CHAMPAIGN — Christopher's Fine Jewelry Design in downtown Champaign has closed for remodeling and expects to reopen later this week in a smaller space.
Co-owner Lois Wacholtz said the store plans to keep its frontage at 124 N. Neil St., C, but lease out the back portion.
As for what customers can expect to see once remodeling is done, Wacholtz said: "The windows will stay the same. There will be more wall (display) cases and fewer floor cases, and a fair amount of new inventory when we're up and running."
When complete, the retail space will be about 900 square feet, compared with the 2,000 square feet the store had before, she said.
Wacholtz said she and co-owner Christopher Jupp had been thinking about shrinking the space for a couple years.
"There's no real need to have as much inventory on hand as there used to be," Wacholtz said. "Our focus more and more the last several years has been custom design and custom orders."
Customers love to look at jewelry, she said, "but more and more, they're taking ideas away and having them custom-produced. It just became obvious we didn't need as much display space on hand for inventory."
Wacholtz said she hopes to rent out the back of the building, perhaps for a restaurant.
"We plan to put a doorway in on the Taylor Street side, so it's accessible from that side," she said.
That entrance would be just east of the stairwell that leads down to Christopher's production studio, she added.
Wacholtz said she expects the store to reopen Friday or Saturday, but if customers need Christopher's services before then, they can call.
"We won't be completely finished, but we'll be open by the end of the week again and have out as much as we can," she said.