‘A Great Partnership’

‘A Great Partnership’

Airpark consignment shops
collaborate to help customers

By Laura Latzko

The pandemic has brought out the interior designer in all of us.

For those wanting high-end furniture, home decor and artwork at an affordable price, consignment shops may be an option. The area around Scottsdale Airpark has become a mecca for consignment shops.

These shops help consigners sell items and provide them with a portion of the proceeds, usually around 50%.

Many of the stores have 90-day contracts, although some will keep items beyond three months and gradually mark down prices. Customers will find sofas, armchairs, artwork, lamps, rugs, coffee tables, nightstands, end tables, desks, dressers, bookshelves and dining room tables. Antiques are aplenty, too.

The Scottsdale consignment shops all have their own personalities and appraisal processes. While some are stricter than others, they all are guided by certain standards for what they allow on their showroom floors.

In these consignment shops, customers can find gently used items, including furniture from respected brand names, for a fraction of what they would pay new.

Besides Lost + Found Resale Interiors, here are some of the other consignment shops in the Airpark.

Stevan’s Consignment

15770 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop

480-607-0143

Stevan’s Consignment is tied to a three-generation family tradition of luxury furniture, art and decor. Amanda Baldwin, the woman behind it, is part of this family tradition.

Before Baldwin opened the shop seven years ago, she helped her grandmother manage her store from 1993 to 2007.

Baldwin says with her vast experience in home design and furnishing, it was a natural progression for her to own a consignment shop. Stevan’s, which has grown from 6,000 to 10,000 square feet over the years, boasts an “Old World, Spanish Colonial, Tuscan” vibe.

“I’ve grown up in this business, going to auctions, going to markets with my grandmother every year, multiple times a year. I had the opportunity to follow behind one of the best designers in the Valley,” Baldwin says.

Baldwin is a woman of contradictions in her professional and personal life. Her shop is filled with Old World items, while her home is more contemporary. She says she appreciates high-quality furniture and art from various time periods.

The store adapted its model to the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring more of its inventory on its website. Baldwin says this has helped to reach more customers and generate sales.

“We’ve really seen an influx in sales since we’ve started doing that. That’s something that we’ll continue to do,” Baldwin says.

The store sells an assortment of gently used items at fair market value, including chandeliers, dining room tables, sofas, armchairs, mirrors, vases, rugs, ottomans, lamps, fine china and dressers.

The prices depend on type, condition and brands. A dining room table and chairs, for example, runs from $2,400 to $11,000.

The shop sells a variety of artwork, including paintings and bronze statues from different time periods. The inventory features original artwork from Jay Johnson, an acrylic painter who often depicts celebrities in his work, and Bill Toma, a designer for Disney whose body of work includes fantastical bronzes. Over the years, the shop has also had religious artwork that dates back 400 to 500 years.

Baldwin says because of its offerings, Stevan’s feels more like a gallery than a traditional consignment store. This is where her shop differs from her grandmother’s.

“My grandmother had a lot of fine things in her store, but they were all new. I have a lot of fine things, but they are gallery pieces. They are original pieces of art. They’re not reproductions,” Baldwin says.

“They are original bronzes that are signed. They are original, signed pieces of art. The statement pieces and the accent pieces that I have, they are one of a kind.”

Stevan’s also offers interior design consultations and has built longstanding relationships with faux finishers, upholsterers and seamstresses who can assist clients with home projects.

“If there’s something you need, we’ve usually got a resource for you,” Baldwin says.

For many buyers, the furniture, decor and artwork purchased from Stevan’s are investments.

“What I love most about these really high-end pieces is they are coming from people who are salt of the earth,” she adds. “They’ve worked hard for what they have. They don’t have that sense of entitlement. When you meet people who just have an appreciation and love for fine things and are fine people themselves, it makes this business all worth it.”

Avery Lane

15613 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop

480-991-0700

With a 30,000-square-foot showroom, Avery Lane is the largest consignment shop in Scottsdale.

Darlene Richert founded the high-end consignment store in 2012, after a career in the golf development industry. A fan of high-end artwork, furniture and home decor, she saw a need for a store like hers in Scottsdale.

“I just decided it is time for me not to work for a big corporate company, not to be in corporate America but do my own thing. That’s when I decided to embark on this endeavor,” Richert says.

She wanted Avery Lane to have a similar vibe as shops she visited in Paris, Barcelona, San Francisco and London. She describes her store’s aesthetic as “Paris apartment.”

“In Paris, you are collecting things from a flea market or the neighbor next door or something you inherited,” she says. “Things in a Paris apartment go together but not perfectly. It is creating an eclectic, cohesive look. It’s a lot more fun and a lot more quirky.”

Richert hopes to promote reusing and repurposing furniture, as Europeans do.

“It is definitely the European way. People don’t do brand-new furniture shopping in Europe. They reupholster, repair, stain or put a different top on it. They use things over and over again, and I like being part of that culture,” Richert says.

Avery Lane offers contemporary and traditional designer furniture, collectible and original art and antiquities from around the world, and design consultation services.

For the consultations, designers visit homes and work closely with clients. Richert hopes to start a furniture line this year.

Getting products into Avery Lane isn’t easy because of the store’s strict appraisal process.

“Everything is personally curated. Most of the time, I go to the homes personally and look at it, touch it, feel it,” Richert says.

A research department helps to determine the items’ value, and artwork must be appraised before it can be accepted.

Last year, the store expanded from 12,000 to 30,000 square feet.

“This has really allowed me to help a lot more people. There usually was a two-month waiting list for people to get into Avery Lane, and now we can accommodate people,” Richert says.

Pieces in the store range in price and origin. Consignment pieces often come from travels and inheritances. Dining room sets can run from $1,500 to $10,000, with sofas from $1,200 to $6,000. The company works closely with individuals and designers, many of whom are return buyers or consigners. Buyers and consigners primarily have homes in golf communities in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Arcadia.

“They have collected pieces from not only their hometowns but from their travels to Europe. We get pieces from all over the world. Every day is Christmas when that truck pulls in, and the pieces actually arrive in our showroom,” Richert says.

“We are really blessed to have interesting people who are consigners, who in turn have very interesting tastes and collections of furniture and artwork.”

Over the years, the store has had artwork from Pablo Picasso, Vicente Viudes and Dutch masters, as well as hard-to-find furniture such as an antique Chinoiserie desk.

Through her work, Richert is constantly discovering new artists.

“It’s one of my favorite parts of business. I really love learning about the artists, where they got their training, where they’ve lived, who’s collected their art,” Richert says.

Consignment is often a collaborative business. She and other consignment store owners in the area don’t operate in a bubble. They work together, often referring consigners to each other if they feel another shop will be a better fit.

“We have a really good friendship and camaraderie among the consignment store owners,” Richert says. “It is a great partnership between all of us.”

iConsign Stores

16801 N. 90th Street

480-525-8103

IConsign Stores had locations throughout the Valley before consolidating to one 7,700-square-foot Scottsdale showroom owned by Cindy and Jonathan Rarig.

They started in the consignment business in 2007 after having a picture framing, interior design and art decor store. IConsign’s price point ranges from $40 to $12,000.

IConsign offers more traditional furniture and accessories along with gaming tables, antique dentistry tools and collectible coins. Jonathan says he and his wife wanted a more universal consignment store that would appeal to a wider customer and consigner base.

“People who are doing consignment aren’t always doing it just for their own personal homes,” he says. “They’re doing it for rentals and Airbnbs. Their kids are going to college. So, we have had a wide spectrum.

“What we specialize in is not specializing in something. Meaning that when you come into our store, you’re going to be able to find everything from that high-end designer piece that you can only get in a consignment store because you are going to pay $12,000 instead of $80,000 but also way down to the nitty, gritty, grinded-out end table or dresser that you want for your rental or Airbnb.”

As part of its appraisal process, the store asks consigners to send in photos of items and provide background information like where and when it was purchased and the price. When the consigners bring the items to the store, they are examined more closely.

“We’ll inspect it for physical integrity, cleanliness, making sure it’s something that we would be proud to put in our own home, and then ensuring that it’s something that we can sell. As I tell all my team members, we’re not a museum. We’re a retail store. Being a museum is a good way to go out of business,” Jonathan says.

Many consumers are gravitating toward cheaper, disposable furniture, but there are others who prefer legacy pieces that last longer. In the past, he says, it was common for families to have furniture for their whole lives.

“When our parents bought furniture, they planned to have it for 60 years, maybe even pass it down to the children,” Jonathan says.

Even with the changing landscape of shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people still prefer to shop in person with consignment.

“I think that people need to be comfortable that they are purchasing something that is of the quality that they would want, that is in the condition that they want,” Jonathan says.

Items that come through the store often have deeper meaning to the people who have owned them or who purchase them.

“We always say we are more of an adoption agency than a furniture sales place,” Jonathan says. “We are taking something that one person loved and took care of, and we’re going to pass it on to another person who’s going to love it and take care of it.” ν