Occupation: CEO and Founder of Birds Nest Foundation, Executive Producer and Creative Content Director for 3-time Emmy nominated show Dylan’s Lunchbox, mom of Chloe and Dylan, and married to Bruce Richards [CEO, Marathon Asset Management]
Current Residence: Southampton & NYC
KDHamptons: How long have you been coming to the Hamptons, and what do you love most about the East End?
Avis Richards: We have been coming out to the Hamptons for the last 15 years. Southampton is my favorite vacation destination in the world, and what makes it so wonderful is the calming serenity of the landscape~ from the beautiful beaches and privet hedges, to the rolling farms. The night life and dinner parties are so much fun because of our friends and amazing people we have met—it’s just a happy place! We spend every weekend with friends & family and cherish every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I have traveled all over the world with my husband and family and yet, despite our desire to explore and travel, we continue to rank Southampton as our favorite destination!
KDH: Will you please describe Birds Nest Foundation for KDH readers?
Avis: Birds Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit creative group that provides charitable foundations with a media announcements and short documentaries that tell the story and raise awareness. We travel throughout the United States granting media content to non-profits, charities, and NGOs. Our high quality documentaries, short videos, and public service announcements promote activism and awareness.
KDH: Tell us about the upcoming United Way event you are hosting on Saturday, August 25th, at your gorgeous Hamptons home?
Avis: This weekend, I am co-hosting a party for United Way at my Southampton home to raise funds and awareness for less fortunate New Yorkers, many of which go to bed hungry, including children and the elderly. Along with Jon Bon Jovi, and Chef Tom Colicchio [Craft], the “What’s on your table?” event will be a walking dinner party under the stars!
KDH: Do you love to entertain at home? Please share a Hamptons hostess “must-do” and “don’t”?
Avis: Yes, I always entertain at home. A “must-do” is to always bring a gift for the hostess when you’re invited to their house. A “don’t” is to not RSVP at all!
KDH: Share your “dream” dinner party guest list~ pick anyone [dead or alive] that you would choose to invite?
Avis: Okay, here’s my list:
1. The late photographer, Slim Aarons, I would love to hear all of his stories!
2. Princess Di, She did so much to advance philanthropic causes around the world.
3. Ronald Reagan, our former President and great world leader, who happens to have visited our home when it was owned by Carroll Petrie.
4. George Clooney, just because…..
5. Derek Jeter, just because….for Bruce and Dylan
6. Will Ferrell and Chelsea Handler for a good laugh
7. Jon Bon Jovi to rock out the night…….just like he will do this Saturday night!!
KDH: Describe your perfect Hamptons day in detail for our readers?
Avis: A perfect Hamptons day would consist of waking up early, taking Stacey Griffith’s spin class at Soul Cycle with my daughter, Chloe, and then coming home to a great breakfast made with organic local foods. A mid-morning walk on the beach with my husband and one of our three poodles followed by a quick dip in the pool. Sparkles, one of our dogs weighs 8 pounds and she swims laps with me in the pool~ that always makes me laugh! Lunch on our patio with family and friends and then taking my son to the baseball field is always part of day. I love the down time of sitting at the pool, reading a book, and walking in town is part of everyday life at the beach.
KDH: How would you describe your Hamptons home and decorating style?
Avis: This question is actually better answered by Raphael diTommaso [Partner and Creative Director of diTommaso and Colaku Design Firm]. Raphael shares, “The architectural qualities of “Little Plains” are a set of strong, classical elements, naturally lending themselves to a formal grandeur that isn’t particularly relevant to Avis and her family’s summer lifestyle.”
Adding, “The design is a balancing act between the formal grandeur of the architecture, with an interior that allowed for all of the elements of a great summer refuge, namely; serenity, durability against a lot of family play, and the ability to experience the lush gardens of the estate from within.”
KDH: What is your favorite Hamptons restaurant~ got a dish you order everytime?
Avis: There are so many, but i have to say Southfork Kitchen is my favorite. I love Michelin Star Chef Joe Isidori and his gracious staff. They have a simple concept, sustainable seafood and local fruits, vegetables, cheese and wine. They visualize the East End as a giant green market—meaning everything they need is grown, raised, caught or baked on the East End. They keep their carbon footprint to a minimum. The menu changes as the seasons change, so I love trying something new every time I go to Southfork Kitchen.
KDH: What is your little secret about the Hamptons?
Avis: Well, if I were to tell, it wouldn’t be a secret!……..but, I will share that making a bonfire on our beach and cooking dinner over the fire with a great bottle of local Rose wine is one of my most favorite ways to spend an evening.
KDH: You have great personal style~ do you have a Hamptons signature look? Which designer do you find yourself wearing most out East?
Avis: My Hamptons look is casual beachy, and modern chic. I love shopping at Tenet, Jesse Warren always has great pieces from Isabel Marant. If I forgot to bring that special dress, Alison Brettschneider will always find me something at 25 Park. When I feel like I need to accessorize there is no place better than Jennifer Miller’s. For a great cover up, I head to Calypso or Roberta Freymann.
KDH: Do you have a special summer fragrance?
Avis: Actually, I have two favorites: For day, I wear Tom Ford White Musk; For night, I wear Tom Ford Amber Absolute.
KDH: Work, fundraising, family, home….How do you ‘do-it-all’? Share a couple tips for busy KDHamptons readers?
Avis: Whether you are a rebel with a cause, or motivated by helping others, find your passion and just do it! Balance that revolves around family, work, eating well, daily exercise, beauty-time, and a restful night sleep is my everyday requirement!