By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor
Woody’s Jewelry, a downtown Portales landmark for more than 50 years, is expanding its store, according to owner Danny Woodward.
Woodward is remodeling the small storefront the business has occupied for the last half-century along with the building to its immediate west to provide an enlarged showroom and workspace for the jewelry store and repair business.
“We’d kind of outgrown our building,” Woodward said Thursday as he stood inside the store that was bare to the wall studs and rafters. “Our showroom’s going to not quite double — but almost.”
Woodward said there were a variety of reasons that made the time right to remodel and expand the business. Being able to purchase the building next door from Ken Hubbard this spring was part of the opportunity. He said it was also time to move the family business forward in case future generations want to continue the store’s legacy.
Woodward’s wife, Chris, and their daughters, Lindsey, a Portales High School senior, and Lauren, an eighth-grader at Portales Junior High School, all work at the family business.
“It’s kind of a time for us,” Woodward said. “It’s time to broaden our horizons and step up.”
He said that those broader horizons will include expanded inventory and a larger retail emphasis.
“You either have the inventory and are able to step up, or you move on,” Woodward said. “The people deserve it.”
The expansion comes as the city of Portales and the Portales MainStreet program are considering active retail recruitment in the community. The city recently heard from a consultant about how a retail inventory and recruitment program might work.
“Isn’t it wonderful, a business that’s been here for over 50 years is flourishing and able to expand,” Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce Manager Sharon King said.
King said the effort dovetails with taking retail inventory of the community because the storefront Woody’s is expanding into is one of the vacant buildings that community development leaders have had their eye on.
“Danny’s so big on MainStreet, I’m sure he’s going to tie it in with what MainStreet is doing downtown,” King said.
MainStreet is involved with bringing a hotel back to the downtown as well as facade work and other activities.
“These things don’t happen overnight,” Woodward, who is also president of MainStreet, said of the organization’s efforts. “A lot of it is due to demographics, and without city support or some type of outside influence, it’s tough.”
Woodward said he’s been grateful of the city’s support of business recently. He said efforts were slowly bearing fruit around town.
Woody’s Jewelry was founded by Woodward’s late father, H.L. (Woody) Woodward, in 1955. He opened the business after working a few years for Christian Jewelry in Portales. Woody’s originally opened a few doors east of its present Second Street location, and moved 49 years ago next to what was then Modern Shoe Store owned by Hubbard.
Woodward said Hubbard, who died earlier this year, and his father were good friends.
Woody’s was closed this week because of the remodeling, and plans had originally called for re-opening the week after Labor Day. After tearing the walls out, Woodward said he realized that might have been a bit optimistic. He said it would probably be the second week of September before the store re-opens.
The store will likely have a grand re-opening celebration later this fall, according to Woodward.