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Letitia Frye

GALA GLAMAZON Letitia Frye shares secrets to success in her new book, "A Walk in Her Shoes."

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Bidder Sweet

By Riki Altman-Yee

Photography by Chris Loomis

01.04.17

Scottsdale’s beloved “Auctiontainer,” Letitia Frye, has so much to say—so she put it in a book.

Time after time, fancifully dressed crowds gather for charity galas unaware they will soon pull out their wallets for one particularly tall blond beauty. Once the live auction begins, all eyes are on Letitia Frye.

Raised in Connecticut, Frye started modeling at age 13 and later studied theater at University of Southern California. By 2002, she was married with two children and living in DC Ranch, occasionally dabbling in television traffic reporting while operating a children’s clothing store. A year later, a friend asked her to emcee a charity event and soon Frye was studying appraisals and how to auction everything from cattle to luxury homes at Western College of Auctioneering in Montana. “There’s a lot of classic training,” she says. “You have to understand every aspect of our industry.”

She returned to Arizona and took a job auctioning tools to mechanics, chanting eight hours daily. “That’s where I learned respect for my craft,” she says. The label “Auctiontainer” came from Alice Cooper, who found Frye extraordinarily entertaining during a Christmas Pudding rehearsal, she says. Over the years the title expanded to involve more than bid calling, as Frye consults, prepares marketing plans and spends days actively involved with the nonprofits to help paint pictures for audience members. “It’s the most magical part of my job,” she explains. “Moments like that make you realize you’re touching someone’s life.”