Introducing Vintage Homes

Richele and Tom

Where did you grow up? How long have you lived in the area? Tell us about your family
I grew up in Mesa, Arizona and moved to Gilbert about 30 years ago.
There are six people in our family. Tom and I have been married for 40 years. We have two sons and two daughters. Our oldest son, Jonathan, is 34 and lives in Washington. Our son Alex is 32 and he lives in Colorado, our daughter Melanie is 28, she lives in Tucson and our daughter Isabella is 16 and is a sophomore at American Leadership Academy.

Tell us about the events that led up to where you are now.
I graduated from ASU with a degree in teaching and taught in Mesa Public Schools and at Gilbert Christian’s Agritopia campus. Alongside teaching, I also had a booth at Merchant Square Antique mall in Chandler. I have always enjoyed finding treasures at garage sales, thrift, stores, and estate sales. My booth at Merchant Square antique mall provided an outlet for me to sell the things I found. However, I knew that one day I planned to have my own store.

What is your business, how/why did you start your business?
My business is an eclectic mix of old and new home decor and furnishings.
My love for all things vintage began at a very young age. My family spent summers at my grandparents' house in West Virginia. I would go every Saturday with my grandfather to farm sales and auctions. He taught me about the value of things that had a history. He also taught me the art of negotiation. At one sale, I watched him negotiate the price of a rocking chair that I wanted. With a poker face, he made a deal for the price that he wanted to pay. Years later, that rocking chair was part of my classrooms for over 33 years.
I retired from teaching five years ago. Prior to retirement, I was in communication with the team at epicenter regarding opening up my store.

What is unique about your business?
Our business is unique in three main ways. We have an eclectic mix of vintage and new home decor, we offer design advice and our prices are affordable.

Our mix of vintage and home decor showcases, to the customer, how one can decorate with both vintage and new home decor. Antique furniture is displayed among home decor such as framed artwork, glassware, and books that date anywhere from the early 1900s to present day.

We offer design advice to our customers. For example, if a customer is
interested in a piece of furniture or decor, and does not know how to use it in their own home, we help them with decorating ideas.
The positive feedback from our customers is that they love our inventory and appreciate our reasonable prices. At least once an hour, we hear someone say, “Your prices are so reasonable!“. It is so gratifying, as a business owner, to know that your customers admire the items we have for sale and that they can afford to purchase what they like.

Given your business expertise and the nature of what you do, what advice can you offer to your neighbors?
My best home decor advice is to be confident that they can choose items to make their home warm and inviting. I would encourage them to find a style they like and build upon it. My hope is that the items displayed in our store, give customers ideas on how to decorate their own home.

What part of the neighborhood do you live in and how long have you lived in Agritopia?
We live on Claiborne, just across the street from Gilbert Christian School. Our location made for a very short commute while I was teaching! We have been living here for 13 years. The best neighborhood ever!

What else we should know about you, your family, or your business?
Perhaps the most gratifying part of our first full year in business has been getting to know our business neighbors and our clients. Everyone is very friendly, and complementary! We have had great discussions, with customers, about their family that come to mind when seeing our vintage items.

Vintage Home Design + Decor
Richele Ames
(480) 599-6833
Instagram: @vintagehomeaz