Show Us Your Shop: Waterlemon Kids By Debbie Eisele

Owner shares how they are coping with COVID-19

We recognize that so many retailers are facing similar challenges and we encourage you to Show Us Your Shop, so we may share your story and it just may help all the smaller, independent retailers.

Waterlemon Kids retail store

Nina Makovski began Waterlemon Kids about a year ago in La Grange, Illinois. The business is an indoor playspace for children five and younger, a clothing and party goods boutique, coffee bar and party venue. Plus it provides online and brick-and-mortar options for its customers. Makovski shared with us important information about how her business is adjusting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Waterlemon Kids retail store

How have you transitioned your selling strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Since temporarily closing our brick and mortar due to Covid-19, we’re more heavily focused on driving online sales. We’ve also just created our signature Waterlemon Birthday Bash Boxes, which are basically, you guessed it, a Birthday Party in a Box! So far they’re doing great for us as people still want to celebrate!

Waterlemon Kids Birthday Bash Box

What special services, such as curbside pickup or delivery, have you implemented?

We’ve started personally delivering our local orders to homes whenever we can (leaving them on doorsteps so as to honor the social distancing mandate) and yes, we will bring items to cars if someone should happen to place an online order but want to pick it up! What I love about the personal local delivery change we’ve implemented is that it allows us to have that much more of a connection to our customers as we either call or text them to let them know we are on our way. It has opened up new lines of communication that wouldn’t have otherwise been there! Often we will even get photos of their children enjoying the items/gifts we just dropped off moments ago! Those really make our day.

Waterlemon Kids Birthday Bash Box

How are you reaching out to customers during this crisis?

Facebook and Instagram, but in addition we have also begun blogging and sending out newsletters as well as becoming more active on our local social Facebook group pages.

What are your social media handles?

Instagram: @waterlemonkids

Facebook: @waterlemonkids

Is your business offering any new programs to assist others in the community at this time?

We are consistently promoting other small businesses in our area as well as solo-preneur’s. However this has been a staple of how our business has functioned since day one — we’re just leaning into now more than ever by giving lots of shout-outs via our social pages, stories and newsletters.

Have you increased your online retail presence to adjust to social distancing?


Are you creating any grab-and-go type solutions to help sell through existing inventory and to provide merchandise customers need in today’s environment?

Our Bash Boxes are a perfect example of this! As we all collectively navigate these uncertain times, one thing is for sure: we’ll take any reason to party. And at Waterlemon, we believe there’s no greater thing in the world to celebrate than a child’s birthday. So while this year’s celebrations may be a bit more intimate than we’d originally thought, that doesn’t mean they still can’t be beautiful, stylish and most of all memorable for our children!

Waterlemon Kids Birthday Bash Box

Signature Birthday Bash Boxes are made to order and include:

  • 1 set of plates
  • 1 set of napkins
  • 1 set of cups
  • 1 festive banner
  • 1 celebratory crown
  • 1 number or festive candle (colors vary)
  • 1 bonus party item (such as cake toppers, add’l candle, festive straws, confetti, cupcake toppers, etc.)
  • *5 11” balloons pulled from the theme’s palette *1 large number balloon in either gold, rainbow, silver or rose gold (will match theme)
  • *1 themed specialty balloon

*Bash Boxes with helium-filled ballons are only available for FREE delivery within 5 Google-mapped miles of Waterlemon. Delivery of helium-filled Bash Boxes is also available between 5-10 miles of Waterlemon, or you can pick them up yourself at Waterlemon! If you’re not local or able to pickup your Bash Box, we will mail it with balloons un-inflated. 

For more information on Bash Boxes, visit and enter Bash Box in the SEARCH bar and select your theme — our Bash Boxes are carefully curated by our staff so we kindly ask that no substitutions be requested. All sales are final. 

What helpful tips would you like to share with other retailers during these unprecedented times?

Hang in there, think outside the box and enlist friends and family for help.

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele is the managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and a variety of special issue publications, including: The Guide, Holiday Shop, Celebrations & Occasions and Waterfront Living.

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