A new store with all things locally made has moved into Miller Plaza where Southern Sqweeze used to be.
Locals Only Gifts owner Danielle Landrum started the business out of her home and initially sold only online.
The idea blossomed when her husband, a Realtor, had the idea to give his clients gift baskets with items made in Chattanooga.
Landrum went to several places across town, including the Chattanooga Market and Barely Bones, to aggregate items.
Interest grew, so in November 2015, Landrum created a website and started posting on social media about her products.
“I did some Christmas business-more than I thought I would,” she said. “I sold probably $1,000 in gift baskets [in the first month]… It just seemed like the natural thing to do the store.”
Since then, she’s changed from baskets to boxes because they are easier to ship.
Customers can create their own boxes or buy them premade online.
“We deliver and ship anywhere,” Landrum also said.
Amy Donahue, River City Co. director of marketing and communication, said that the store is a fantastic fit for Miller Plaza.
“There’s a lot to discover in Locals Only, and we hope the downtown Chattanooga workforce, residents and tourists take full advantage of its locale,” she said in a prepared statement.
Several well-known Chattanooga products can be found in Locals Only Gifts, including products from Hoff Sauce, Alchemy Spice and Good Fortune Soap, but there are also plenty of smaller local artisans featured.
“I have been looking for a local business to sell my photography,” Shelley L. King Jr. of Eskay Jr. Photography said in a prepared statement. “Locals Only Gifts is the perfect fit for me. I love all that they do.”
Locals Only Gifts is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., with later hours planned for Friday nights during Nightfall.
Updated @ 1:06 p.m. on 5/15/17 for clarity.