Las Tias Press & Weekly Newsletter
May/June 2013 issue of South Florida LUXURY magazine
12/2010 Art Basel: Meet GRIMM at Las Tias, NBC Miami News
11/2010 Art Basel Press Release
In celebration of Art Basel, The Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH) will be putting a fresh spin on old Grimm fairy tales, including Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, Tom Thumb, Rapunzel, and Rumpelstiltskin. The talented students from this award-winning school will be creating a series of dynamic, site-specific multi-media installations including a combination of drawings, paintings, sculptures, and performance arts. The unique creations will be presented in the display windows of Las Tias, an upscale resale, consignment shop and gallery lwith an emphasis on living up to the future while respecting the past.
The exhibit "Meet Grim at Las Tias, a New Time for Old Tales" allows students to move legendary literary characters beyond their own stories into each other's worlds. "Art Basel is an exciting time for our students, it really gives them a chance to put their creativity on a national display and to take pride in their artistic abilities" said Dr. Stacey Mancuso Principal of DASH.
The opening of the exhibit will take place Wednesday, December 1st, 2010, from 7pm to 9pm. The closing event will take place Saturday, December 11, 2010, from 7 pm to 9 pm. Las Tias, located at 2834 North Miami Ave, will be open to the public Monday through Sunday during Art Basel; from 10 am to 7 pm. After Art Basel weekend the schedule is Monday through Sunday 11 am to 6 pm; with the exception of Saturday, December 11th, 2010 as mentioned herein. No entry fee is required. The collaborating artists are seniors at Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH): Lucia Sanchez, Natasha Velez (logo design), Alejandra Nunez, Melissa Ojeda, Medar Delacruz, Angie Gonzalez, Kearny Kilcoyne, Courtney Dozier, Valery Rocha, Rachel Zaretsky.
DASH is an award-winning, A-graded Miami-Dade Magnet School with a unique curriculum. Students acquire life and professional skills in a context that speaks to their individual abilities and personal goals. "Education by Design" represents the philosophy of the school, which offers its students programs in architecture, industrial design, fashion design, fine arts, visual communications, and entertainment technology. All programs are developed and taught by a dedicated team of industry and design professionals. DASH was named the #1 US Magnet School and #5 High School in the United States by US News and World Report in 2008. For more information on DASH, please visit www.dashschool.org.
Working in collaboration with DASH, Las Tias is an upscale resale and consignment shop that also hosts art exhibits. Las Tias respects the past by promoting the value of their quality pieces and encouraging updating and recreating the existing. They offer quality and value for those determined to infuse their homes with pieces that have had a previous life and history. They offer only the best in gently worn, good quality vintage and designer furniture, collectible table top décor, costume jewelry and designer clothing for the sophisticated shopper. For additional information on Las Tias, please visit www.lastias.com.
11/2010 An Insider's Guide to Miami, Wall Street Journal
Embarrassment of Riches: Las Tias. All of the opulent design and home accessory treasures of the former oligarchs' palaces seem to end up for sale at the baroque emporium co-owned by real estate agent and social diva Esther Percal.
See the Entire Article here.
6/2010 Las Tias voted Best Secondhand Store, Miami New Times Best of Miami 2010
One could easily lose whole days rummaging through the dusty bins of secondhand stores and go home with only a torn ostrich-leather purse that smells of Brussels sprouts. Sure, the thrill of the hunt is part of the fun. But imagine a room packed with only the "Eureka!" finds of thrift-store shopping. Las Tias, a reasonably priced upscale resale store in Wynwood, is like the closet of a beloved aunt, albeit one with really great taste. And despite the museum quality of its killer window displays, the store is low-key and unpretentious. Inside the warehouse-style store, you'll find classic, gently used furniture and clothes that have been thoughtfully curated by the three Cuban women who own the place. Seventies Lucite chandeliers hang from the ceiling, and the floor is covered with Pastil bubble chairs, grand dining tables, and vintage knickknacks such as ash trays and whimsical, mod sculptures. In the back, there are '50s women's frocks, pin-up accessories such as fascinators and gloves, and statement-making costume jewelry. Pristine beaded clutches from the '40s go for $80, and in the tableware section, you can get an eight-piece Fiestaware set of dishes for $40. It might be a little more than you wanted to spend, but resale is always an option if times get tough again (and they likely will). These curiosities from decades past have already proven they hold their value over time.
See the Article here.
10/2009 Art Burn by Lydia Martin, The Miami Herald
Artists' Precious Works go up in Flames. At sundown Thursday, a bunch of sketches by Miami artist Hernan Bas, whose work goes for big bucks and is in the permanent collection at New York's Museum of Modern Art, got tossed one by one onto a barbecue grill in the parking lot of Wynwood's Las Tias. Folks gathered around drinking Budweiser, munching on hot dogs and watching Bas' work, and the work of three dozen other artists, go up in smoke.
The artists happily gave their work to street artist El Celso, who organized Art Burn, a funky Basel sideshow intended to comment on artistic process, impermanence and Basel madness.
“I burned all of my work in art school,” said New York artist Michael de Feo, who watched original works on canvas, wood and paper as they were gobbled up by the flames. “It can be cleansing for an artist. And it's a great subversive statement about art as commerce. By burning the work, we're respecting the process instead of the product.”
6/2009 Out and About by Sachi Lee, The Lead Miami Beach
Think you've seen it all? Come to Las Tias, 'cause you're in for a surprise. Meaning “the aunts” in Spanish, Las Tias is an upscale secondhand gallery hosting quality home furnishings and more! One can find a range of designer pieces, vintage accessories, and a line of exclusive handmade linens, mixed with rare finds to strike a variety of fancies.
This all started a year ago when internationally known real estate businesswoman Esther Percal and some of her best girlfriends turned their passion for shopping and their dream of owning a resale shop into a fabulous reality. Focused on providing the customer with something unique and different, the ladies of Las Tias have a vast collection and display the contents in aesthetically pleasing ways to bring new possibilities to the piece.
By the nature of the shop, the inventory is always in flux so checking back often is your best bet for finding what you need. If you're trying to find that something special, contact the store and they will be on the lookout for just what you need. The custom service, product knowledge, and superb taste make Las Tias a Plum standout in the realm of the resale shop. Find Las Tias in the Wynwood Arts District, 2834 N. Miami Ave., lastias.com
6/2009 How do I love thee “Las Tias” Let me count the ways.... by Kat Sorrow, KatSmackMiami Blog
In an unassuming converted warehouse, Las Tias sits on the corner off North Miami Ave and NW 28th street. As I walked into Las Tias I was greeted with the bellowing voice of Celia Cruz, the smell of incense, and one of the three Tia's, a self-proclaimed “thrifter” who was dressed to the nines. She gave me her pink business card and we chatted for a moment before she went back to shining a mirror. I couldn't help but overhear the quintessential Spanglish conversation that two of the Tias were having and with their contagious laughter it was obvious that they were as much friends as they were business partners.
Read the entire article here.
5/2009 Miami's Las Tias has a fan in Ugly Betty by Saxon Henry, Miami Interior Decorating Examiner
After a five-week hiatus, Ugly Betty returned to prime time Thursday night, which is great new for fans of the show. While on a trip to Miami recently, a producer of the sitcom stopped in at Las Tias, one of the city's preeminent upscale resale shops that holds everything from vintage Biedermeier and Le Corbusier furniture to retro Lucite lamps, furniture and accessories. What was it that caught the producer's eye? A large, colorful selection of hand fans designed by French artisan Vera Pilo, which co-owner (with Anne Samuel and Carmen Santamarina) Esther Percal discovered while shopping at Au Bon Marche in Paris. Might we see one of the show's characters batting eyelids above a scintillating waving fan soon?
2/2009 Ripened for Rediscovery, Home Miami
Las Tias - "the aunts" in English - exudes fun from the moment you walk in the front door. With funky vintage furnishings, barware, costume jewelry and other accessories, the upscale resale shop seems oddly familiar, although we're sure we've never been here before.
Owned by the aunts, or more specifically, three Cuban women named Esther Percal, Carmen Santamarina and Anne Samuel, the store is the side effect of the trio's shared appreciation for beautiful objects. "It just sort of happened," Santamarina says. "We were all avid thrift shoppers who loved to shop. We used to store our finds here."
"Here" is a sprawling 5,000-square-foot warehouse-type space in Wynwood, a structure that they had owned together for two years prior, using it solely as storage space. In the spring of 2008, they finally decided to do something with it and, today, their passions are our profits: a black leather Le Corbusier chaise lounge is offered at just $2,400; a set of four Danish bentwood chairs, in mint condition, are priced right at $800; a 1970s space-age Lucite chandelier can be taken home for $125. There are also a few new items, including lacquered-paper decoupage tables and artwork by local artist Karin Garcia. But if you visit, give yourself plenty of time to explore. The real fun here is the hunt, and every square foot is chock full of finds, waiting to be discovered all over again. - JM
2/2009 Las Tias puts Accent on Vintage, The Miami Herald - Home and Design by Mireya Novo
Las Tias is a wonderland for lovers of vintage things. The shop in the heart of the artsy Wynwood District brims with funky retro stuff: lamps and glassware, clothing, hand-painted abanicos (hand fans), jewelry and classy foulard. If you are the kind of person who remembers your grandmother's dresser with nostalgia, this is the place for you.
However, Las Tias was not part of the original plan. The owners of this whimsical store are Anne Samuel, Carmen Santamarina and Esther Percal, good friends and avid collectors , each with a successful career. Samuel is a drapery designer. Santamarina owns a production company and buys props. Percal sells upscale real estate.
Percal bought the building on the corner of North Miami Avenue and 29th street as an investment hears ago. But finding a suitable tenant proved elusive.
"It was vacant for a long time," Percal says, "and because of the nature of our professions, it sort of became a storage space for us."
Soon the space was full of vintage or an art collection from a house Percal had sold or Santamarina's props. Occasionally, they rented it out to artists or gallery owners during Art Basel.
Before long, the place acquired a life of its own. It filled up with collectibles, some from friends who were leaving, but the majority of the objects reflected their taste and lifelong passion for collecting. Eventually, what started as an investment property and storage space morphed into a store. Las Tias opened last May, during one of Wynwood's Gallery Walks, and has since become a treasure hunt for lovers of funky furniture, vintage clothing and unique home accessories.
The store got its name from a squatter.
"There was a gentleman living in the big storage space in the back and acting as sort of a security guard because he knew the neighborhood," Percal says. “He called himself 'el tio.' We inherited him along with the space when we closed on the property, so when we were looking for a name for the store, we came up with Las Tias, in honor of el tio."
“But there is another reason for the name”, adds Santamarina. “In Latin cultures, aunts are very important. People come in here, they look around and say, 'Wow, this reminds me of my tia.' "
Las Tias has met with remarkable success. European tourists love the store as do the students of the nearby Miami Arts Institute. Neighborhood people, many of them gallery owners, drop by all the time.
The place is especially popular with the 18-to-25 crowd, young people discovering the charm of vintage pieces.
"A young girl came in the other day and fell in love with a piece of Stangl pottery," Santamarina says. "Afterward she went home, Googled it and found out everything there was to know about the manufacturer who closed his factory in 1978."
What are their bestselling items?
"Mid-century is very in right now," says Santamarina. "It's that whole MiMo look. We also have stuff that is very '60s and '70s." Other popular items include Lucite, retro lamps, depression glass, vintage clothing and jewelry. Recently, someone from the Miami Grand Opera bought an 18th century dress, and some of their vintage clothing has appeared on the TV show Ugly Betty and in the film Confessions of a Shopaholic.
FAN OF FANS
Also popular are the contemporary hand-painted abanicos by French designer Vera Pilo, whom Percal discovered while shopping at Au Bon Marche in Paris. She was so smitten that she decided to acquire unique national distribution rights to the fans ($50 and up).
"We like to offer things that are like a treasure find, something you would not find anywhere else," Samuel says.
"My father was a collector and I grew up with this. Now I am training my son, so I guess it's become a family tradition," says Santamarina, who often brings her son to the store.
'My father once told me, 'You must have something in your house that nobody else has,' " Samuel says. "Everyone is so over the Pottery Barn. You go to people's homes and they all look the same. People want something different."
2009 Consign of the Times
It's hard to see the bright side of Miami's real estate meltdown. But a dazzling Louis XIV crystal chandelier might help you see things in a new light. As luxury manse foreclosures sore, the lavish furnishings that filled them are popping up for resale in upscale furniture consignment shops. So if you're up for a scavenger challenge—and in the market for a vintage armoire—here's where to hunt:P In Wynwood, check out the original and reworked vintage furnishings at Las Tias (2834 N. Miami Ave, 305-573-4198), where all the merchandise is handpicked by luxury realtor Esther Percal. Just down the street, Midtown Consignment (2328 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-5307) recently opened its doors with a stock of shabby-chic pieces, plus the occasional vintage PacMan machine. Prices at both stops range from less than $100 to upwards of $10,000—if you set your sights on an item that's truly off the wall.
2009 Eat. Shop. Miami
JFD: Antique stores are such a hoot, reflecting the past and a myriad of stories of times gone by. And while they may seem a hodgepodge at first, a fine antique store always has a few motifs running under the surface, and I like to sniff out what the owner has a deep passion for. At Las Tias, beauty abounds and Esther's collections speak to the eclectic and spirited tastes of Miami. But what';s that over there... is that a fan? And then there's more fans over there? And I see Lucite bowls, Lucite vases, Lucite pitchers. I think I've found Esther's Achilles' heel.
9/2008 Las Tias, Florida Inside Out Magazine
Esther Percal, the Miami Beach real estate maven, has been hoarding other people's treasures for years, but now, for the first time, it's all for sale under one roof. “I've been in the business for 35 years,” says Esther Percal. “I have so much access to these clients. Before it didn't matter, but now there's a purpose.”
Percal and a few partners purchased a large building on North Miami Avenue in Wynwood three years ago. Unable to find a tenant, the space became a storage facility for some of Percal's clients' furniture. “People kept asking me to hold onto their things that they couldn't sell with their home,” she explains. “Now it's taken on a life of its own.” The sometimes antique/vintage furniture store also sells vintage fashion, accessories, and jewelry, as well as a small selection of new pieces.
While Percal and the other Tias (aunts) at the store, Carmen Santamarina and Anne Samuel, don't claim to be experts in furniture and design, they're quickly learning as they go. “I have friends who sell to auction houses, like Sotheby's,” Percal says. “Recently we learned from one of them that a silver folding tray we had was actually a signed Chase piece.”
6/2008 Las Tias by Bobby Killgore, Home and Design
Esther Percal Rounds up her AMIGAS and opens up shop in Wynwood. The result? A truly original mix of all things eclectic and chic.
Furniture? Lots. Accessories? You bet. Art? Check. Fashion? For sure – vintage and otherwise. About the only thing Las Tias doesn't sell is luxury real estate. Then again, given that the new shop's owner is Miami Beach Realtor Esther Percal, even that can certainly be arranged. “I've got this affinity for beautiful stuff – old and new, and I love to juxtapose it all and just not follow any perfect pattern,” she says. “My business is heavy duty enough, so this should be easygoing and fun.”
For two years, Percal and her three partners in the Wynwood building—a former grocery store on the corner of 29th Street and North Miami Avenue—that now houses Las Tias were unable to find a suitable tenant. As she describes it, the 5,000-square-foot space began to “take on a life of its own” primarily as a storage facility of sorts. “We weren't able to rent it and it became everybody's storage [space], including my own. I sold this house on La Gorce Island and the owner asked if I could store his dining room set,” she says. “Alina Shriver, my friend, redoes her house and gives me all her furniture—there's her old family room. I'm only dealing with friends, it's not a consignment shop.”
Open since May, Las Tias' first sale was held during the Wynwood Art Gallery Walk and featured Percal's longtime friend Fernando Garcia's new clothing collection. Also selling are vintage handbags (like a suede Gucci tote with bamboo handles), linens, custom-made pillows, a Tracy Feith dress--”Very Cuban Mother's Day,” she proclaims—and a variety of collectible fans and vintage tea sets from Harrods and Tiffany & Co. Of course, plenty of impressive furniture is available from numerous styles and periods, including a Vladimir Kagan coffee table and a signed Biedermeier console with mirror (1830-1840).
“It's sort of like a lifestyle type of shop—it's relaxing, you can wander about. I think it'll be nice to eventually come in here and have a cup of coffee and just hang,” Percal says. “It feels like somebody's home.”