Cherylin Atcitty has been producing jewelry due to the fact she was 5 a long time outdated. Currently, she owns a jewellery retail outlet that sells traditional rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings alongside with other performs of artwork from the Taos Pueblo group.
“I grew up making jewellery, due to the fact we needed to make money,” explained Atcitty. “There wasn’t a full ton of employment wherever we lived.”
Atcitty’s off Taos Plaza is a Native American-owned and operated retail store, located on the northeast corner of the plaza intersection at 103 Package Carson Street and Paseo del Pueblo Norte.
It is a single of only two Native-owned shops on or close to Taos Plaza — the other is the a short while ago opened ArrowSoul Trading Publish, a Hip Hop collective that sells artwork and attire. The Indigenous American-owned artwork gallery Smoke Indicators just lately closed thanks to the prepared renovations of the plaza’s Historic Taos County Courthouse.
Atcitty, 42, grew up in Bodaway/Hole, Arizona, on the western facet of the Navajo Reservation, not far from the Grand Canyon. Her mother taught her to make jewellery, opting for a simple, standard model applying silver and turquoise.
Atcitty would gather cedar beads from the ground, or decide on them from trees, and wash them. The beads would be strung to make a necklace, and were being popular because they ended up local, reliable operates, as opposed to knockoffs or imports.
“I made use of to get paid 25 cents to complete off each necklace,” she said. “There’s any individual that made the base section — then I’d make the prime — finish it out. When you are a child, $2 is good.”
Atcitty ongoing to make jewelry as a younger adult. “It definitely assisted me, simply because I was able to go to reveals on weekends. And really considerably all over my entire educational daily life, I was equipped to spend for my education. In summertime, I’d strike a lot of exhibits so I can fork out all my charges for university,” she claimed.
Atcitty gained a diploma in animal scientific studies for agricultural employs at Oklahoma Panhandle Condition College.
“The last semester, I took an internship with Sandia Countrywide Laboratories, and they sent me back to my possess local community,” mentioned Atcitty. “That’s when I noticed a true need for the environmental — not just activism — but to fully grasp the science at the rear of what was heading on — the investigate on what was greatest for the community.”
She improved her significant, graduated, and went on to earn a master’s degree at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas in 2012.
Atcitty and her husband Delane then moved to Taos Pueblo in get to get care of his grandmother, Lillian Lujan, a 102-12 months-previous Planet War II veteran.
“I wished to do a store listed here for the reason that I really don’t think I give myself sufficient credit for the operate that I do, since I did it at these kinds of an early age,” mentioned Atcitty, who experienced often assumed of jewellery as much more of a interest than a career.
She reached out to the Small Company Improvement Heart at the College of New Mexico-Taos to support her set up a constrained legal responsibility corporation (LLC).
“It actually was born out of the timing,” mentioned Anwar Kaelin, director of the SBDC at UNM-Taos. “Vacancies in Taos, primarily in the downtown district – she noticed an prospect to pick up the spot, when at the identical time, COVID was shutting down their properties at the Navajo Nation and Taos Pueblo.”
“Their families had been not able to offer, as they did ahead of, their arts and crafts off the reservation,” stated Kaelin. “So it was truly this unbelievable coordination of demand from customers, availability and timing.”
Atcitty opened the doors to her store in June 2020, the very first day she could lawfully open up immediately after the governor shut down companies to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
“Because I’m starting my company throughout these periods, I have to be a lot more inventive – to keep on my toes – to keep in company,” claimed Atcitty. “Whereas anyone who’s been in business enterprise for a extensive time, they could possibly have all the points that they want to keep in organization.”
“I’m commencing up. I come to feel like it’s a little bit a lot more on me to retain and increase my business enterprise. It’s like I’m hoping to do two factors,” she mentioned.
Atcitty has been having on-line small business courses through New Mexico Point out University and the American Indian Organization Enterprise to master marketing and advertising, investing and small business mastery.
The store is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays by way of Sundays, and an occasional Monday or Tuesday, and also serves as a studio for her to make jewellery.
Atcitty also commissions other artists from the pueblo to generate works that she characteristics in the retail store — John Archuleta results in drums, Timothy Nevaquaya generates paintings, and Kyle Martinez results in carved animals from green serpentine.
She mentioned the carved animals, like beavers and bears, promote very well simply because they are little-ticket goods. The complete Martinez family will add to their development. “Similar to how, when I was young, I was aiding to make the objects,” reported Atcitty.
She founded a revenue-sharing scheme with each artist she is effective with. Other merchandise for sale in her store include medicine wheels, ornaments, figurines and pottery manufactured from red and white clay.
Atcitty explained a person of the most fulfilling issues about working the shop is educating the public about tribal culture and heritage, and about how they can connect with their past, or get included in the long run.
“It’s a truly big point for me to be on Kit Carson Highway, subsequent to Kit Carson’s house,” said Atcitty. “I experience like it’s declaring ‘Well, despite every thing that is happened to the tribes, we’re continue to listed here. We are continue to thriving.’”
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