Coffee Break: Steven Holtzman, vice chairman of C.D. Peacock

  • Steven Holtzman

    Steven Holtzman

Posted5/22/2022 1:00 AM

Q: Describe your company.

A: Established in 1837, C.D. 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, C.D. Peacock has been helping clients celebrate special occasions for 185 years, providing quality family heirlooms that are passed down for generations. To discover luxury at its finest, visit one of our three boutique locations, Woodfield Mall, Old Orchard Mall and Oakbrook Center, also where our flagship mansion is planned to open in spring 2023.


Q: Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

A: We recently announced plans to build our new flagship store in Oakbrook Center. The new store will be over 20,500 square feet and is positioned to be one of the country's largest watch and jewelry stores. With this significant capital investment, we will add at least 25 new jobs to our existing workforce.

Q: What will your company's main challenges be in the next year?

A: Changing and transforming our team's culture and developing new ways to enhance our client's journey. Training our staff with state-of-the-art technology and unique concepts to create new ways to connect and enhance the in-store and online experience.

Q: What's the hottest trend in your industry?

A: The luxury watch collector segment will still be growing in 2022. Bigger, better diamonds. Single earrings for multiple piercings. Stacked rings and bracelets. Men's jewelry is making a big comeback. There isn't one single trend, there are a number of things that are hot in the industry right now.

Q: If you had one tip to give to a rookie executive, what would it be?

A: Work hard to master your job, continue to reinvent yourself, strive to exceed expectations, build good relationships and be a team player. Pay attention to company culture and values when choosing a job.

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Q: Do you have a business mantra?

A: One of my favorite quotes is: "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from poor judgment."

Q: From a business outlook, whom do you look up to?

A: I look up to my dad. My father taught me to keep my head up and always recover if something didn't go my way or I was in a difficult situation. He taught me to look on the bright side of things. And he taught me never to stop trying to succeed. In his late 20s and early 30s, he had two public companies -- one on the NY Stock Exchange and the other on the American Stock Exchange. He came from a small town and went to a local college in Northeastern Pennsylvania, every opportunity in life he created for himself. Above all else, he taught me how to create opportunities.

Q: What is one interesting fact about you or your company that most people may not know?

A: C.D. Peacock opened and registered as Chicago's first business in 1837. The city of Chicago was registered and incorporated in the same year. Not only is C.D. Peacock the oldest existing retailer in Chicago, but it is also the oldest business in Illinois. Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln were customers of C.D. Peacock. Cyrus McCormick, inventor and businessman shopped at Peacock's. Its vault and famous doors survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. C.D. Peacock exhibited at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.

Q: Was there a moment in your career that didn't go as you had planned? What lesson did you learn from it?

A: I have had a lot of jobs; waiter, bellhop, bartender, door-to-door bible salesman, watch brand builder, closeout seller, manufacture, distributor, sales manager, importer, exporter, licensee, toy manufacturer, consultant, party promoter. My life lessons mostly came from my mistakes and not my successes. What makes me unique is the number of times that I screwed up and how I recovered. Nothing has gone as I had planned in my career.


Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Work on my fitness, travel, and spend time with my family.

Q: What book is on your nightstand?

A: Traction by Gino Wickman. It's about getting a grip on your business.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: Thinking about all of the things I still want to do.

Q: If you were not doing this job, what do you think you would be doing?

A: I don't think about it. I think you should love what you do. If you don't love it then do something else, it's never too late.

Q: What was your first paying job?

A: Door-to-door bible salesman.

Q: If you could put your company name on a sports venue, which one would you choose?

A: Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Like C.D. Peacock, it is quintessential Chicago.

Q: Two people to follow on Twitter and why. (besides your company)

A: I don't follow anybody on Twitter.

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