About Red


James Leroy “Red” Douds, who built his modest appliance sales outlet into a fine home furnishings business that counts the top-name furniture outlets of western Pennsylvania among its peers, is a member of the Class of 2022 of the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame.

Red was born and raised in Plumville, starred on the basketball team at Kiski Prep School, and graduated in 1928 from Plumville High School. He learned the fundamentals of business as a helper in his father’s local general store then learned marketing by purchasing produce such as potatoes, apples, sweet corn and cabbage, along with chickens and eggs from Indiana County farmers, and selling them in New Kensington and Pittsburgh.

Along with his wife Martha, Red started an appliance sales shop in 1947 near his dad’s store in Plumville. His earliest clients were area farmers who asked him to bring washers, stoves or iceboxes back to them from Pittsburgh.

Three years, later he expanded his line to include furniture and carpeting, and at age 41 built the first section of the sprawling showroom store that still does business today as Douds of Plumville.

As Red added product lines and services to the business, he expanded the store in 1954, 1958 and 1968, when he became one of the earliest furniture dealers to dedicate entire sections to the display of suites of furniture. By employing trained decorators to assist customers in selecting coordinated interiors, Douds of Plumville enabled home and business owners to see how full rooms of fine furniture from the best known manufacturers in the industry could be customized to look the best in their homes and offices.

The addition of handcrafted draperies, ceramic and hardwood flooring, kitchen and bath furnishings and complimentary personalized design consultation, along providing high quality at superior value, made Douds of Plumville a destination for homeowners from large and small communities throughout western Pennsylvania.

Red diversified his business interests while his staff and family helped to grow the furniture store. He was an ownership partner of Thrift Finance Company in Indiana and a member of the S&T Bank board of directors.

Red’s passion for horses and his record of owning and racing standardbred harness horses earned his appointment as chairman of the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission and his election to the Western Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Douds of Plumville been a family owned business from its start, and the second and third generations had joined in its operation before Red passed away in 1991. Its growth has continued, too: A second location opened in 1994 on Route 30 in Greensburg.

Red’s daughter Priscilla Brice, son-in-law Tom Brice and grandchildren General Manager Bart Brice, Lead Designer Lori Gradwell and Todd Brice today keep Douds of Plumville one of the most respected names in home furnishings in Pennsylvania and neighboring states.

The Indiana County Chamber of Commerce welcomes J.L. “Red” Douds to the Class of 2022 of the Business Hall of Fame.

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