Caitlin Hicks Design
Award of Excellence
Caitlin Hicks Design is a 1243‐square‐foot establishment located in Monticello, IL at 106 South Market Street. The building was constructed in the late 1970’s and until 2015 it previously housed Sebens Amoco Gas Station. In May of 2018, it became The Froyo Factory serving coffee and frozen yogurt. Unfortunately, the Froyo Factory did not survive the COVID‐19 Pandemic and closed its doors in 2021. It was purchased in early 2022 by Caitlin Hicks Design.
Caitlin Hicks Design is a woman‐owned jewelry business specializing in private appointments and events with a focus on custom design, re‐imagining existing jewelry, and curating jewelry purchases. She has been in the jewelry industry for over 15 years, and her vision is to grow her footprint in her community. She comes from a 7th‐generation farming family established in Monticello, Illinois. Caitlin found it extremely important to work with another locally owned contracting company, ECI Construction Services (ECI). ECI contracted with Caitlin Hicks Design to deliver a build‐out matching her design philosophy to blend traditional ideas with a fresh and modern twist.
The project was a lump sum contract for $384,775 that commenced in February of 2022 and concluded in July of 2022. ECI served as the general contractor performing demolition, framing, HVAC, flooring, and trim carpentry. Eleven merit‐based subcontractors participated in the project’s construction: two being ABC IL member Waters Electric and A.D. Binder Plumbing.
ECI started working with Owner, Caitlin Hicks in 2021 viewing locations throughout Monticello, Illinois. Early concepts included rehabilitation of an old church, remodeling a house, updating a shared single‐story office building, and even outfitting a dental office. The goal was to find a location feasible for Mrs. Hicks to create her stand‐alone “Jewel box” in a place that her family has called home for over 150 years. Following the purchase, Mrs. Hicks and ECI partnered with Brian Kesler from Architectural Expressions to proceed with floor plans.
The main objective was to change the overall appearance of the building exterior. Mrs. Hicks wanted to eliminate the remnant image of the gas station. Removal of the mansard walls, eaves, and soffits were completed in order to “flatten” the facade of the building. The framing was reconstructed and eliminated the protruding features match the renderings. It was important to Caitlin to change the landscape of this small town. Offering a new look that draws her clients and others in. A true “Jewel box” in her small farm community. This goal was achieved using a simple but classic color palate to match her branding colors of white, black, and gold. Utilizing black and white striped awnings created a boutique look and black framing around the doors and windows brought a modern flare to the building. Gold backlit lettering gave a luxury feel and black sleek up/down lighting for the exterior really created an all‐around glow for her building in the evening hours. She wanted the building to look as good at night as it did in the day. To complete the building remodel a new black asphalt parking lot with white striping tied the entirety of the project together.
The Caitlin Hicks Design project faced many challenges throughout the course of completion. Much of the work was custom design using high‐end materials. Knowing what the expectation was, we first had to deal with the “ugly hour”. Caitlin Hicks Design is an east‐facing building with 80% of the façade representing storefront glass. Furthermore, the interior walls were flat white which created a noticeable shadow effect in the early mornings. To eliminate the issue, ECI, Z & F Drywall, and Picasso Painting had to flat spray joint compound followed by level 5 primer throughout the building. The quality of the workmanship is paramount, and the extra steps created a flawless appearance throughout the space.
Unique features were required in the space including the geometric wall, and the fan favorite, Smart Glass. The geometric wall was the backdrop of the Quartz wrapped point of sale counter. The design was presented by Mrs. Hicks and replicated by ECI carpenters. After the design was complete and painted, we added sconce lighting, recessed speakers, and interior signage to complete the look.
As a custom Jeweler, privacy is of the utmost importance. Mrs. Hicks wanted the capability to eliminate the view from the street to protect her customers confidentiality. ECI partnered with CKS Smart Glass to install a liquid crystal film over the storefront windows. The film is designed to receive an electrical charge from a pre‐wired transformer and change the window from clear to frosted. The film can be controlled via a standard decorator switch and/or remote control. This feature allowed Cailtin and her staff flexibility in appearance and privacy as needed.
In conclusion, our partnership with Cailtin Hicks Design, central Illinois subcontractors, and vendors delivered a turnkey custom buildout on time, and under budget. ECI used as many local contractors as available to support the small town community and construct this woman‐owned business with long family history in Monticello, IL. ECI has maintained a total recordable incident rate (TRIR) of zero which remains a continuing trend that hit the 4‐year mark in 2022. We humbly ask for your consideration for the award of excellence displayed by our commitment to Safety, Quality, and Community Engagement for the town of Monticello and its businessmen and women.