My roots in this region are as old and deep as the cottonwood trees--the bosque of alamos--native to the Rio Grande Valley. Like many people born to the Southwest, I am a result of the Spanish entering this part of the world in the 1600s, of the violent conflict with indigenous peoples who lived here since 9200 BC, and of the cultures that came out of that clash. I am a native New Mexican, a New Mexico mestiza, and I often say that if you broke me open, my blood would flow brown-red like the muddy river sacred to our land.
Not everyone born to New Mexico stays in this state. We are one of the poorest in the nation. But ever since I was a child, I was enchanted by this place. Like Georgia O'Keeffe, Mabel Dodge Luhan, and others who have come here to live, I too am compelled by the light and spirituality. I belong to the blend of Native Americans, Hispanics, adobe, old trucks--rustic and primitive yet so timeless and yes, even modern.
This is what I've known all my life. My father came from the village of Costilla, near Taos, and moved to Taos when he was orphaned as a teenager. My mother is from the wild Western town of Cimarron, New Mexico, where her father ran a ranch and was a working cowboy. My husband and I own a special property in the farming community of Corrales (which means "corrals" in Spanish) where we tend to almost ten acres, much of it apple orchards and pasture land in "farmland preservation." We carry on ancient traditions, such as flood irrigation through canales connected to acqueias connected to the Rio Grande. I speak Spanish in my daily work life.
The shop brings together the best of New and Old Mexico, honoring the past and the blend of indigenous and Spanish Colonial. Many old New Mexico families come to me with the jewelry of their parents and grandparents, because like them, I am authentic New Mexico.
If I could have lived in a different era, it would be in the 1930s through the mid-century, with Frida and Diego, Georgia and Mabel. I am still among them, finding treasures that take us back to them.