Lending an ear

IMG_8540

Standard poodle boosts students’ reading skills

Originally published in Taos News

Children may be shy, or not totally sure of how to pronounce certain words, but when they read to Troi they know they have an attentive, non-judgmental listener. They go ahead confidently and become so engrossed in the story they are reading that their inhibitions just vanish.

Troi is a four-year-old standard poodle that visits Arroyos del Norte Elementary School once a week with her handler, Annette Rubin.

Teacher Claire Briggs calls Rubin “fantastic” and her work “highly motivating” for her and her students.

“Not only Miss Annette brings in her valuable experience as a retired teacher, but she is also a great mentor for both the students and myself,” said Briggs. “We all look forward to working with her.”

“Having a child read to a dog has many benefits,” Rubin said. “Dogs won’t correct them or laugh at them. Children, in turn, don’t feel nervous or intimidated; they can relax and enjoy the reading experience without pressures.”

A session with Troi

Before a session starts, Briggs gives Rubin a profile of the children she will be working with so she can assess what their needs are. Then the students take turns, individually, reading to her and Troi.

“When they read to Troi, she listens to them,” said Rubin. “You look at her and you can see she is really attentive.”

Sometimes, after the students have read, Rubin tells them that Troi is not sure what the story is about. Could they explain it to her in their own words? So they retell the story and show their comprehension of it.

“They build a relationship with Troi and feel confident that they can explain to her what they already know,” Rubin said. “She is receptive, open and unconditionally loving.”

Briggs said that a huge benefit of this activity is its emotional component.

“The children learn to trust the dog and, in the process, they learn to trust their own abilities,” she said.

Once the students finish reading, they get to ask Troi to do a little trick for them—she can high five and sit, among other skills. When she does, they say “good girl” and give her a treat.

“It’s all relational,” said Rubin. “They see how well she responds to a positive approach. They do the same.”

Troi knows how to perform nineteen different tasks. She can even “speak.”

“She barks in a very low, ‘indoor voice,’” said Rubin, “because she knows we are in a classroom. Nothing like her ‘outdoor voice’, the one she reserves for chasing prairie dogs and bunnies near our house.”

Rubin has been volunteering at Arroyos del Norte for two years.  She works with three to six students in any given day.

“The best thing is that I see the best of the children,” she said. “They are always happy to meet Troi and work with her. She loves them too. When summer comes, she looks at me, points to the door and the book bag and seems to ask, ‘Why aren’t we going to school?’ She misses the children!”

The handler and the dog: a shared journey

Rubin was an elementary school counselor and has over twenty-five years of experience in education. She also worked with early childhood special ed programs, gifted children, and science and math teachers.

She and her husband Richard Rubin discovered Taos in the summer of 1968 but didn’t start living here fulltime until 2012. It was then when they got Troi.

“It was our intention for her to be a therapy dog,” said Rubin. “As soon as we met her, at the age of seven weeks, we knew she was special. She was very sensitive, even at that young age. She was bred for personality.”

The dog was named after a character on Star Trek, The Next Generation.

“Counselor Deanna Troi is a highly empathic woman, with long, brown, curly hair,” said Rubin.  “She is the ship’s counselor, highly competent and beautiful. Her big brown eyes seem to see right to the heart of her crew, especially when they are distressed. Troi lives up to her name beautifully.”

Rubin started training Troi when the dog was two years old.

“I went to a handler’s course,” she said. “The exam was ten days later and I had to train her for all nineteen skills in that short time.”

They both worked hard together but Troi didn’t pass the test. Undeterred, they did more homework.

“The second time she passed the test with flying colors,” said Rubin. “So that has become part of her story. We need to prepare, to practice over and over in order to achieve the desired results. We share this with the students.”

Now Troi is registered as a therapy dog with Pet Partners, a national organization that helps train handlers and dogs as a team.

“We are certified to come to schools, nursing homes and other places,” said Rubin. “It’s a very satisfying kind of activity that we both enjoy doing.”

To find out more about Pet Partners visit https://petpartners.org

 

Tea-o-graphy: the art and science of tea

Dana Blair, owner and founder of Tea.o.graphy, harbors such a passion for tea that she has built a whole business around it.

Originally published in Taos News

“Tea has a place in the heart of almost every culture and is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, next to water,” she says. “It even surpasses coffee and Coke, and is finally gaining wide acceptance in the United States.”

               Between Georgia and New Mexico

Originally from Georgia, Blair came to Taos in 2009.

“Since then, I have boomeranged somewhat between the two places,” she said. “I left Taos in 2011 to work on a wonderful, family-owned grass-fed beef farm around Athens, Georgia. There were mornings I would wake up in the small farmhouse I lived in—the light shining into my bedroom at such an angle, with just the right golden affect—thinking I was here. Taos was inside of me; it has a way of creeping into your bones and your soul.”

Therefore, when Blair felt ready to put down roots and start her dream of a tea business, she chose Taos.

A journey towards tea

Though Blair started Tea.o.graphy as an official business in April 2015, she began working with tea a long time ago.

She describes herself as a “diehard coffee fan” until around nine years ago. But when she had to quit drinking coffee for health reasons, tea was the natural alternative.

“In 2008, I moved to China as an English teacher,” Blair said. “When I wasn’t in the classroom, I was in tearooms. I began cultivating an interest for tea and knew that I wanted to work with tea on my own.”

She later moved to Santa Fe and worked at The Teahouse with former owner Dionne Christian, a master tea blender. The experience further inspired her passion for tea. Once she left The Teahouse, Blair started “geeking out on tea.”

She created her own little “laboratory,” experimenting with new blends. Her first blend was Café Sans Café.

“I was still missing the bold character of coffee, so I created a blend that could stand up to coffee-like preparations,” she said.

Café Sans Café is a deep, dark, bold brew with hints of caramel and chocolate. It contains roasted chicory root, Assam black tea, and vanilla bean.

“It is by far one of my most popular blends,” she said. “I carry it both in black tea (caffeinated) and herbal tea (caffeine free).”

What’s in a name?

“Tea.o.graphy is a play on the word ‘geography,’ which reflects the global aspect of tea—the many oceans and borders tea has crossed over centuries,” Blair explains. “But to delve even further, the suffix -graphy is defined as ‘a combining form denoting a process or form of drawing, writing, representing, recording, describing, or an art or science concerned with such a process.’ Tea is both art and science: it is also muse to the written word, to artistic expression. It is history, it has lived and traversed time, continents, oceans, times of war, times of peace (sometimes serving as the catalyst for both)… So much sitting there in your teacup!”

Where to find Tea.o.graphy teas

They are now available at Gutiz, the winter market, the farmers market in the summer, Cid’s, Taos Market, Taos Herb Company, The Bavarian, Elevation, Casa Gallina, The Love Apple, Aureate Plum, Sol Food, Noula’s coffee shop, Taos Cow, Pärcht Bottleshop and Bites, El Meze, World Cup, Taos Clay, Rottenstone Pottery, Bent Street Deli, Made in New Mexico, Shree Yoga, Ennui Gallery, Wired and Blair’s website www.tea-o-graphy.com.

They are also sold in all the La Montañita locations and will soon be available in the Ski Valley restaurants as well.

Products: types and flavors of tea

Blair carries a selection of about thirty teas ranging from herbal or tisane teas (caffeine free) to green teas, black teas, and specialty teas.

“All of our teas are organic and fair trade,” she said, “and locally sourced when possible.  We use only the most pure and sustainable ingredients, with no artificial scents, chemicals or harsh additives.”

Among the most popular herbal teas are Café Sans Café (without caffeine), Honey Lavender, High Desert Sage (inspired by the Taos Mesa after a rainstorm), The Cats Pajamas (a bedtime blend), and Ginger Spice, which she calls “my medicine chest.”
As for green tea, she has Matcha Mint, which makes a great mojito, and Fleurs de Provence (floral with handled jasmine pearls).

Black teas include Café Sans Café (with caffeine), Forest Floor, Lady Grey and Art of Flying’s Earl Grey, inspired by Taos’ own Art of Flying band.

Her specialty teas include Chocolate Rose and Sandia Rose, inspired by New Mexico and the Sandia Mountains.

“Many of these blends have applications outside of the teacup,” Blair said. “They can be used in cocktails recipes and culinary dishes.”

The sounding boards

Although most of the time Blair’s business is a one-woman show—she can be found making sales calls, marketing, blending and packaging teas at TCEDC, and more— she also credits many people without whom she could not carry out her business as effectively or smoothly as she is doing now.

“My apprentice Camille Cooper is invaluable, sharp as a whip and super creative, with a great taste for tea,” she said. “And Steve Chavez, his two children, and of course, my family back in Georgia… They are my sounding boards, sage advice givers, and my support.”

Tea of the Month Membership

The Tea of the Month Membership allows people to explore the culture of tea. Each month, members are sent a box containing three samples of teas following a theme (February’s theme was the Queen of Hearts.) They also receive an extra bonus tea or tea-themed item.

Members also receive an exclusive 15% discount on any of the month’s featured teas and a 40% discount when ordering in bulk. They also get first insights to any new products and discounts on them.

2016 Kid’s Fish Fiesta

At the newly renovated Eagle Rock Lake

June 4, 2016

 

The Carson National Forest, New Mexico Department of Game & Fish, the Village of Questa, Enchanted Circle Trout Unlimited and the Town of Taos, and local businesses are proud to bring you the “2016 Kid’s Fish Fiesta”. The Kid’s Fish Fiesta is scheduled for Saturday, June 4, 2016 located at Eagle Rock Lake in Questa (approximately 1.3 miles east of Questa, NM on HWY 38).  The Kid’s Fish Fiesta will start at 9:00 a.m. with registration.  Registration closes at 11:00 a.m. and event will end at 12:00 noon.

This is a Drug and Alcohol Free event. The Kid’s Fish Fiesta is primarily for youth, ages 11 and younger, to have a fun learning experience in fish biology and anatomy, fishing skills, outdoor ethics, archery as well as provide a fishing opportunity for the youth at no charge. On June 4, 2016, everyone is allowed to fish without a license or a Habitat Stamp validation, in honor of National Free Fishing Day.  All other fishing rules still apply.

Participants and their parents/guardians will tour a series of educational stations.  Loaner poles are available for those who need them.  These booths may be visited before or after fishing.  Lunch will be provided.  We invite you and your family to the Free Kid’s Fish Fiesta.  For more information, contact Michael Gatlin, USDA Forest Service, Carson National Forest at 575- 758-6252.

Judy Esquibel

Community Events Coordinator

Town of Taos

400 Camino de la Placita

Taos, NM  87571

575-751-2037

PAM-pered Pets wins SCORE award

IMG-20160409-WA0008

Pam Busick with Charlie

Originally published in Taos News

There is no bad hair day for dogs and cats when they visit PAM-pered Pets. Owner Pam Busick has managed to create a spa-like experience for her four-legged clients.

“When a dog comes to me for the first time, it may be scared or anxious, but my goal is to bring it around to peace and happiness,” she said. “In the end, they all realize that they are here to be pampered, and get to enjoy the experience.”

The same goes for cats.

“I remember some long-haired cats brought in to be clipped short that were ready to turn into little lions,” Busick said. “But after I communicated with them and let them know that everything was going to be fine—and fun!—they relaxed and began to purr. The transformations that I’ve seen here are amazing!”

Visiting Aunt Pam

Busick started her business, PAM-pered Pets, in April 2010. Initially it was focused on grooming, but soon her customers began to ask her if she would board their pets as well.

“I thought about it and decided it would be a natural extension of my business,” she said. “I am here all day grooming cats and dogs so I can easily keep an eye on those that are boarded as well.”

The property that Pam and Greg Busick own in Carson is on twenty-seven acres of pristine land. They take the boarded dogs out for runs every morning.

“On a leash,” she emphasizes. “There are some owners who have asked me to let them run loose but I’d never do that. The dogs’ safety is a priority for me.”

She has established a safe and nurturing space for cats and dogs, a home-style boarding environment, and intends to keep it this way.

“I don’t ever want my place to become a commercial type of kennel,” she said. “When dogs and cats come here, they should feel like they are coming to visit Uncle Greg and Aunt Pam.”

She also offers training sessions and day care.

“I often do one-on-one training sessions,” she said. “But I can do group classes if necessary.”

Volunteer work

Busick has groomed many shelter dogs. Besides, she fosters some who have outlived their owners and need a place to stay while waiting for their next forever home.

“One of my recent success stories is about a small black poodle named Nika,” she said. “The first owner couldn’t keep her so I placed her with a new one in Oklahoma. Well, Nika helped her new owner overcome her depression and is now registered as a therapy dog, traveling with her every day to work.”

Winning the championship

On March 22nd, PAM-pered Pets was chosen as a winner of the American Small Business Championship hosted by SCORE—a national nonprofit dedicated to mentoring small business owners, supported by Sam’s Club.

One hundred two small businesses received the award for their dedication to success. All champions got a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card and an all-expense-paid trip to a regional training event that took place in Phoenix, Arizona, last week. They will also get mentoring for one year, offered by a SCORE member.

It was Gillian Fryer, owner of Blue Feather Soap—a local business that won the same contest last year—who encouraged Busick to enter the competition.

“I jumped on board right away,” she said. “The rules said that we needed to get one hundred Facebook votes. When I submitted my proposal I had seventeen hundred votes. I am so grateful to all my clients and friends!”

She also wrote an essay explaining why winning the contest would benefit her and her business.

“I wrote about my dream to put up a small building next to the house where I can provide more space for grooming and boarding,” she said. “I explained how SCORE coaching will also help me learn how I can improve my business in areas like finances and advertising.”

When Busick was notified that she had won, she was ecstatic.

“I am so grateful to receive this recognition for the obstacles I have overcome as a small business owner,” she said.

She just returned from Phoenix, where she attended the award ceremony and a symposium that included training and mentoring sessions.

“We had outstanding speakers and presenters like David Bobbitt, president of the SCORE Foundation,” she said. “It was very educational and I met many exceptional championship winners. It was such a valuable, inspirational experience for small business owners! This is a very exciting journey, filled with personal growth and learning along the way.”

PAM-pered Pets is also eligible to win an additional $25,000 grand prize. This summer, a judging panel of experts will select one Grand Champion from the group of small business winners. Selection is based on how effectively they utilize the Sam’s Club gift card and the SCORE regional training events to grow business revenue, and how well they promoted the championship in the media.

“I am eager to work toward that goal,” said Busick. “I want to thank our wonderful community, both local and online, for helping me succeed. This would not have been possible without you.”

Sidebar: A satisfied customer

As a repeat client, I have only good things to say about Pam. Our dog is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with a long list of health problems that include near blindness, diabetes and hip issues. She puts him at ease when he is stressed out and he always comes home looking adorable. I feel she treats my dog as if he were one of her own. Gracias, Pam!

PAM-pered Pets is located at 35 S. Carson Rd

Phone: 575-751-7286.

Email: pamela.busick@gmail.com

 

Taos Mountain Gallery and Gift Shop: showcasing artwork from Taos and beyond

At the heart of El Monte Sagrado is a unique gallery that embodies the hotel’s eco spirit, combining elegance and sustainability.

Originally published in Taos News

Right in front of De La Tierra restaurant and next to the Anaconda Bar, Taos Mountain Gallery and Gift Shop is the perfect place to get everything from high-end artwork and jewelry to a beautifully simple Taos postcard.

Owner Dawn Mirabal is a tribal member of the Taos Pueblo. Her brother, Dean Little Lake Johnson, owns Smoke Signals, the longest-running Native American shop in town.

“I’ve always been interested in business,” Mirabal said. “I like the sense of independence that being an entrepreneur gives to people, particularly women.”

Mirabal earned a Bachelor’s degree in business from New Mexico State University and has been in the retail industry for over thirty years. She has sold everything from clothing to Native American jewelry, pottery, flutes, and more.

“I fell into owning my own business when I was married to a musician,” she said. “I ran the shop in the Taos Pueblo village and then another shop in town, as well as the online store and the merchandise on the road when we traveled.”

Later on, after she divorced, Mirabal decided to go back to school and try another approach to the business world.

“I wanted to open a travel company,” she said. “I love to travel and often make other people’s flight reservations and plan trips for them.”

In the meantime she got a part-time position in what used to be the Grand Bohemian Gallery at El Monte Sagrado. But the director left that very week so Mirabal became a full time employee, acting director and finally gallery owner when Heritage Hotels and Resorts bought the property in 2015.

“I was blessed with a special opportunity when the CEO and friend, Mr. Jim Long, asked me to take the gallery over in November last year,” she said. “It is now called Taos Mountain Gallery and Gift Shop.”

A tri-cultural space

Mirabal’s main goal is to showcase the tri-cultural nature of the local art.

“We have such a rich culture here that I want every visitor to know about it,” she said. “There are so many local treasures! I do, however, represent artists from Washington, California and Florida as well. I am excited to bring forth more of the Native American artists with their paintings, sculptures, glass blowing, and jewelry.”

Among the local artists that the gallery represents are Ed Sandoval, Tom Wheeler, Rich Nichols, Mel Scully, Ira Lujan from Taos Pueblo, Dean Johnson, Kim Trieber, and Taos Leather. She also carries artwork by Tony Jojola from Isleta Pueblo, Arthur Shortbull from Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Amber Beata from San Fransisco, and several Zuni artists.

“We offer unique items with a wide range of prices so there is something for everyone,” Mirabal said. “Now we also have sundries for the resort guests. We carry snacks, cold drinks and even little travel items that people tend to forget.”

The Peruvian connection

Mirabal is a fulltime student at UNM-Taos, majoring in business and Spanish.

“Plus I am a single mother of three amazing and beautiful girls,” she said. “Sometimes, the most difficult thing is finding the time to do everything that needs to be done!”

She also enjoys traveling. Peru is one of her favorite destinations, and the reason she is taking Spanish classes now

“During my next trip to Peru I will have the opportunity to work at the Pisac Inn, located in the Sacred Valley, south of Cusco,” she said. “My two oldest daughters just returned from there. We all love to travel to meet new people, taste new foods and fully participate in other cultures, whether it is their daily life, farming or ceremonies.”

Mirabal carries handmade Peruvian merchandise: a variety of jewelry, artwork and textiles. There is a collection of bright-colored runners than can also double as scarves.

“They make beautiful and practical presents,” Mirabal said. “It’s not too early to start buying graduation and mother’s day gifts!”

Though she works hard juggling work, family, school and business management, Mirabal feels that the long hours she devotes to running the gallery are worthwhile.

“I am proud of what myself and my staff have created here together,” she said. “We all have something to contribute to the gallery. My clients, artists and El Monte Sagrado employees are all wonderful to work with.”

Taos Mountain Gallery and Gift Shop is located inside El Monte Sagrado Resort and Spa at 317 Kit Carson Road

Phone: (575) 737-9840

https://www.facebook.com/taosmtgallery/?fref=ts

Resa Sawyer: giving back to the Earth

Sawyer with goats

Originally published in Taos News

If you haven’t visited yet the Winter Farmers’ Market that takes place every Saturday at the Guadalupe Church Gym, hurry up. It will be there until April 9th and the findings are incredible. There is produce, of course, like fresh pinto beans from Flowerdust Fruit Market, and plenty of sweet delicacies by award-winning baker Alexandra Rose, but there is also artwork, jewelry, organic creams, and so much more.

Being enclosed and smaller, it has a different feel than the summer market: the atmosphere is definitely more intimate, as if you were visiting a friend’s home. Vendors also bring in more fragile items, like painted silks and ceramics, that aren’t always found in the open-air. It is una feria de amigos, a fair created for and by friends.

A nurse and a farmer

One active and colorful table is Resa Sawyer’s, who sells everything from herbal salves and goat-milk honey soaps to fresh eggs and hand-painted silk scarves.

Sawyer was raised in New York and moved to Telluride, Colorado, around 1981.

“Later I settled in northern New Mexico with my daughter Amanda in 1989,” she said. “I became a registered nurse in 1995, which I still do, doing home visits with former uranium miners.”

She also owns a farm in Buena Vista: six and a half acres in the Mora River irrigated by an acequia. The farm is home to over a dozen goats (several ewes are due soon, so there will be many more in the next two weeks) and a hundred hens.

The Middle Aged Spread

The name of the farm, The Middle Aged Spread, came from a play on words.

“I started this new venture when I was about to turn forty and ‘spread’ is a slang term for a farm or ranch,” Sawyer said, “and that term is also a little joke about that little extra waist we get when we hit middle age! Of course, I could have just gotten a red sports car; it would have been easier but nowhere near as interesting.”

She took care of the farm by herself for seven years until her partner, Robert Medina Cook, came along. Medina Cook is a fine-art photographer and a mixed media-artist whose family has been in the Taos area for 400 years.

“It’s really nice to have him around,” Sawyer said.

The perfect recipe

Though she has been gardening and raising chickens for years, Sawyer officially started The Middle Aged Spread about fifteen years ago.

“I added beekeeping and dairy goats to my homestead lifestyle,” she said, “with the conscious objective of recreating a wonderful goat milk soap I had found years earlier in Colorado, but hadn’t been able to find again and had such wonderful effects on my skin, especially since I react strongly to any form of synthetics.”

Sawyer spent many months developing her recipe for the goat milk and honey soap, with the focus being on safe, non-toxic ingredients.

“I never use palm oil or chemical ‘fragrance oils,’ and I produce as many of the ingredients as I possibly can,” she said. “I grow or wild-craft most of my herbs, use milk from my goats, and honey and beeswax from my bees and hives. I like to source as locally as possible.”

Salves and other remedios

Among her other products are herbal salves—herbal blends she has created specifically for various conditions.

“I’ve been using and studying herbs since I was fourteen years old and joined a yoga ashram where I worked in their herb shop,” she said. “Plus I really delved into the local, traditional remedios when I moved here. Hence my soaps have sage and blue corn grown at the Pueblo and trementina and osha from the forests in the area, honoring the local traditions, cultures, and wisdom.”

Among her soaps are “Rosemary and Mint,” “Tea Tree Oil and Lemongrass,” “Oatmeal” and “Biscochito.”

She also makes two kinds of lotion bars: “Lavender” and “Bug Away” for summertime.

“The biggest reward for me is when someone tells me that what I’m doing made a difference in their life,” Sawyer said. “That’s what we’re all here for.”

Eggs, honey and produce

She also sells organically-fed and very free-range chicken eggs. Sawyer has old heritage breeds of chickens, the kind that people used to raise two hundred years ago. They are “antique-kind” of chickens that haven’t been over-bred to just produce eggs.

“My heirloom chickens run where they want,” Sawyer said. “They hatch their chicks and eat bugs—everything they would do in the wild. A lot of modern chickens wouldn’t know how to hatch their own eggs if they ever needed to.”

She also has raw local honey and honeycombs. Sawyer has partnered with Melanie Kirby and Mark Spitzig of Zia Queenbee Company since 2009.

“All of their hives are from local survivor bees,” she said. “This is very important genetics given the difficulties that bees are facing.”

And she sells produce from her garden.

“It will be even larger this year,” she said, “with bedding plants, especially herbs.”

Last but not least are her silk scarves, with bright colors and a soft and light texture. Sawyer, who did a short stint at Parson’s School of Design, customizes the scarves and hand-paints them so no two of them are alike.

Where to buy The Middle Aged Spread products

They are carried in about fourteen stores around New Mexico. In Taos they are available at Taos Herbs, Optimysm, Taos Cookery, the Blumenschein Museum, the Martinez Hacienda, and Sol Food in Arroyo Seco.

“I think that my products are not just a ‘business’ because the bottom line that is most important to me is participating in the creation of a new kind of community where our focus should be collaboration, not competition,” she said. “We are growing a local sustainable economy that supports everyone in a healthy way and gives back to the Earth that supports us all.”

To find out more about Resa Sawyer’s products visit her website http://www.themiddleagedspread.com or email her at themiddleagedspread@yahoo.com

Back to the earth with eggs

 

Red Arrow Emporium moves to Overland 

Tutor 2

Red Arrow Emporium has been a Taos fixture since 2003.

Originally  published in Taos news

The store has recently relocated to a bigger space. Their iconic “red chair in the air” is now at the Overland Sheepskin Ranch.

“One of our wonderful customers came in one day and told us that the big store in Overland was empty and that we belonged there,” said owner Phyllis Tutor-Molineux. “My husband David went to talk to them. And he came back and said, ‘Oh, by the way, I got you that new big building.’ It was so fast that I was a bit surprised but it has been a lot of fun.”

They opened up at the new location the day after Thanksgiving and had over two hundred people in the first day.

“The entire town is talking about us and how our new home is just where we belong,” said owner David Molineux.

“And we agree,” said Tutor. “The expansive new showroom is just perfect to display our merchandise.”

A good place to get married

Phyllis Tutor-Molineux and David Molineux have a long love history with Taos. They came in 1969 and got married here.

“We had heard that during the pioneer days people would stop in Taos because of the Sacred Mountain,” Tutor said, “so we thought that it would be a good place to get married.”

(It has worked for them—they have been married for over four decades.)

They moved to Taos in 1999, from Lighthouse Point, Florida, where they had raised their three children.

“Our daughter Myca now lives here in Taos and is our resident artist,” said Tutor. “She also shows at the restaurant Medley.”

The couple has always been in business for themselves: first in the flooring business (since 1970) and the furniture business since 1996.

“We have a lot of experience,” said Tutor, “but most importantly, we enjoy dealing with people in a daily basis.”

Love of leather

Leather furniture lends a luxurious look to any space. There are timelessly classic dark leather pieces and there are also the vibrant shades and adventurous flashpoints that make a room come alive.

Red Arrow Emporium carries a variety of brands, among them Omnia, known for their handcrafted furniture that uses only 100% top grain leather, and Classic Leather.

“All the Omnia pieces are designed, manufactured and shipped from the United States,” said Molineux.

Specialty: fine American furniture

Other fine furniture lines they carry are American West, King Hickory and Old Hickory.

“Old Hickory Furniture Company was founded in 1899 and their meticulously handcrafted pieces are still very popular,” said Tutor-Molineux.

“We are unique in Taos because we carry a great number of American-made products and we can pretty much get you anything that you are thinking about,” said Molineux. “We have everything from mid-century modern, traditional, industrial, lodge, and urban loft to Southwest.”

Designer services

“Besides that, we help people make their design dreams come true,” Tutor-Molineux said. “Our slogan is ‘If you can dream it, we can make it.’”

Tutor is a professional designer. She attended the University of Miami and Florida Atlantic University and can put together a whole room, from big pieces like sofas and recliners to accent pieces like lamps and paintings.

“Designing is my passion,” she said.

Sofas and beds

They also have chairs, love seats, sectionals, recliners, gliders, swivels, sleepers, and chaises.

Sofas are among the bestsellers.

“Sofa sales have been really brisk this season,” said Molineux. “Our ability to ship around the country has made it possible.”

Sofas are often decorated with pillows and there are plenty to choose from: Southwest designs, flags, flowers, trucks and animals—there is one that portrays a realistic Papillon pooch, inspired by the in-house dog, Bosley.

Pillows were sold in large quantities for the holidays and are still hot items.

“And then there are our newly arrived made-in-New Mexico purses,” Tutor-Molineux said.

They carry a wide range of beds, bedding, custom-made headboards, and Simmons Beautyrest mattresses.

There are also lighting accessories, clocks, tables, belts, and much more. So much that one can easily spend one hour in the store and not see everything.

Building solid relationships

The Red Arrow Emporium owners pride themselves in their high level of customer service. That goes beyond closing a sale—they create long lasting relationships with their clients, who often return to them for more pieces of furniture.

“We have also worked hard over the years to create solid relationships with our vendors,” Molineux said, “to make sure that we have the exclusive in our area and are not diluting the local market. We strive to maintain the very best in customer service and with the most unique design services available to our loyal clients.”

Red Arrow Emporium is located at 1405 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, El Prado (Overland Complex)

Phone: (575) 758-0540.

https://www.facebook.com/Red-Arrow-Emporium-113683837569

Classic Leather chair