Interview of Stephen Etre, Owner of Stephen’s, A Consignment Gallery
By Rey Post, Associate Broker, Sotheby’s International Realty & Host of “All Things Real Estate” Radio Show
Q. Stephen, you have often told me that your gallery serves as a place for “sociological observations of the lives of people.” What do you mean by this description?
A. After more than 30 years of operating the gallery, I have had the opportunity to measure the thinking and opinions of literally thousands of people who either live or are visiting the Santa Fe, New Mexico region. Since our customers largely come to us to either furnish their homes, or prepare them for sale, they offer me and the other professionals on my staff with a fair amount of information about their likes and dislikes across a variety of subjects.
Q. My guests and I—including you—have often commented on the part of our jobs as real estate professionals that sometimes drift into a bit of “therapy” for our clients. Such as offering advice on difficult choices when it comes to either staying in or moving from a home, offering counsel on trying to help them manage their funds correctly when it comes to the largest expense in their lives (owning a home), and other challenging issues.
A. Yes, as is the case for you, I have developed relationships with my clients that sometimes go back for decades, so it is often the case that I know a considerable amount and have experienced the chapters of the lives of many of these people—some of them becoming very good friends.
Q. You have a very easy-going, but professional approach to how you interact with people, so I can imagine how you have become something more than just the owner of a business in your working relationships with clients.
A. It’s a very satisfying element to my job and helps me be a better professional for those who come to the gallery seeking advice and fine products.
Q. On a different front, I understand that your estate sale business is very active as we approach the end of the first quarter of 2016.
A. Yes, Rey, as I have told you and your “All Things Real Estate” radio show audience on many occasions, the gallery has a long-time relationship with estate lawyers, banks, and executors who turn to us to help facilitate the sale of some of Santa Fe’s finest collections of antiques, art, and one-of-a-kind items, including heirloom jewelry. Though estate sales are driven by a special set of circumstances, we have found that they occur quite regularly, as people find them to be an effective method for marketing unique collections in certain homes. We have already hosted quite a few estate sales since the beginning of the year and I suspect that many more will follow as we get further into 2016.
Q. I always like to remind people that they can turn to your very attractive website for information on these events, as well as other current activities and items that the gallery is featuring.
A. Yes, you know that we are very proud of our website which is not only visually appealing, but is constantly changing to provide our customers with the latest news about gallery offerings. For anyone who hasn’t visited our site in a while, I invite them to take a look at: www.stephensconsignments.com.
Q. And on the February 14 “All Things Real Estate” radio show that you co-hosted with me, we featured commentary from Jose Pablo, a former student and currently the director of the Alumni and Special Events at the United World College (UWC) that is based in Las Vegas, NM. Why is this institution important to you?
A. UWC is one of 15 campuses located on five continents and as a two-year residential school, it serves students age 16-19 who typically represent more than 70 different countries. They participate in a unique program that combines academic challenge with an experiential, hands-on approach to learning. I have been a supporter of the institution and actually have many of the students occasionally stay at our home while they are studying
Q. It was good to receive Jose Pablo’s latest update and for anyone who would like to listen to what he and Stephen discussed during the February 14 broadcast of the radio show, here is a podcast:
A. Thanks, Rey—it’s always a pleasure to be on your radio show and I look forward to joining you again in March!
For more than 30 years, Stephen’s, a Consignment Gallery has been attracting consumers from all over the country, to see the best in antiques, estate items, jewelry, furniture, art, and countless home accessories under the gallery’s 13,000 square feet of space.
Stephen’s, A Consignment Gallery
2701 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe