When my 5-year-old walked into the new Nicky Nicole in Crocker Park, she gasped, her eyes immediately drawn to the display of tutus and princess accessories. “Can I get a wand? I really need a new wand. Please. Please. Please.”
And that’s how it went for the next hour — near frantic wide-eyed searching through a store full of treasures chosen specifically for girls ages 4 though 14. There was every trinket imaginable, from ice-cream-cone lip gloss to horse-decorated treasure boxes to groovy buttons. There were plush animals in carriers, fun jewelry and colorful headbands. I gave her $10, and she could have spent a half-day there and still wanted more time. Thank goodness she didn’t notice the station along the wall where you can make your own lip gloss, sugar scrub sundae or shimmer lotion ($10.99 each). The opposite wall features a huge display of Webkinz (online interactive plush pets), bordered by a nice selection of Crocs.
It is as if the store were designed by a very cool little girl. The truth is, it was designed by the mother, MJ Lehman, of a very cool little girl, Nicole. Bored of her job in merchandising, Lehman began brainstorming and realized “there’s nowhere cool for my daughter to shop.” In 2005, the first Nicky Nicole opened in Hudson, followed by one in Woodmere.
About a third of the store is dedicated to clothes, but this is not really the place to purchase a summer wardrobe on any kind of a budget. A cute tiered pink sundress was $64.99, while a pair of jean shorts ran $36.99. Granted, the clothes were highly fashionable — truly a boutique for girls. The selection of ballet dress-up clothes was adorable, too, but more reasonable at $23.99 each.
In the end, my daughter settled on the Japanese erasers in the back corner of the store. For her $10, she got 10 of them. There were brightly colored cupcakes, milk cartons, helicopters, fish and ice cream cones. Some of them come apart and can be reassembled — a feature that delights her to no end.
Bottom line, if you want to make your daughter really happy, come here. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find something spectacular, but you should be prepared to stay a while.
Crocker Park, 220 Crocker Park Blvd., Westlake, (440) 835-1223, nickynicole.com