Avery Lane owner Darlene Richert likes a mix of old and new
By Kristine Cannon
Avery Lane owner Darlene Richert glides over to a wooden, French-country dining table custom-painted with a floral print design and surrounded by rust-colored, leather-strapped chairs.
“What I love about this lady is she was 87 years old and she was fearless,” Richert says of the dining set’s former owner. “She goes, ‘I just love these chairs and I love this table and I put them together.’”
Of the approximated 30,000 antique-meets-contemporary tchotchkes, home décor and furniture found within the now 23,000-square-foot consignment store, it’s this dining table set that encapsulates both Avery Lane as a business and Richert’s personality.
“I like that it’s this mix of old world and new world,” the Scottsdale resident says. “That’s how I am in terms of how I design and really how I live: I’m a very traditional person and then I’m contemporary in some other ways. I love to watch classic English literature—shows like ‘Downton Abbey’ and movies like ‘Pride and Prejudice’—but then I’m a very contemporary, successful businesswoman.”
Located in the Scottsdale Airpark, Avery Lane celebrated the grand opening of the additional 11,000-square-foot space called Avery Lane 2 located adjacent to the original, 12,000-square-foot store that opened in 2012.
Richert had her eye on the store next door the second the previous owners vacated.
She acquired the space one month ago and spent a dizzying 20 days gutting and transforming the space with her team.
“The reason for doing the expansion is I have so many clients that want to consign their items in their households and I have to say no because I’m full. I just didn’t have the physical capacity to take any more,” Richert says.
Avery Lane has been successful since it opened, experiencing 10 percent growth every year for the first few years, and over the past three years, 12 to 14 percent growth.
“So, obviously there’s a need for [consignment],” Richert adds. “I think we have a pretty transitory climate here in Scottsdale. People are redecorating, people are selling homes. If real estate is doing well, we’re doing well.”
Avery Lane sells strictly high-end designer pieces and, more recently, added original artwork to its roster.
Richert’s discerning eye has made the store a success.
“We’re different than any other consignment store, not only in Scottsdale, but really [also] in the United States. We only do high-end designer pieces. We only do collectible art,” she says.
Avery Lane has an eclectic style and breathes new life into older pieces and antiques by uniquely pairing with contemporary pieces.
“Our mentality is you don’t need to start every room from scratch,” Richert says. “You can take some of the pieces you currently have and just add some punch by adding new things to them.”
That says, prices run the gamut, ranging from $20 accessories to 17th-century Asian doors priced at $15,000.
But what’s most intriguing about Avery Lane is the stories behind each and every item for sale.
Take, for example, the set of hand-embellished vintage tins that Richert picked up from Nick Alain’s Las Vegas shop.
Alain is the industrial designer behind Tom Tom in Los Angeles and Vanderpump Cocktail Garden inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, restaurants owned by “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Vanderpump Rules” star Lisa Vanderpump.
“I’ve shopped with [Alain’s] showroom for years and the thing that I love is his mom,” Richert says.
Alain’s mom, Michelle Mittelman, is a French woman who owns her own company, Yesteryear, but she also showcases her one-of-a-kind vintage tins at Alain’s Vegas and High Point markets.
“She is an artist herself, and she finds these powder tins or cookie tins, and then she hand-embellishes them. She goes through and puts the jewel on them, and she does this at her kitchen table,” Richert says.
The tins are priced between $200 and $500.
Behind the Avery Lane showroom is another 12,000 square feet of space that, in the future, Richert envisions would become a co-retailing space.
“I wish I could create marketplace back there, a store-in-store with 10 little booths, and create this place where people want to have a business but they can’t rent something like this,” she says, adding:
But Avery Lane does have one store tucked inside its massive showroom: Pagoda Lane.
“I think it’s cool and we’re different enough from what [Avery Lane’s] got going on that it’s not a competitive thing at all,” says Heather Hassan, who co-owns Pagoda Lane with Chip Hassan.
At Pagoda Lane, customers will find plenty of gift items, including candles, perfumes, canvas totes and 100 percent cashmere ponchos priced at $88 each.
But what Pagoda Lane specializes in is blue-and-white porcelain and authentic Chinese home décor and furniture.
“Our Chinese stuff is truly vintage – and when I say vintage, that piece there is probably 180 years old,” Chip says, pointing to a distressed, hand-painted chest. ν
15613 N. Greenway Hayden Loop, Scottsdale