The Little Alaskan children’s store is seen in Kenai on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Located where Bargain Basement used to be in Kenai, the shop opened this weekend. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

The Little Alaskan children’s store is seen in Kenai on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Located where Bargain Basement used to be in Kenai, the shop opened this weekend. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

‘Little’ shop goes big

Little Alaskan occupies the space where Bargain Basement used to be in Kenai.

The owners of Little Alaskan celebrated the grand opening of their children’s store over the weekend.

Shelby Oden co-owns the shop with her husband and his family. She said on Sunday that she was eager to finally get the store up and running.

“It was super busy on Friday, it was overwhelming,” Oden said. “But my family was here and then I have a great employee and so together we were able to have a really good time and welcome everyone into the building.”

Little Alaskan occupies the space where Bargain Basement used to be, on the intersection of Main Street Loop and the Kenai Spur Highway. The new children’s store is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The shop is an expansion of their smaller Little Alaskan business, Oden said, which was in a 400-square-foot space in a different part of town.

“I’ve had a little shop … for a couple years and that was going pretty well,” she said. “We needed a bigger space and wanted something that I would be able to do whatever I wanted in, make it a permanent home.”

Oden said her smaller shop helped launch the new store.

“We were already in business, and so that was definitely helpful,” she said. “I already had established relationships with vendors and customers.”

Little Alaskan carries children’s clothing, toys, books and other accessories, and also has a section for moms and parents.

Oden said she sells secondhand clothes, and also carries her own brands.

“The goal of the store is that we buy back everything that we sell here,” she said. “We’re trying to create a cycle of clothing in the community. As kids grow, they go through stuff so fast.”

In addition to the items for sale at the store, Oden said she hopes to also start hosting children’s read-alongs and music classes.

“We really want to offer programs for kids here that are free to the community and just kind of make it a fun place,” she said.

The ultimate vision is that the space will not only serve a business purpose, but that Little Alaskan becomes a place to gather and connect as a community. “We have two small children,” Oden said. “These are the kids my children are going to grow up with, through high school, and so we just want to be as involved as we can with the kids and families in the community.”

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

The Little Alaskan children’s store is seen in Kenai on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Located where Bargain Basement used to be in Kenai, the shop opened this weekend. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

The Little Alaskan children’s store is seen in Kenai on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Located where Bargain Basement used to be in Kenai, the shop opened this weekend. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

The Little Alaskan children’s store is seen in Kenai on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Located where Bargain Basement used to be in Kenai, the shop opened this weekend. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

The Little Alaskan children’s store is seen in Kenai on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. Located where Bargain Basement used to be in Kenai, the shop opened this weekend. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

The Little Alaskan children’s store is seen in Kenai on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

The Little Alaskan children’s store is seen in Kenai on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

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