updated 07/11/2011 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 07/12/2011 AT 1:45 PM ET
This summer, fans can catch Nikki Blonski performing Hairspray numbers off-Broadway.
Make that about 20 miles off-Broadway.
The actress, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Tracy Turnblad in the hit 2007 movie adaptation of the stage musical, has taken a summer job selling shoes at the Steven Dann boutique in her hometown of Great Neck, N.Y.
Boutique owner Steven Dann tells PEOPLE that Blonsky, 22, works at his store two or three days a week “as a fun thing for the summer.” And she’s entertaining customers, too.
“She’s really sweet to the little kids that come in the store,” a source tells E! Online. “She even sings and dances for the customers, busting out the tunes from Hairspray.”
Blonsky, who stepped out with a new beau this summer, hasn’t had much luck on the showbiz front as of late: Her ABC Family series, Huge, was canceled, and her romantic comedy Waiting For Forever earned scathing reviews.
But her current boss predicts that Blonsky won’t be in retail for long: The designer boutique owner says Blonsky has a “huge project” that she’s starting in the fall.
“She decided to try the gig for the fun of it,” adds her rep. “And to support a longtime friend’s local business.”
With reporting by DEIRDRE GALLAGHER