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Today, and for the last 20 years, the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC) has been a hub for felting, quilting, weaving, embroidery, dyeing, knitting and other textile arts in Northern New Mexico. As a non-profit organization, EVFAC cultivates and supports multi-generational participation in local, traditional and contemporary fiber arts through education, outreach and programming. Operating in the heart of a region rich with weaving history, EVFAC teaches fiber arts skills at every level, grows the appreciation for handmade fiber arts, and provides opportunities for the public to participate and come to more fully appreciate the work of all fiber artists.
Experience the tradition: For thousands of years, Northern New Mexicans have embraced weaving as essential to their diverse cultural background. Visitors and locals alike can get a taste and feel for this tradition with the Center’s ongoing Walk In & Weave program. After only four hours, fledgling and experienced crafters of all ages leave the session with their own masterpiece, such as a colorful woven rug—and greater understanding of this timeless art form. Walk In & Weave
Join the excitement: Whether you quilt, weave, felt, dye, knit, or are just interested in New Mexico’s long history with the fiber arts, the annual New Mexico Fiber Crawl is a fascinating way to experience the entire tradition. One full weekend every May, fiber arts fans visit farms where the animals are raised, meet people who hand-spin the yarn, talk with artists, and visit galleries and museums that house pieces from the most traditional to most cutting-edge work in the state. Beginning in Albuquerque and winding north to Taos, the Fiber Crawl features one-on-one conversations with artists, exclusive access to gallery and museum collections, and hands-on demonstrations. There are also plenty of opportunities to buy goods directly from local producers and artists. NMFiberCrawl.org
For more information about visiting, classes and events or to shop for your own unique piece of fiber art, visit EVFAC.org.
Diamonds, coffee and chocolate: essential ingredients of an exotic story.
Meet Melanie Boudar. First introduced to specialty chocolate during her career as a diamond buyer in Belgium, she later owned Sweet Paradise Chocolatier, an award winning chocolate company in Maui, Hawaii.
Meet Derek Lanter. His family owned Uncommon Grounds coffee in Oakland, CA in the 1980’s and managed Hawaii’s largest cacao and specialty coffee plantation, Waialua Estate on Oahu.
Industry upstarts: Melanie was dedicated to furthering knowledge, production and consumption of fine chocolates, leading her to found the Fine Chocolate Industry Association in 2007, a nationwide organization for fine craft chocolate makers. Derek felt a similar call; he founded and served as President of the Hawaii Chocolate and Cacao Association in 2012.
A passionate partnership: The pair joined forces, returned to their native Southwest and formed their own company, The Art of Chocolate (also known as Cacao Santa Fe). In New Mexico, with its more favorable chocolate-making climate and reasonable manufacturing costs, the pair creates “bean-to-bar” confections in their factory located near Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. They import cacao beans from several counties and have ownership in a 50-acre cacao farm in Belize along with a smaller demonstration farm in Maui.
Taste it to believe it: Their personal hands-on experience in every phase from farming, fermentation, roasting, grinding and finally transforming cacao into bars, truffles and velvety drinking chocolate sets them apart from other chocolate operations. It also makes them uniquely qualified to run their popular, fun and informative workshops in addition to chocolate cultural tours to Belize that support Mayan communities. In 2016 they reconnected with longtime friend and Chocolate historian Mark Sciscenti and now offer authentic historic chocolate elixirs classes too.
Special for Valentine’s Day 2018, stop into the shop and say “aloha” to receive your free passion fruit heart truffle. Visit the website to see more events, sign-up for a tasting and buy your next treat.
ZirYab, a 9th century musician credited with introducing deodorant to Andalusian society seemed the perfect name for a business founded on personal care products. Brenda McFarlane and Kevin Stratton traded stressful urban lives for the beautiful, welcoming community of Silver City. They now happily operate ZirYab’s Natural Body Products, a big dream in a small store where they formulate and create their signature Amazing 24 Hour Natural Deodorant along with an array of items like soap, salve and lotion (pet products too!).
Homemade deodorant changed Brenda’s life. Wanting to share her revelation with others, she started making larger batches and selling at Farmer's Markets. Brenda’s deodorant is completely natural (free from chemicals and pore-clogging aluminum compounds) AND works better and longer than any she'd ever tried before – and she'd tried a lot! It wasn't long before Brenda had an expanding, enthusiastic and loyal customer base so she added other self-developed, hand-made products. Before long she was selling worldwide. Growing faster than she could manage, Kevin joined the venture. Following a two-year search they identified Silver City, the small eclectic town on the edge of the Gila Wilderness as the perfect place to build their business.
They named the company ZirYab's in honor of the renowned African Spanish courtier, whose brilliance went beyond music and hygiene, initiating cultural innovations and trendsetting fashions to 9th century Andalusia. “ZirYab” represents Brenda and Kevin's unique philosophy and dedicated approach to developing products combining both Old World and Native Southwest cultural knowledge with practical modern science for personal, handmade product development.
Kevin and Brenda’s charming Silver City store features an open-plan kitchen and shop that encourages interaction, allowing Brenda to greet locals and visitors as she brews, gathering feedback and incorporating it into her formulas. To find out more and purchase ZirYab's Natural Body Products, visit www.ziryabs.com.
“I was a street child by 15,” starts the story of Jared Pacheco Casias, The Bag Maker of Taos. A teenager on his own, Jared hitchhiked across America, making and selling jewelry that embodied the stories of his life. With a 500-year family history in New Mexico, he could no longer ignore his roots and just four year ago, after 25 years on the road, returned to the Land of Enchantment. Unable to totally relinquish his love for the road, you can now find Jared and his handcrafted leather goods at his mobile roadside pop-up shop along the Paseo del Pueblo in Taos. Every piece he fabricates carries the cumulative experiences of his life along with the spiritual essence of New Mexico. It’s not over yet but “Hand crafted @ 7,000 feet” is where this story stops for today. Click HERE to see Jared’s view of Taos Mountain and buy leather handmade with love.
Now in its 22nd year, Teca Tu, “A Paws Worthy Pet Emporium” started with its original owner designing and sewing coats and vests for dogs. First working from home, then opening a small boutique, unique necessities and gift items for dogs and cats was new to Santa Fe. Pet owners embraced the idea and the store grew rapidly. Laurie purchased it a dozen years ago and continues to expand its offerings. Coats and vests represent her signature line and with a strong commitment to local artists, she also carries their pet-related products and devotes an entire section to items Made in New Mexico.
Laurie and her pet-loving, service-focused team (of four people with 15 animals to prove it) are committed to bettering the lives of pets and their humans. Teca Tu supports a number of local charities through fun events like “Barkitecture” during which architects and artists built unique doghouses for auction with proceeds benefiting the Santa Fe Humane Society.
Teca Tu has won the Santa Fe Reporter’s “Best of Santa Fe” Top Three Pet Boutiques award every year since 2004. It was the 2008 “Featured Boutique” in Pet Product News International and received its Outstanding Adoption Award for 2010. So the next time your fur child deserves a treat, visit Teca Tu where you’ll find dazzling pet apparel, fabulous neckwear, cozy beds, joyous toys, travel accessories, and tasty, fresh-baked deli treats.
A simple school project that involved finding unusual ways to present the written alphabet set off a series of events that led to Imagiframes© Photo Letter Art. With assignment in hand and new visual perspective, mother/daughter team Linda and Brenna Cecil set off into their beloved New Mexico landscape and immediately noticed a light post resembling the letter ‘r’ and an ‘f’ among the branches of a neighborhood tree. With E’s in the clouds, I’s hanging from rafters in the form of red chile ristras, while whitewashed branches curved into the letter ‘C’ and cactus leant their own thorny versions of the alphabet, everyday sights took on new meaning and became the basis for creating unique photo letter art.
Finding a welcome reception at local markets, this native New Mexican duo saw greater opportunity and expanded Imagiframes© to include notecards, small framed photography, wall art and custom design. Their successful line can be found at Imagiframes.com, on Amazon and in over 21 specialty gift and card stores nationwide.
Los Poblanos is a boutique inn and organic farm located in the Rio Grande River Valley. Set amongst 25 acres of organic lavender fields, towering cottonwood trees, and formal gardens, Los Poblanos is one of the most magnificent historic properties in the southwest. Los Poblanos artisan lavender products feature certified organic essential oil distilled from plants grown on our historic farm. Hand-crafted and thoughtfully curated, our products bring a sense of calm and wellbeing to daily life.
One day in the late 1980’s, David del Junco and Lee Gruber were standing in the home of Henry Chapman Mercer, founder of the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works near Doylestown, Pennsylvania. They turned to each other and said, “We can do this.” And Syzygy Tile was born.
Today, nearly a quarter century later, Syzygy’s body of work encompasses numerous designs that speak of a timeless quality, a sophisticated look, and a distinctive feel - qualities that set Syzygy apart.
At the Syzygy Tile factory, located in the Historic Downtown district in Silver City, NM, twenty artisans work together to create beautiful ceramics, one tile at a time, using traditional craftsman techniques.
Syzygy tile is available from retailers nationwide. For more information please visit www.SyzygyTile.com
Moving from humid Rhode Island to dry Southeastern New Mexico was a shock to the Monk family. The toll of the desert on their skin led Patricia, creator of Made to Lather Handmade Soaps and Sundries, to call upon her science background for a solution to tight, dry, itchy skin. Patricia started developing recipes for bath products that would infuse moisture. Using the time-honored cold process method, she spent long days formulating the perfect bar of soap, one that lathers well, especially in hard water, rinses clean and ultimately moisturizes the skin. Made to Lather was born not long after and has since grown to incorporate a wide array of bath and body products all made in small batches to ensure freshness.
One of Made to Lather's most popular products, aside from their soaps, is the body parfait. It’s made from alternating layers of soothing organic aloe vera gently combined with her signature body lotion containing shea, mango and cocoa butters. The parfait smooths on, absorbs quickly and has extra moisturizing properties, something desperately needed in our dry climate. Every scent is a delight; choose from Lavender, Pineapple Mango and Red Clover Tea.
The Monks have been making natural, handcrafted soap from personally developed formulas in Artesia since 2007 and their skin has been much happier ever since. Click HERE to moisturize your skin with one of Patricia’s special soaps. They’re all Made to Lather.
St. Clair Winery is New Mexico’s premier, family-owned winery. An original pioneer of New Mexico’s wine industry, French winemaker Hervé Lescombes and his sons, Florent and Emmanuel, have a six-generation winemaking history that led them to southwest New Mexico in the early 1980's. The area was chosen due to its similar climate to Algeria, where Hervé had grown grapes prior to opening his winery in Burgundy, France. Today, we use locally grown grapes sourced only from our own 180-acre vineyard between Deming & Lordsburg to craft many different wines labeled as St. Clair Winery, D.H. Lescombes, Soleil Mimosa, Hatch Chile Wines as well as a few other unique specialties. Click HERE for more information about St. Clair Vineyard and Winery, its events, tasting room in Deming and Bistros in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Farmington.
With a love of good food, good wine and a challenge, New Mexico natives Rick and Mitzi Hobson, set out in the early 1980’s looking for land suitable for their retirement dreams. New Mexico natives channeling passion for both their home state and wine, they chose Corrales for its proximity to Albuquerque where Rick was working at the time. The parcel was overrun with alfalfa and home to 200 Christmas trees (later transplanted in city parks), sparking the idea that it would take a miracle to grow grapes, Milagro Vineyards was born.
At first, the idea was to make wine for fun, friends and family. They worked the fields every weekend and eventually aged small batches in the barn alongside their pet pigs. That’s Wilbur on the label, representing the perfect blend of Hobson philosophy: serious about their product but whimsical in their approach. Rick and Mitzi wouldn’t settle for anything less than the best tasting wines, that meant aging in 60 gallon oak barrels from France. Soon thereafter, they found themselves in excess of the 200-gallon limit for amateurs and officially entered the world of wine makers.
Today Milagro Vineyards enjoys community support for its 18 vineyard sites throughout Corrales that contribute to the agricultural preservation of Corrales. Meticulously raising grapes in the old world style and barrel aging in French oak, their wine reflects the terroir or unique aspects of its place. Gold medals awarded at national competitions prove their wine, made from grapes grown only in northern New Mexico, can hold their own. Milagro’s varietals are available at the winery in Corrales and fine wine shops in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces. Tours and tastings are available with advance notice. To learn more, plan your visit or shop for wines from Chardonnay to Zinfandel, visit MilagroWine.com.
The Sacred Desert is a natural unisexy self-care product company using traditional plant medicine in its product formulas. Unlike the traditional model in which the company comes first, in Mary Kane’s case, her business was really born from its first product, ChipChap, natural unisexy lip balm.
Frustrated by finding only products that didn’t invoke feelings of beauty (white, waxy lips not being her favorite look) or conventional products (made from “scary” ingredients), Mary started making ChipChap in 2009.
Feeling like a mad scientist in a white lab coat (albeit without any chemicals), she disregarded traditional recipes and started from scratch. Mary’s roots run deep in her desert environment and that’s where she turned to find and mix ChipChap. Its foundation of organic, fair-trade ingredients is building a new unisexy model of self-care. If ChipChap works in the desert, you can believe it will work anywhere! Click on Mary's picture to watch her video then start your journey to unisexy lips here.
New Mexico Gold infused olive oil brings the smooth flavor of New Mexico to your kitchen no matter where you live. When infused oils first became popular, Ernest and Theresa McBride searched the state for chile infused olive oil, only to find it didn’t exist yet, so they set about making their own.
Infusing olive oil at home became a fun, addictive experiment. At first it was more of a hobby and their oils, the perfect combination of New Mexico chile and garlic, made great gifts for friends and family. When the requests for more kept coming Ernest knew they were on to something and business took off.
The company suffered setbacks when Theresa was diagnosed with ALS in 2010. Today, Ernest and his three children are committed to seeing their shared dream for a successful venture that values family and community, uses local products and shares their love of New Mexico and chile become reality.
The McBrides currently make the only New Mexico chile infused olive oil. Their company, New Mexico Gold, based in Socorro with products in retail stores around the state, is rapidly gaining recognition. Their desire to become a well-known brand nationwide will surely be realized sooner than later. See how much better your food tastes when you make it with New Mexico Gold. Buy your bottles of Oro Rojo, Oro Verde and Mild Chipotle here.
A local girl born in the high desert of New Mexico and educated at Sandia High School and the University of New Mexico, Kay Frances has always had a tender heart and artistic soul. In addition to being a master jewelry designer, she is a painter, sculptor, classical pianist and proud mother of two adult children, both of whom earned advance degrees from University of New Mexico. Kay creates images from words spoken by people who are searching for something magical, incorporating artistry, loyalty and a desire to promote what is best about the Southwest and our home state into every piece. Valued by those who love and adore her artistry, Kay uses a combination of precious metals, turquoise and diamonds to honor her deep local roots. She infuses every piece with love and respect for its new owner, creating unique works of wearable art. Romero Jewelers is a long-standing Albuquerque tradition and with K. Frances Designs you are sure to find unique products and magical experiences. To see if there’s a design for you, visit http://romerojewelersnm.com/.
Patricia Burns of Silver and Earth Jewelry started gathering eye-catching jewelry from a young age. After years of buying and collecting, it was time to make her own. People admired the pieces Patricia designed and handcrafted in metalsmithing class. With requests for custom designs, what started as a hobby turned into much more. She continued her education and created jewelry for friends, family and co-workers. Today Patricia’s work is featured in art galleries and boutiques nationwide.
Inspired and influenced by everything from ancient civilizations to found objects, Silver and Earth pieces reflect the natural beauty of our ancestors and environment. From inception, Patricia creates unique designs and hand fabricates each piece using traditional metalsmithing techniques like sawing, piercing, filing, and buffing. Shapes are cut by hand, then textured by hammering, stamping or roller printing, sometime using tools inherited from her father. “My favorite part of the design process is coming up with new textures and patterns by combining a variety of tools in various combinations,” says Patricia who also enjoys hunting for gemstones, fossils and exotic beads to incorporate into her pieces.
She takes pride in her 100% handmade in New Mexico products and supports our economy by sourcing high quality material locally as much as possible. At Silver and Earth Jewelry, each piece is unique and carefully handcrafted to ensure durability and years of wear and enjoyment. To find pieces for yourself, friends and family, visit https://www.silverandearth.com/.
Following a Stage III cancer diagnosis, Bill and Becky Casper took a deep dive into their environment, diet and daily product use. Astounded by the long list of chemical ingredients found in their personal care products, they resolved not to fuel the flames of cancer anymore. Self-declared “advocates of showering and candle-burning” unable to find products that met their new standards, the Caspers decided to make their own. They embarked on a learning process, sourced 100% soy and other pure ingredients, added a touch of creativity, whipped it all together and spent countless years perfecting recipes to offer a unique, handcrafted line of candles, bath and skin care products.
Dedicated not only to more natural living but also to finding a cure for Non-Hodgkin’s Follicular Lymphoma, an incurable blood cancer, the Caspers teamed up with the Lymphoma Research Foundation, supporting the organization and its research by donating 1% of all gross profits and 50% of all sales from the “Kicking Cancer’s Ass” bar. To learn more and shop for the men, women, pet and home in your life, visit A|D Candle & Body.
505 Southwestern® is a New Mexican as it gets…starting with the brand name itself (505 being Albuquerque’s area code). But 505’s commitment to New Mexico goes way beyond the numbers on its label. Every jar of its unique salsas, sauces, and condiments captures the flavor and quality of New Mexican-grown green chiles, including those from the famous Hatch Valley region in the southern part of the state. Maybe 505 could save a few bucks by buying imported chile but luckily for us they don’t. They use premium New Mexico-grown chiles with their incredible flavor, texture, consistency, and the quality that comes from hand picking and flame roasting. Not surprisingly, 505’s customers share our view of what’s important and what makes great products, making 505 Southwestern® the fastest growing national Southwestern brand in America. 505 is proud to be giving the whole country an authentic taste of New Mexico.
From her first glimpse of the inkle loom over 40 years ago, Annie MacHale was hooked. An art form pre-dating Shakespeare’s age, these special looms were designed for weaving narrow wares. Annie, self-taught and experimental, has woven with material from traditional fibers to t-shirt yarn to cassette tape. Every piece is infused with her playful attitude and colorful eye that create original designs. Annie weaves belts and straps for musical instruments, cameras, purses and luggage. She revels in the feel of soft fiber, is often inspired by color combinations found in nature and creates original designs ensuring every owner has a unique work of functional, wearable art. To learn more about Annie, inkle weaving and her beautiful straps, visit WeaverGuitarStraps.com.
Inspired by the qualities of industrial woven vinyl, Erika Eckerstrand has been designing and selling her bags, accessories and home goods since 2009. Erika, a Swedish-born Santa Fe artist, creates high quality items that strike the perfect balance between practicality and style. Transforming functional, durable materials with her keen eye and sleek, contemporary designs, Erika’s line of bags, accessories and home décor stand the test of time in more ways than one.
Erika opened her first retail location last year. Signature colorful items fill the bright, cozy shop. Every piece is lovingly handcrafted on-site, made to enhance and beautify the world around us. She especially enjoys helping clients select the perfect thing for their occasion, home or purpose. Visit Erika at 211 Galisteo Street, just off the Historic Plaza in Santa Fe or shop online at DesignsofErika.com.
The story of Clear Light is one of Hollywood celebrity, Native America, family and fulfillment. Josh Peine enjoyed a successful acting career. When he grew tired of Tinseltown, he mounted his Harley and took to the open road. Eventually Peine landed in the small town of Placitas. His awe of nature and the great outdoors led him to fall in love with the Land of Enchantment, where he would establish Clear Light in 1971.
A charismatic man with a knack for making friends, Josh forged relationships with members of the Navajo and Hopi tribes. From Native friends, he learned about the southwest cedar and its healing properties. From humble beginnings when Josh gathered cedar needles for friends, Clear Light has grown into a line of full-bodied hand cream, shampoo, candles and soaps sold in national chains like Orvis. Click here to learn more about Clear Light, the Cedar Company’s history, forest-scented products, and the current owners, Adam Ciepiela and Keith Allen West.
Textile artist Natasha Nargis has always loved clothing and fashion. From New York City to San Francisco and on to Santa Fe, she has immersed herself in the swirling, soft world of silk, cotton, linen, cashmere and alpaca. Natasha explores color using her own dye baths, experimenting by wrapping and tying yarn or painting parts of the warp while it’s on the loom. Every fiber absorbs color differently, creating endless possibilities. A master weaver, Natasha continues to bring diverse elements to her unique works of wearable art. She wraps, twists and sews fabric using the Japanese Shibori technique, adding new dimensions to her already complex creations. Natasha recently opened her own gallery where she displays other artists’ work including photographers Cissie Ludlow and Eleuterio Santiago Diaz, jewelers Bessie Berman and Crea Lynn and the work of Karim Jaekel, another an accomplished weaver. Click here to learn more about Natasha Santa Fe.
New Mexico Piñon Coffee began caffeinating the University of New Mexico community in the early 1990s when the company’s founder opened a small coffee shop near the UNM campus. Originally roasted in a small 25lb capacity antique roaster in the back of an old Chevy pick-up truck, today it takes two 75lb roasters to keep up with the demand, over 1 million pounds per year since 2015.
When New Mexico Piñon Coffee added the unique taste of piñon to their brew, it was an instant success. Founded on the belief that coffee drinkers should enjoy the authentic taste of New Mexico every morning, its roasters created a signature blend of 100% Arabica coffee beans and custom piñon flavoring, delivering a smooth, less bitter, and slightly nutty brew.
The company aims to inspire and educate its community. Fans can learn more in Coffee 101 classes at the warehouse and at the Piñon Coffee House, people can savor more traditional flavors of New Mexico like the Biscochito Latte. The Piñon Coffee family takes pride in its quality products so everyone can wake up to the enchanting taste of New Mexico.
Antiguas del Norte Honey Bee Farms specializes in honey harvested from rescued honeybee colonies. With a mission to rescue honeybees and increase their populations, Raymond & Juanita Espinoza, 12th generation New Mexicans, have saved millions of honeybees. “Helping honeybees with their people problems” has a myriad of benefits including the sweet and rich full-bodied flavor of ESR Special Reserve, raw honey created from the nectar of New Mexico’s flowering plants, trees and shrubs and harvested from hives in and around Valencia County. Visit Antiguas del Norte at the Belen Farmers Market (June-October) for a taste of pure New Mexico True Certified raw honey. Honey and beekeeping supplies along with bee removal information is available online. Click here to learn more about Antiguas del Norte Honey Bee Farms.