Southwest Treasures is a local retailer featuring 100 percent authentic Native American handmade jewelry.
Michael and Vicky Powell opened Southwest Treasures in December 2017 inside Blue-Eyed Buffalo Too, located at 970 Lingleville Highway.
Michael’s stepdad used to sell Native American jewelry in the 1970s, but the Powells didn’t get the idea to open their own vendor until they went on vacation to Ruidoso, New Mexico.
“We went up there on vacation and ran into a couple that was actually set up selling jewelry and my wife and I [saw] it and we bought a couple of pieces and we started talking as we were going back to our cabin and we thought, ‘Why not see if they would work with us and buy some inventory off of them and bring it back to Texas and try to open up our own shop?’” Michael said. “So the next day, we went back and talked to them and we bought some inventory.”
The Powells get their jewelry and craft work from different reservations around New Mexico. They have around four to five suppliers.
“We get some of our bead work from the Kiawah Apache in Oklahoma. We have pieces from Navaho, Pueblo and we just got some Zune pieces in [recently],” Vicky said. “And it comes from reservations. We don’t have a middle man that we go to. We don’t go to markets. We get it straight from the reservations.”
Southwest Treasures has several different kinds of jewelry available including rings, necklaces, earrings and cuff bracelets.
“We have all different kinds of earrings [in different] shapes, sizes and colors,” Michael said. “[For] cuff bracelets, I have from copper bracelets to silver bracelets to cuff bracelets that have different stones in them. We have all kinds of cuff bracelets depending on what you like. We have a pretty good selection in those.”
They also have beaded hair sticks which are straight, pointed devices, usually between five and nine inches in length, that can be used to hold a person’s hair in place in a bun or similar hairstyle.
Walking sticks are also a popular purchase with the customers.
“I have a couple of [beaded] walking sticks that a 98-year-old Navaho woman made. You talk about a lot of detail in these. I bought those to bring up here to see how they would do. They’re really a talking item, that’s for sure. People see them and just talk about it,” Michael said.
Jewelry isn’t the only item that Southwest Treasures sells. Although they are not Native-American-made, they also sell corsets, jackets, blankets, shawls, scarves, southwestern-style purses and weekend bags.
“We’re just a small business starting out. We’re trying to bring authentic Native American jewelry to Stephenville and trying to bring something different to Stephenville,” Vicky said.
The hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
Customers can also purchase from Southwest Treasures at any time by visiting their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SWTnativejewelry/ or by visiting their website at www.southwesttreasuresjewelry.com.