Q: Describe your business.
A: Established in 1837, CD Peacock is Chicago’s oldest jeweler and premier destination for luxury watch and jewelry brands including Rolex, Cartier, Tudor, Omega, IWC, Chanel, Hearts on Fire and Mikimoto. Family owned and operated, CD Peacock has been helping customers celebrate special occasions for 185 years, providing quality heirlooms that are passed down from generation to generation. To experience luxury at its finest, visit one of our three boutiques, Woodfield Mall, Old Orchard Mall and Oakbrook Center, also where our flagship mansion is slated to open in Spring 2023.
Q: Do you plan to hire additional staff or make any significant investments in your business over the next year?
A: We recently announced plans to build our new flagship store in Oakbrook Center. The new store will span over 20,500 square feet and is positioned as one of the largest watch and jewelry stores in the country. With this significant capital investment, we will add at least 25 new jobs to our existing workforce.
Q: What will be the main challenges for your business next year?
A: Changing and transforming our team culture and developing new ways to improve our customer journey. Train our people with cutting-edge technology and unique concepts to create new ways to connect and improve the in-store and online experience.
Q: What is the hottest trend in your industry?
A: The luxury watch collector segment will continue to grow in 2022. Bigger and better diamonds. Simple earrings for multiple piercings. Stacked rings and bracelets. Men’s jewelry is making a comeback. There isn’t just one trend, there are a number of things that are trending in the industry right now.
Q: If you had one piece of advice for a beginning leader, what would it be?
A: Work hard to master your work, keep reinventing yourself, strive to exceed expectations, build good relationships, and be a team player. Pay attention to company culture and values when choosing a job.
Q: Do you have a business mantra?
A: One of my favorite quotes is, “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
Q: From a business perspective, who do you look up to?
A: I admire my father. My dad taught me to hold my head up high and to always recover if something went wrong with me or if I was in a difficult situation. He taught me to see the bright side of things. And he taught me to never stop trying to succeed. In his late twenties and early thirties, he owned two public companies, one on the New York Stock Exchange and the other on the American Stock Exchange. He was from a small town and went to a local college in northeast Pennsylvania, taking every opportunity in life. Above all, he taught me to create opportunities.
Q: What’s an interesting fact about you or your company that most people might not know?
A: CD Peacock opened and registered as Chicago’s first company in 1837. The City of Chicago was registered and incorporated the same year. Not only is CD Peacock the oldest existing retailer in Chicago, it is also the oldest company in Illinois. Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln were clients of CD Peacock. Cyrus McCormick, inventor and businessman, shopped at Peacock’s. Its vault and famous doors survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. CD Peacock exhibited at the 1893 World’s Fair.
Q: Was there a moment in your career that didn’t go as you expected? What lesson did you learn from it?
A: I had many jobs; waiter, bellboy, bartender, door-to-door bible salesman, watch brand designer, clearance salesperson, manufacturer, distributor, sales manager, importer, exporter, licensee, toy manufacturer, consultant, party planner. My life lessons have mainly come from my mistakes and not from my successes. What makes me unique is how many times I messed up and how I recovered. Nothing happened as I had planned in my career.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Working on my fitness, traveling and spending time with my family.
Q: What book is on your bedside table?
A: Traction by Gino Wickman. It’s about mastering your business.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Thinking of all the things I still want to do.
Q: If you weren’t doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?
A: I don’t think so. I think you should like what you do. If you don’t like it, do something else, it’s never too late.
Q: What was your first paid job?
A: Door-to-door Bible seller.
Q: If you could put your business name on a gym, which would it be?
A: Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Like CD Peacock, it’s quintessential Chicago.
Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why. (outside your company)
A: I follow nobody on Twitter.