local goods

African home goods
View Gallery 6 Photos
vintage home decor
vintage goods
assorted African home goods
African home goods
kei and molly green textile
kei and molly green textile

by Michaela Hart

Favorite finds for home right in your backyard

Famous for exceptional scenery, New Mexico is equally well-known for its outstanding merchants. Thousands of local retailers offer the highest quality and the widest variety for dedicated shoppers. Find old, new, handmade, restored, clever or rustic decor and embellishments for every taste imaginable.

At BackRoads Home Decor in Cedar Crest, Janice Klaus and Pam Cherry present an amazing assortment of hand-painted vintage furniture, contemporary lighting and whimsical accents. Meticulous finishes and upholstery refresh chairs that have seen better days. Tables and architectural salvage retain their original charm, contrasting with modern glass lamps, ceramics and table linens.

One area, dedicated to specialty paints by Dixie Belle and Sweet Pickens, offers plenty of space for Pam’s popular painting classes. Charming techniques and color ideas update picture frames, metal buckets and wicker trays. The vibe at BackRoads is “elegant eclectic,” where, to the delight of regular customers, the owners reset the entire space weekly, so the store is always fresh and vibrant.

In the Santa Fe Railyard district, Casa Nova is full of art, crafts, jewelry and tableware designed and produced in Africa. Owners Natalie Fitz-Gerald (South Africa) and Nelly-Joy Irakoze (Burundi) preside over a panorama of the unusual.

Fitting right into Santa Fe’s style, beaded sculptures from tiny to near life size, big and little pots, wonderful cushions, furniture and lighting pulse with color and vitality. Useful and beautiful objects incorporate the most varied materials, from telephone wire to glass, feathers and fibers.

Natalie and Nelly know their artists and crafts people personally and can relate the stories and circumstances that brought Casa Nova’s treasures to Santa Fe. Curated and arranged with sensitivity, the store is a shopper’s banquet of things to be admired, touched and treasured.

In Albuquerque, Kei Tsuzuki and Molly Luethi nurture Kei & Molly Textiles employing newly arrived refugees and immigrants. Both owners have backgrounds in nonprofits but imagined a profit-centered business, teaching marketable skills. They began screen printing fabric and clothing on their kitchen tables, but are now in a well-equipped manufacturing and retail space.

Currently, nine employees turn out hand-screened tea towels, table linens, totes and fabric yardage for more than 400 retailers as well as local walk-in trade. Using traditional methods and non-toxic inks, the team prints folky flowers, animals, birds and “story panels” on 100 percent cotton, in a rainbow of colors. The biggest seller is a bright yellow and white tea towel with a vivid “Save the Bees” theme.

As a socially conscious business, the company is a people-centered enterprise. Owners and employees work as a team, imagining, creating, selling and shipping to happy customers locally and across America.

Forget the internet with orders that never live up to the pictures. Shopping in the Southwest is alive and well— satisfying and invigorating, consciously style forward. Browse, enjoy, experience and Shop Local.