Looking for that special statement piece to add character to your home? Odds are Avery Lane in Scottsdale has that one-of-a-kind item that will catch your eye and be a conversation piece with friends, family and guests alike.
Avery Lane, a home consignment store that was voted the No. 1 consignment store in the 2019 edition of Ranking Arizona, opened their expanded showroom on Sept. 6, which added another 11,000 square feet to their current 12,000 square foot space, making Avery Lane one of the largest consignment stores in the country.
Darlene Richert, founder and owner of Avery Lane, said the expansion was natural given the growth of the business working with clients who want help selling their furniture or clients who come into the store looking for something special.
“I have expanded three other times, and each time I expand I go, ‘Oh my gosh, once I get this expansion, then we’re set, we’ll have all the space we need,’ and we did a very substantial expansion last May, we added 2600 square feet to our showroom and our clients couldn’t wait for it to be done, and three months after we built it, we had already outgrown it,” Richert said.
“It was very clear we needed bigger showroom and part of it is so many clients want to have their furniture in here and have me help them sell it but I’m limited with space. It was kind of a necessity and the space next to me had been vacant for almost two years.” Richert acquired the space next door and began planning how to design it. Each space has its own entrance, as she kept the wall in between, but said in the future she might take it out.
Richert described the new space as warehouse-like, as it’s one huge room, which she said posed a design challenge. “It didn’t have the personality of the current store that has little rooms that are divided. For the new space, I created dividers by using giant bookcases that I turned into pillow storage and took armoires and turned them back to back to create walls to make it more interesting,” Richert said. “You want the space to gradually and slowly unveil itself to you as you walk around, you don’t want to see it all at once.”
To keep it consistent with the current space, Richert added their black and white French stripes so people knew it was an Avery Lane store, and added rugs to warm up the space since it has hard floors. “We’re kind of known for the music we play, and we wanted the acoustics to be right and the rugs absorb the sound. Everybody who comes in feels like Avery Lane is a whole shopping experience – from the music we play, to the candles we burn.”
Since they began in 2012, Richert said they’ve seen 10 to 12 percent growth each year. “A big part of the growth has been in even more higher-end furniture, a big surprise that has been part of our business has been collectible art, very rare and unique collectible art. People buy these substantial art collections here and then they sell that home and downsize or move to another state, and then they need to liquidate that art collection, so that’s been a big part of our business and it’s been really exciting to find new homes for really special art,” Richert said.
Throughout the years, Richert said she has seen her client base develop and is attracting local interior designers who want to furnish a house quickly and don’t have the time to custom order a piece. At Avery Lane, designers can come into the store, choose what they want and have it delivered within 48 hours.
“I also work with luxury realtors, who come to Avery Lane when they are either selling a house, their clients are moving and they need to get the existing furniture out of the house or in many instances when they want to stage the house so it looks very luxurious, they come to me to get furnishings,” Richert said. “I work with a lot of designers and realtors, professional athletes, business executives and leaders, so I’ve got a great clientele from all over town.”
Avery Lane’s inventory ranges from couches, desks, bookshelves, dining room tables, rugs and art. Richert and her team look for two things when determining if it has a place at Avery Lane: everyday use foundational furniture and antiques.
“Foundational furniture is what I call staples to your home, I look at details including the lines, nailheads or fabric like a pattern or leather, and on the other end I’m looking for very unique, one-of-a-kind antiques,” Richert said.
“One of the things we sold last week was a wine cellar door to a ship that was dated 1619, or we can have something like an Asian chinoiserie desk from the early 1800s, those are pieces that people want in their home to help make it spectacular; I also have amazing chandeliers and unique art including Picasso and contemporary. The inventory runs the gamut from those staples that everybody needs to those ‘never seen it before, I gotta have it’ type pieces.”
Richert said before the current expansion, it was hard to say no to clients who have beautiful furniture because she didn’t have space to display their items, but now the new space allows her to say yes to more people. “I can take more beautiful things and be able to showcase them, and for my shopping clients, it allows me to provide them with more great, killer, cool inventory.”