For the Love of the Lake

New boutique in Excelsior offers a nautical vibe.

For Excelsior residents, the phrase “lake effect” has taken on a new meaning since 24-year-old Danielle Riley opened her Water Street boutique, Lake Effect, in mid-April—with a nod to all things nautical.

Riley grew up boating on Lake Minnetonka and helped manage her mother’s shop, Scandia Down, in Edina’s Galleria. So she knows what’s required for a fun-filled day on the water, and how to make sure it’s in stock. “I try to make sure that everything has some kind of tie to the lake or is something that can be used at the lake,” she says.

Riley says the shop’s boat-shaped wooden wagons are customer favorites, and the matching dog bowls have been flying off the shelves. And Lake Effect has the solution to the age-old problem of losing sunglasses to the lake: floating bamboo sunglasses from Swell. Shoppers can always expect to find Chris Craft brand apparel; Riley’s great-great-great-grandfather created the beloved boats.

She says the community response has been spectacular. “Women, especially, are really excited to see a young woman doing something like this,” she says.

Recently, the challenge has been deciding how to stock her store for wintertime on the lake. Expect hats and gloves for hockey players and beer koozies and icehouse decorations for the lake’s ice fishers.