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Showrooms Reimagined: An Interview with C.E.O of Clive Christian, James Denos

Chicago, IL – Ascending to the pinnacle of the Chicago Luxury Furniture Center, one inevitably stumbles upon the Clive Christian lifestyle showroom, also known as "The Lifestyle Apartment"; Conceived by James Denos, the visionary CEO of Clive Christian, this space transcends the conventional furniture showroom, welcoming visitors, and prospective clientele into an unforgettable realm of luxury and imagination.

Having spent over two decades in the retail industry, James Denos, now the proprietor of Clive Christian, harbored a vision of a showroom that epitomized opulence. He recalls, "I once had a luxurious showroom at the Merchandise Mart but when I looked out the window, I saw the building’s freight elevator; that view did not match the luxurious environment of my showroom.” Creating an atmosphere commensurate to the elegance of his showroom was James’s inspiration for "The Lifestyle Apartment."

James, who has been a Clive Christian franchisee for 25 years, has now taken the helm and is expanding the brand's success from Chicago to New York, further complementing its presence in Los Angeles and London. The objective is to not only provide Clive Christian's clientele with high-end furniture but also to kindle the sparks of their unique dream homes. "We curate a luxury lifestyle apartment adorned with Baccarat lighting and exquisite furnishings, imbuing our customers with an experiential vision. When clients step inside, they think, 'My house could look like this.'; We then assist in making that vision a reality."

​James collaborates with celebrities with demanding schedules who seek the 'whole package,' such as actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry. The bulk of Clive Christian's clientele comes through referrals from satisfied customers. The company eschews traditional advertising, as it contradicts their exclusive, low-key clientele's preferences. James elucidates, "Usually, once we complete one home, we transition to the next, thanks to word of mouth. While we may garner media attention, you won't see ads. We cater to a discerning clientele who shun the limelight and cherish their privacy."

James takes a proactive stance in engaging preeminent architects, designers, and stakeholders who share and appreciate Clive Christian's vision and extensive product line, which breathes life into that vision. "Traditional advertising fails to leave the lasting impression and impact that we aspire to offer our clientele. It's never about the money but the value, experience, and quality that drive our sales."

James attributes much of his entrepreneurial and visionary success to his Greek roots, heritage, and culture. He believes these elements endowed him with the essential tools to excel. His grandparents' immigration journey from Greece to the United States, armed with nothing but values and an unrelenting work ethic, serves as a profound source of inspiration. James' hard-working parents meticulously instilled these values, morals, and lessons, which he is now passing on to his own children. He emphasizes, "My boys inspire me to work diligently and set an exemplary path for them. We strive to provide for our families, and that's why I invest so much effort."

James Denos imparts his wisdom for those aspiring to serve an elite clientele: "Never forget the word 'philotimo' and use it to cultivate relationships with everyone around you—clients, employees, and even the many service professionals who enhance our lives through their work. Assist people by introducing them to others, and never be greedy about your endeavors."

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