Avery Lane’s Darlene Richert knows how to find hidden gems

Avery Lane’s Darlene Richert knows how to find hidden gems

By Becky Bracken, Photos by Blake Bonillas

Picasso paintings. Herman Miller Eames chairs. A Belgian baker’s hutch from the 1800s. When it comes to finding treasures, no one does it better than Darlene Richert. She and her team at Avery Lane have created a bustling center of home design consignment décor in the Airpark that is both world-class and one-of-a-kind.

“That’s the real story here,” Richert says, draped across an orange velvet sofa in her showroom. “That the Airpark has become a mecca for home design consignment.”

Part of the success of Avery Lane is its location in the heart of ritzy Scottsdale, which attracts affluent home buyers from all over the world. People buy large properties, decorate them with treasures and luxury items, and when they move on, either to another city, or to a smaller home, consignment off ers a way to recuperate some of their investment.

A quick stroll around Avery Lane gives you a sense of the appeal of a business dedicated to collecting beautiful things. As guests enter, they’re greeted by two enormous bronze lion sculptures purchased by a store owner in the Biltmore area. After a few weeks of the lions standing guard outside her storefront, the property manager said they were a tripping hazard. Too large to fit inside, or even outside, most spaces, the lions are now with Richert at Avery Lane, waiting for someone new to fall in love with them.

“Aren’t they great?” Richert exclaims. As she walks around the showroom pointing out hand-painted console tables and antiques, detailing their particula histories, it’s obvious why people trust her to sell their prized possessions: She loves them too. And her excitement about each and every piece is infectious.

It’s that trust and care she shows each client, and each item, which earned Richert a haul of paintings two-and-a-half years ago that put her on the map and up there with Sothebys and Christie’s auction houses.

“I was sitting in my office and I could hear the beep, beep, beep of a truck backing into the loading dock,” Richert says, describing the day an heir to the Hinkley family’s art collection – the same Hinkleys who own the lighting stores – showed up unannounced. “The woman, who I had sold a few antiques for, whips off the cover and there were all these beautiful original paintings.”

One of them was a Piccasso. Another turned out to be a work by Roberto Marquez. “These were all paintings that could have hung in the Louvre,” she says.

The first call Richert made was to her insurance provider. “I either had to get a rider for half a million or hire armed guards,” she says. Then she got to work trying to figure out the right price for them. She knew she didn’t want to price them so low as to impact the market for an artist. So she researched current auction prices and applied the same principles to the paintings as she does her home décor and furniture and put them up for sale at about 60 to 70 percent of the going rate. “We definitely want to keep the value in the retail market,” Richert says.

She quietly made calls to a few of her best clients and within a month, all the paintings were sold. “Then she gave me four more,” Richert adds.
Since then, she’s sold a $30,000 Paul Pletka and other high-end art. So far, she says she’s sold about $250,000 in art at Avery Lane.

But while the fine art side of the business is something Richert calls “one of those big surprises,” it’s still her and her team’s ability to curate unusual antiques and rare finds that keeps people coming back. During the recent Phoenix Open, she says the wife of a top-20 golfer came in and spent tens of thousands of dollars in just a few minutes.

“She’s crazy about Mackenzie-Childs,” Richert explains, pointing to a Childsdesigned dining set hand-painted in checks, florals and other crazy mismatched designs. “People come from all over the world and (Courtesy Darlene Richert) say ‘I’ve never seen anything like this.’”

Over the decades Richert has called the Airpark home, she has encouraged her friends to move their consignment businesses to the area, too, creating an oasis of similar shops, which all work together to serve designers and home owners across the Valley. If she doesn’t have something a customer wants, Richert will refer them to some of the other stores she works with like Stevan’s, Lost & Found, Switch or Airpark Consignment to help them track down their prize.

“The Airpark is perfect because we are minutes from all the marquee events for which Scottsdale is well known,” Richert says about her fondness for the location. “We are two minutes from the TPC course for the Phoenix Open. Barrett Jackson held at WestWorld is probably less than 10 minutes away and it also hosts the world’s largest Arabian Horse Show. And we have three spring training stadiums 15 to 30 minutes away. Not to mention the spectacular resorts and golf courses within minutes of the consignment corridor. It’s paradise to live and work in the Airpark area.”

Resale Row
Avery Lane is at the core of several consignment shops in the Scottsdale Airpark area:

Airpark Consignment
7848 E. Redfi eld Road, Suite 17
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Eclectic Home Consignments, LLC
15020 N. Hayden Road, Suite 105
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Luxx Consignment
14982 N. 83rd Place
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Stevan’s Consignment
15770 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop,
Suite 102
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Switch Consignment
14202 N. Scottsdale Road,
Scottsdale, AZ 85254

The Lost & Found Resale Interiors
15551 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop,
Suite 150
Scottsdale, AZ 85260