Name: Doug Parsons
Marital status: Single
Career: Owner, White Peacock
Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD
Where do you call home today? Alamo Placita
Doug Parsons is the owner of White Peacock, a locally owned and operated bridal registry and home decor store in Cherry Creek North that opened last spring. White Peacock focuses on high-end brands such as Versace, Baccarat, Moser and Pickard just to name a few. Parsons particularly enjoys adding unique items to his clients’ homes that become centerpieces not found elsewhere. While Parsons’ background is eclectic, his experience in commercial art, retail experience and 30 years traveling the globe as a flight attendant have led him to where he is now: making the bridal registry and decor business fun, upscale and built on the relationships he develops with his clients.
What surprises people about you?
I grew up in a small town in South Dakota. My first job was wrangling sheep and I worked in a meat packing plant to pay my way through college.
How do people describe you?
I think they describe me as high energy and a good friend, creative.
Who do you most admire?
I guess I’d choose someone from the creative and spiritual world, so Brendon Burchard and Lewis Howes and their podcasts.
Favorite Denver metro restaurant?
Denver has so many amazing restaurants but for the most part I’m very casual. My go to spot for meeting friends for happy hour or a quick bite is Bad Daddy’s.
What was the last great book you read?
High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard.
What is your biggest fashion faux pas?
I try to be careful of what I wear so I don’t know what I would say. Maybe I’m not always current.
What is one thing that you absolutely can’t live without?
People, because that is what brought me into retail. It’s not just about selling stuff, it’s about creating relationships. I like my alone time of course, to be reflective, but I always need to return to the energy of being around people.
What was your last major purchase?
I bought my condo last year.
What gadget can you not live without?
What are your hobbies?
I like listening to music. I meditate and workout as well. I love to travel but don’t have much time to lately.
What is your most memorable Colorado experience?
Opening White Peacock. I had great experiences and memories with my first store but I really wanted to open a different kind of store in a totally different environment. White Peacock was the answer to that, it’s in an amazing store, in a busy area, filled with many locals and tourists.
What one word describes Coloradans to you?
What is your favorite spot in Colorado to visit?
I haven’t explored Colorado that much because Denver has so much to offer. I enjoy exploring different areas, coffee shops, antique stores and local eateries.
Are you involved with any charities?
I’ve worked with Volunteers of America, Project Angel Heart, Dumb Friends League.
What took you down this career path?
I started in the airline industry in the 1970s for a small airline, and the industry was very volatile. So, I had to do a lot of things on the side to make money. I started working in retail and really enjoyed it. I eventually opened my own store in Cable, Wisc. That finally led me to high-end retail in the Cherry Creek area and the partnerships I have now.
You were a flight attendant for 30 years traveling all over the world. How did that impact what you do now?
I developed a love and appreciation for other cultures (instead of aesthetics).
Do you have a favorite story from your years as a flight attendant?
Every day was different because you worked with and met different people all of the time. My favorite stories were those made with these new found friends throughout the world. If you hoping I would share crazy passenger stories ... there are far too many to even start.
Prior to establishing White Peacock, you were in retail. What were the main lessons you brought with you?
Mix it up. You can go into stores that look the same all the time. But if you change things up, people will notice different items. Customer service is, of course, number one. But you need to make things look good and fresh.
How is White Peacock different from other bridal registry and decor stores?
I don’t know of any other store in Denver that has what we have. If you are a bride and want to see the product and touch the product you can. We also try to make it fun, like we serve champagne in Baccarat glasses while choosing and deliberating.
What are the biggest challenges running this type of store?
Amazon and online options that try to undercut the price. Brick and mortar and the personal experience are still good sales tools. Again, it’s the relationships you build and the customer service that competes with the price undercuts of places like Amazon.
What one piece of business advice would you give to individuals just starting in the retail space?
Make sure you understand you are in a customer-driven business so customer service is the most important aspect.
What does White Peacock do to be involved in the community?
We gave part of the proceeds of our grand opening to Project Angel Heart. We have also donated to a number of the local charities. We hope to work with more partners in the future.
Cherry Creek North is known as a pretty upscale retail neighborhood. Do you focus on upscale items?
Yes, we do. But we aren’t the snobby type. We are fun and relaxed. We do also have really cool, less expensive items.
Has there ever been an item in your store that you absolutely had to have?
There are a lot of things in here I would love. There are new patterns every day as well, and so many stories are associated with new designs and items. Unfortunately, I just can’t bring everything home.
Any sage words of advice for those about to take the plunge and get married?
Come register at White Peacock.
Scott S. Evans is graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law and is a father of two, a business litigation attorney, writer and high school lacrosse coach living in Centennial. Scott has freelanced for variety of publications including The Wall Street Journal and the Military Law Review.
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