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Meet Mike Suede of Lokels Only in DTLA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Suede.

Lokels Only started in March 2017 as a podcast hosted by original founders Mike Suede, Brotha Guru, and Dan Letterman and featuring exclusive interviews with local artists, pop-ups, businesses, and creatives. A year later, we upped the ante and created The Lokel Market. From San Diego to Inglewood to Fullerton to San Francisco to Stockton, we traveled everywhere up and down the California Coast putting on podcasts and events aimed to bring local business, artists, performers, and creatives together. In 2019, our efforts to help these business grow evolved from what was once a podcast between three friends into a full-blown business. Lokels Only was born as a creative marketing firm to help a myriad of local businesses, including restaurants, fitness centers, vape products, commercial furniture, and apparel, grow their businesses. In 2019, our evolution continued, and we became a brick & mortar concept to function as an incubator for our vendors to test their concepts and gain new clientele.

At Lokels Only, we strive to provide the physical space and digital marketing platform necessary to help your business succeed. We work alongside you to tailor your vision, build your brand identity, refine your operations, and capitalize on your market. For locals by locals, the mission is done together.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Never been a smooth road. It’s been filled with tons of changes, ups & downs, as well many struggles currently to maintain in this current climate. Some of the struggles we faced was developing a team, maintaining that harmony, losing members of the team and how to be consistent with creating revenue. Obstacles come with this field, you have to be all in when taking on the entrepreneurial path especially when you go from a podcast to a brick & mortar small business support system.

Please tell us about Lokels Only.
Lokels Only started as a podcast, diving deep into the stories, ambitions, and lessons learned of local creatives and small businesses, in hopes to inspire someone in the community to pursue their dream.

As relationships formed and as our team grew as a creative collective, collaborations formed. We hosted marketplaces, galleries, and events to spotlight local businesses, artists, and musicians. We understood that connections can form through creative immersive experiences. This led us to opening our first brick & mortar in 2020, a space to continue creating immersive experiences to uplift and empower our local community.

Lokels Only brings your concepts to life, elevates your branding that best connects you with your community, and builds your brand through creative immersive experiences.

What sets us apart is how much we are providing a platform for small businesses and creatives while connecting them to the local community.

What were you like growing up?
I lived about 20 lives, from a military family to a latch key kid, to growing up in the streets or getting away in LA for summers and college life as a high schooler. I was older for age but extremely rebellious as I learned to challenge everything and really had a passion for my beliefs as well as anything I was involved in. I was always curious, being a student of those around me but always was strategizing business plans or career moves.

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Image Credit:

David Andrade & Ryan Kloswoski

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