Mesa Verde Southwest About Us
We carry the best selection of high-quality, handmade Native American jewelry, vintage Native American jewelry and Southwestern jewelry and accessories anywhere. Shop our complete line of Native American and Southwestern-inspired pieces available online from anywhere in the world.
How Did Mesa Verde Southwest Begin?
I was born and raised in the heart of the Navajo Nation in Gallup, New Mexico. From a young age, I was exposed to the Native American jewelry business. My sister and I spent our childhood helping in any way we could, from cleaning the shop to stringing Squash Blossoms and sizing rings (back then, the artists made the adornments but didn't want to string).
My paternal great-great grandfather owned a Native American Trading Post in Chinle in the 1920 -1940 era. My grandfather worked with his father there until he married my grandmother. Because he grew up in the business and the product was so readily available, it was natural thing for my dad to also claim his stake in the business. In 1970, my parents launched a jewelry business in Gallup. In 1977, we moved to Tucson, Arizona, where they opened their first jewelry counters in department stores around Tucson. Eventually, I joined the business and we expanded to open 30 Native American jewelry stores and Southwest gift shops in shopping malls throughout the Southwest, including our biggest location: a row of shops called Dodson's Corner in Old Town San Diego.
How Did Mesa Verde Trading Begin?
I currently own a retail location in the Foothills Mall here in Tucson, Arizona called Mesa Verde Trading Company. We not only carry Native American crafts and jewelry but many Southwest gifts and artifacts for our tourists and snowbirds. I have been at this location since 1997; making me the longest-running independent retailer in the mall’s history.
Update September 25 2015 - After 17 years, I closed the brick and mortar store in February. I am strictly working online now.
When Did Mesa Verde Trading Launch Its Website?
Over the years, I have been asked if I had a website for my out-of-town customers. Due to requests to start an online source for my out-of-state customers, I have decided to take my business in a new direction to the online, e-commerce community. Here, I primarily sell unique, handmade Native American Jewelry.
What Prompted You To Choose Native American Themes For The Jewelry You Sell?
I went to school with Navajo Tribal members and have come to the realization that they are inherently gifted and talented artists. I also have a deep appreciation for Native American history, which is often incorporated into their work through various designs and artist hallmarks.
Most Native American artists have not been formally schooled in the art of silversmithing. Native American Zuni, Hopi, and Navajo artists are self-taught, or have developed a skill brought about by family tradition and culture. Their silversmithing abilities are internationally recognized as being among the finest in the world! They are supremely adventurous in their design work, and are forever evolving.
How Do You Show Authenticity of Mesa Verde Trading Company's Work?
Because I was raised among the Navajos, I understand why many of them do not sign their work. There is also much researched documentation as to why this occurs. In Native American culture, it is considered boastful to self-promote. As a group, they are people of humility. It took years to get them to hallmark their rugs, jewelry, and pottery in the early 1900’s. Trading Post owners refused to accept anything that wasn’t signed, and this is how it all began. Even if the quality of the work was substandard, the old Traders would only accept it if it was signed.
Do You Provide A Certificate of Authenticity For My Purchase?
Today, many silversmiths do not sign their work even if it was extremely time-consuming and meticulous to create. This is why many distributors, such as myself, offer a Certificate of Authenticity upon request. We must stand behind our products regarding Native American Artwork, not to mention our own code of ethics. Just keep one important thing in mind when investing in Native American art: not all of it is signed and many inferior pieces are signed. This cannot be stressed enough: buy QUALITY first and foremost, before you stand firm on the lack of a signature. Most importantly, buy what you like! If I purchased only signed jewelry, I’d pass up many exquisite pieces. Buy from a reputable Trader who has been in this industry at least 10 years and is willing to offer a COA on any product promoted as being Native American made.
What Influences Are Present in Mesa Verde Jewelry?
Mesa Verde Traders offers exquisite pieces of jewelry that are fashioned in the tradition of native craftsmen from Southwest tribes. The quality, attention to detail and beautiful symbolism of these pieces make them some of the most sought-after jewelry in the world.
Mesa Verde Traders focuses our selection on beautiful Native American and Southwestern pieces that incorporate not only the style but genuine components used by native artisans such as silver, turquoise and other stones. Our collection mirrors our belief that Southwestern Native American tribes are among the finest craftspersons in the world and our interest in the deeper meaning and power behind this incredible jewelry.
Can I Order Mesa Verde Jewelry Online?
Yes! We offers a complete online "jewelry box" that enables you to see full-color photos of our beautiful and unique jewelry. You can order any piece online and have it shipped anywhere in the world. Since beginning online sales on our website, we have found customers all over the world appreciate and admire the beautiful Native American-inspired pieces we offer.
If you do not see what you want, be sure to contact us. We often find unique pieces and can look out for specific types of jewelry if you have a preference. Talk to us today to find out how we can help you find the perfect jewelry piece for your collection.
Thank you for visiting our website, and I hope you enjoy shopping with us!