Jeff CohlmiaHome Gallery successful when it first opened 21 years ago.
For that to happen, though, he has to sell his current inventory through a going-out-of-business sale and open in a smaller space with a new name.
"We kind of got away from what put us where we were," Cohlmia says of the medium-priced furnishings and accessories he used to carry in a smaller space.
"That's what got us to where we are."
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The store opened in the approximately 4,500-square-foot space Twigs now occupies at 535 N. Woodlawn.
Four years ago, Cohlmia moved just down from there to 8,300 square feet.
"People kept asking us for better things ... so I started carrying better things," he says.
Then came the economic downturn in 2008.
"We just slowed down to a crawl," Cohlmia says.
"I think a lot of people decided that they would pay off all their bills and just buy things as they needed."
He still had some big jobs and some great sales, Cohlmia says, "just not enough to overcome what we needed to overcome."
"You eventually have to say, well, I can't keep doing this any longer the way I'm doing it."
Cohlmia is reorganizing by having a Connecticut company have his closing sale, which includes some items not from his store.
He says stores similar to his nationally are going through the same kinds of sales.
Cohlmia hopes the sale will help him "get back to a right position."
Then, once it's over, he'll evaluate his options.
"I'm going to do something. I don't know what it is."
Ideally, Cohlmia says, he'd like to open a new store in a smaller space and sell furniture and even more accessories in a range of price points while still focusing on quality merchandise.
"You know, this business has changed so much and is changing a lot. We're really trying to figure out where it's going and what's happening."
Dressing for success
Even in difficult economic times, women need bridal and prom gowns, as April Huang is discovering.
In 2008, Huang opened Dress Gallery in 2,500 square feet near the southeast corner of Douglas and Seneca in Delano .
Now, she's expanding into an additional 2,000 square feet next door.
"We are growing," Huang says. "We're out of room, basically."
The bridal side of her business is what's really growing.
Huang is moving her prom and special-occasion dresses to the new 2,000 square feet so she can have more room for an expanded selection of bridal gowns.
Instead of four fitting stations, she'll now have six. Huang says the extra room will allow for more personal service.
The new space opens Saturday.
Flying for T-day
Nothing says Thanksgiving like a doughnut.
OK, maybe that's not the case, but Tricia Davis says opening her new Flying Donuts the day before Thanksgiving isn't a bad idea.
"We'll provide breakfast," she says. "A lot of people won't be cooking breakfast."
The shop is opening next to Bella Luna Cafe on East Central.
In addition to doughnuts, Davis will serve croissants, croissant sandwiches and kolaches.
Hours are 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week except, of course, on Thanksgiving.