 2021, 28 vendors had signed on to collaborate with Lokal, including That’s Novel Books. This business occupied the space before Lokal moved in and is owned by Alyssa Pressler, who is also the general manager of Lokal and marketing director of hygge.
Together, Pressler and Tichy are expanding possibilities for small business owners and conscientious Charlotte shoppers.
Why did you start this business?
We knew there was a big need for approachable, affordable space, particularly for those who we like to call “kitchen table entrepreneurs.” They are the people who are building their business online or at pop ups, but don’t have the resources or time for a physical retail presence.
What drew you to Camp North End?
We’ve been tenants at Camp North End as hygge coworking since 2017. When it came to deciding where to start Lokal, it was a no-brainer. We had a beautiful, public-facing space that flowed into the coworking space already, and Camp North End has exploded in opportunity.
What will be the requirements for businesses to sell products in your store?
The businesses should be local to the area. Otherwise, there are very few requirements. We have some that are nationally known, like Feminist Goods Co., and some who started a month ago. As long as they don’t directly compete with another Camp North End tenant or another small business in our store, we’re open to talking with anyone.
What do you hope to accomplish by opening this store?
First and foremost, we want to encourage people to prioritize shopping locally. As small business owners ourselves, we know the difference a single sale can make. We want to expose people to as many locally owned small businesses as possible in our walls. But we also want to help the businesses themselves by helping them explore if a retail front is right for them.
What will be the aesthetic of the store?
The store has a clean, vibrant, and bright aesthetic. Colorful vendors, plants, and tons of natural light abound.
What does the future of Lokal look like?
In the immediate future, our goal is to fill this space with as many businesses as possible. Once it’s full, we are very hopeful we’ll be able to expand to a second location. We also see ourselves eventually expanding into e-commerce; housing inventory and providing shipping services on a large scale. If we do inventory and shipping as a collective, there’s money to be saved for small businesses who need that service.