Member Spotlight: Willows Fine Goods & Design

Photography by Gothgloss Photography.

Integral to The Scout Guide Phoenix & Scottsdale’s mission is telling the stories behind the small businesses Scouted in each Volume. The story begins in print and continues online, after all. As you peruse Volume 3, discovering or rediscovering the faces behind the places that define the Valley, we are thrilled to deepen your connection to them — and the community — through Member Spotlights.

When Bev Burch opened Willows Fine Goods and Design in 1997, it was a textile-focused shop offering the Valley linens, towels, and Phoenix’s first taste of the Shabby Chic movement. Nearly three decades later, Willows Fine Goods and Design has evolved under Bev’s careful stewardship and keen eye to be one of the Valley’s premier destinations for one-of-a-kind antiques, contemporary furniture pieces, textiles, apparel, and accessories (both home and fashion varieties). 

Even those who pop in regularly to see Bev, Billy, and the rest of the delightful Willows team will find that it rarely (if ever) looks the same from week to week. “We need to keep reimagining our space, to keep it fresh so we’re always a destination for inspiration,” Lead Designer Billy Amorella explains. Granted, it is a tall order to keep the likes of vintage Louis Philippe Dining chairs and mid-century Willy Guhl planters from being snatched from their expertly styled vignettes.

To understand how Willows Fine Goods and Design always feels like a fresh well of inspiration, we chatted with Bev Burch and Billy Amorella.

Photography by Gothgloss Photography.

TSG Phoenix: Willows is one of the most inspiring places in the Valley. Certainly one of the most inspiring places to shop for furnishings and decor in the Valley. Were you always interested in interiors? 
Bev Burch: Absolutely! As a kid, I was constantly rearranging my room — a quintessential 70s bedroom complete with an orange shag carpet and flowers. It was my first canvas. 

TSG Phoenix: What inspired you to open the doors to Willows twenty-six years ago?
Bev Burch: I’d just had my sixth child and was looking for a new challenge. I had a background in textiles, which I combined with a love of antique fabrics. In its first iteration, Willows was focused on bedding, linens, and towels. We were actually the first to bring the Shabby Chic line to the Valley. 

TSG Phoenix: Much has evolved over Willow’s two-plus decades… 
Bev Burch: We’ve expanded and edited our offerings over the years, but the goods always reflect my interests, specifically my interest in travel. I think traveling to places like New York, Europe, and even our family home on Balboa Island in Newport Beach has had the biggest effect on the store’s evolution. 

TSG Phoenix: For those who haven’t visited the shop recently — or, woefully — at all, how would you describe your current offerings?  
Bev Burch: You’ll find a tightly curated selection of antiques, garden outfittings, art, vintage, textiles, women’s ready-to-wear, accessories, special entertaining and kitchen finds, and lots of collectible coffee table books… The Garden section — think stacks of pots, antique planters, outdoor pillows, and the like.

Photography by Gothgloss Photography.
A styled vignette of a cream club chair goods at Willows Fine Goods & Design
Photography by Schultz Digital.

TSG Phoenix: As longtime patrons of Willows, it’s been inspiring to watch the evolution of the store across years and multiple locations. How would you describe the Willows aesthetic today? 
Billy Amorella: The store is a wonderful reflection of Bev’s inimitable style. It treads a fine line between maximal and monastic—balance and tension. Of course, when sourcing or merchandising the store, we incorporate elements of what’s in style or, dare I say, “on trend,” but filter them through Bev’s style lens.

TSG Phoenix: Billy, you and Bev started working together in 2021. And it’s been the most symbiotic of aesthetic partnerships. How did that come to fruition? 
Billy Amorella: If you don’t know already, the Burch family is abundant. Everyone knows a Burch. I am friends with Bev’s kids, and we reconnected when she asked me to help her with a styled shoot. We clicked creatively. I moved to the Valley from Chicago to become the lead designer at Willows, and the rest is history!

TSG Phoenix: How do you influence one another creatively? 
Billy Amorella: Willows is an expression of Bev’s incredible style, which I obviously adore and emulate. She really appreciates my background in art history, floral + event design, and having a creative male perspective. For having very few interactions before we started working together it was fascinating to see how similar our styles and aesthetics were and how they continue to grow and complement one another.

Photography by Gothgloss Photography.

TSG Phoenix: What does the day-to-day operation of Willows look like? 
Billy Amorella: We’re always working on two to three design projects at a time. In between, we focus on how the store is merchandised to ensure it feels fresh and inspiring to our customers. Whether you’re walking into Willows for the first time or popping in once a week, it’s important to us that it’s a rich sensory experience.

TSG Phoenix: While we’re on the subject of design work, can you elaborate on the types of design projects Willows takes on?  
Billy Amorella: We work on anything from a primary bedroom refresh to a complete remodel. As a storefront, we have the unique opportunity to collaborate with other interior designers in the Valley to help clients create really special spaces. 

TSG Phoenix: What are the essential elements of really special spaces? 
Bev Burch: You have to have a “wow” factor. No matter the size or layout, you need a focal point. 
Billy Amorella: And lighting. Great lighting is crucial. Once you have the lighting figured out, it becomes about layering—but not just for layering’s sake. Be selective about the items you incorporate into your home and give them ample space to impact you and draw you in. 

A styled vignette of coffee table books and kitchen goods at Willows Fine Goods & Design
Photography by Schultz Digital.
A styled vignette of a globe and coffee table books at Willows Fine Goods & Design
Photography by Schultz Digital.

TSG Phoenix: What do you wish everyone knew about design and styling? 
Bev Burch: The importance of negative space. It’s essential to good design. You don’t have to fill every space or every wall.  

TSG Phoenix: What advice would you give to someone craving an interior refresh? 
Billy Amorella: Shop your own home. Move things around. 

TSG Phoenix: Between imagining spaces for clients and reimagining the store, you both have massive draws on your creative reserves. How do you stay inspired? 
Billy Amorella: I love a coffee table book. Perusing those and revisiting old projects restores my creative spirit. As does the thrill of the hunt. Sourcing is an integral part of our work and a great way to inspire and have fun!

TSG Phoenix: Let’s talk more about the hunt. Willows has the most incredible selection of vintage and antique furniture and furnishings. What’s the sourcing strategy? 
Billy Amorella: We shop Round Top whenever we can, loading up trucks with fabulous — and very heavy — finds, so I like to joke that Bev’s sourcing strategy is whatever will give me a hernia the fastest. It’s very effective. But in all seriousness, whether we’re at Round Top or Bev is traveling, we’re always on the hunt for unique pieces. And for us, special usually looks like French but not too ornamental, vintage leather furniture, mid-century European pieces, antique mirrors, and interesting and unexpected “littles.” 

Photography by Gothgloss Photography.
Photography by Gothgloss Photography.

TSG Phoenix: Where do your incredible vintage textiles come from? 
Billy Amorella: Bev finds them everywhere. She has this incredible talent for discovering the coolest places to shop wherever she is. Eighty to ninety percent of the pillows you’ll find at Willows are made in-house from vintage fabrics Bev sourced. Working with vintage textiles is a really rewarding element of our offerings, we love giving these fabulous finds a new life. 

TSG Phoenix: What aspect of Willows do you find most fulfilling? 
Billy Amorella: For me, it’s being able to shop for a living — you know, work out my shopaholic tendencies in a safe space. But in all seriousness, the most rewarding aspect — and I think Bev would say this, too — is working with clients. We get to work with the most loyal, loving people. 

TSG Phoenix: The Valley’s love of and loyalty to Willows is palpable… 
Billy Amorella: I think it speaks not only to Bev’s vision and ability to navigate the ever-evolving landscape of design but her passion and drive. Her unique approach to people makes her a great designer, parent, and creative partner. 

Willows Fine Goods and Design is best experienced in person. Visit their storefront at 5625 Indian School Road Monday through Friday from 10:00 to 5:00 and Saturday from 10:00 to 4:00 to shop. We also recommend following along on Instagram (@willowsfinegoods) to see snippets of what’s in stock alongside ample inspiration.