Hankering for a handsome headquarters like Mad Men’s Don Draper? Well, stub out that Lucky Strike, hop in your Caddy and cruise on over to Lee Alex, a boss SoBo furniture boutique with a tang for the Mid-Century modern.
With three floors (4,000 square feet) of new, vintage and consignment furnishings, owners and husband and wife team, Theo and Heather Byron, have built a loft-like space for selling current, classic, contemporary, vintage, retro and Mid-Century home décor.
Since 2006, Lee Alex, located at 24 Broadway, Suite 104, (www.leealexdecor.com), has supplied Denver with a “humble,” niche shop with a selective, passion-driven inventory where a piece is chosen based on its form and function more so than its designer name.
“We’re not a high-end shop, we’re a practical, local, down-to-earth customer,” Theo said.
It was being attuned to the neighborhood’s needs that gave Heather and Theo the inspiration needed to jumpstart a consignment segment to their business about five months ago.
Consignment furnishings with the aesthetic trademark the couple fancies – the time period between the 30s and 70s – not only helped fill the spacious South Broadway retailer, but made room for community involvement in the business.
“It’s a constant change of merchandise that often stays quite local and generates local economy,” Heather said.
Whether you are looking for a repurposing project, wanting to coalesce old meets new in your abode or simply want to sate your nostalgia, Lee Alex is an out-of-sight treasure.
WHAT DO THEY SELL?
How about a Casino Royale-esque mirrored bar where all three doors open in unison, a light switches on as the lid pops up and martini olive picks emerge from a hidden door? Or how about trying on a set of Moscow Mule copper mugs for size? A mechanical cocktail shaker? A vinyl tulip dining set?
Lee Alex is one local hotspot to unearth bygone pieces like these that are top quality and competitively priced to boot.
“Our goal is we’ve never wanted to look like that tattered, used furniture store,” Heather said. “We’ve always made sure our stuff has a good presentation.”
While the couple focuses on accruing small-scale furniture to suit urban living, do not expect to be sold a set like a chain store. Along with the overwhelming mix-and-match interior design trend, everything at Lee Alex is sold individually from a martini glass to a dining room chair.
The pair gravitated toward mod design due to a “degree of trend” and Theo’s modern design and furniture manufacturing background.
“Mid-Century has a simple beauty to it,” Heather said. “It’s almost always functional with its form. I like the minimal side of it.”
Frequented by customers who favor the contemporary styling of furniture stores like Denver’s Element, Lee Alex offers a range of items that are either home-ready or, due to “good bones,” are repurpose-worthy.
The day I visited the store there were two sets of Mid-Century nightstands – one Asian-inspired, black lacquered set for $625 a piece and a three-drawer set for $99 a piece – yet, Theo said, the latter duo had just as much potential as the first.
Theo said he understands Lee Alex acts as a “stepping stone” for those who repurpose, and they are cool with that.
Be sure to check out Lee Alex’s extensive collection of retro barware, vintage cufflinks and lighting – their specialities.
WHY CHOOSE CONSIGNMENT?
Although, Theo said, there is a “consumer fear” hovering over consignment like a dark cloud, Lee Alex attempts to allay those worries with a mutually beneficial consignor contract.
“When they still own it and we come up with a mutual price and consign it, they get to go through the whole process … they don’t feel cheated,” Theo said.
Lee Alex does not randomly slash prices or haggle. After an item is put on the showroom floor it has 90 days to be sold accompanied by scheduled markdowns every three weeks (20 percent, 30 percent and 50 percent, respectively).
Beyond that, Theo and Heather treat consigned items the same way they would their own. Each item is photographed, posted on the website, uploaded onto Facebook and, for the standout pieces, given precious window time.
“It’s about our consignor and being true to them,” Theo said.
HOW DO I CONSIGN WITH THEM?
- Know upfront what furnishings are in demand. Check out the website for a comprehensive list.
- Be sure your lot is clean and showroom ready. The furniture must be rid of pet hair, stains and odors and have no broken parts or missing pieces.
- Gain pre-approval for your item by emailing photographs to email@example.com. You will hear word within three days if they are interested.
- Once approved, the consignor signs the contract and decides whether to sell outright or consign.
- The consignor and Lee Alex agree upon a price based on style, condition and market demand.
- If the item has not been sold after the 90-day period, the consignor has seven days to pick up their furnishings.
Lee Alex is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 303-777-0862 or visit their website.
“We’re here for a long time, from a consignor’s standpoint. We are invested in this space.” -Theo Byron
D.C.Y. (Do Couture Yourself)
- Frequent the store. With consignors bringing merchandise in twice a week, you have to act often, or in Lee Alex’s case, at least check the website.
- Have an idea of what you are looking for. If you cannot find it, you can be placed on the shop’s Wish List.
- “Fit before you commit!” In other words, measure before you hit the shop. Heather and Theo have seen many a shopper go home to measure only to arrive back minutes later dismayed to find the item they wanted purchased.
- And if this has not come through the previous points enough already, if you want it, buy it now!