by Jim Williamson, Owner
I grew up in New Mexiso, my dad would take the family on vacations to visit some "Army buddies" in some of the Pueblos North of Albuquerque and I worked in the Taos area through my college summers. I fell in love with the Native jewelry and art of New Mexco. I wanted to bring what I loved to Austin.
I decided to quit my real job and open a store.
So with very little money the Turquoise Trading Post was opened August 1, 1994. The idea was to develop it into a quality store offering only Native American jewelry, Pueblo pottery, Zuni fetish carvings, Navajo kachinas, and a variety of southwest accent pieces. While there are many Native American tribes across the country the only ones we represent are from Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. Within those three states there are over 30 differentNative Tribes or Nations. The inventory has evolved over the years but our focus has always been bringing some the best Native American jewelry, arts and crafts to Texas.
The first location was 6005 Burnet Road @ Koenig with 1,100 sq ft. After three years the store moved to 6009 Burnet Road with 1,800 sq ft. Now after 5 years the store will move to 6103 Burnet Road in November 2002 with a new 3,600 sq ft location. The Burnet Road and Koenig location was chosen for its central Austin location. With customers from all central Texas and of every Zip Code in Austin it’s proven to be a great location for a one of a kind shop. There are no plans for another store. This last expansion should last for many years.
All of the jewelry, pottery, baskets, fetish carvings and kachinas are Native American and are all hand made. Many other items in the store are also hand made. We do carry imported items like candleholders, lamps, and decorative items. We’ve always tried to find local craftsman as well as items made across the USA that have Native American or Southwest theme.
The jewelry is the main merchandise in the store. We buy across New Mexico and Arizona. The jewelry is all handmade Navajo, Zuni, Hopi, and Santa Domingo. We have the largest selection of Native American jewelry in Texas. We also have the largest selection of Zuni fetish carvings in Texas.
Over the years we’ve had several Zuni fetish carvers, Cherokee and Acoma potters, Jamez storyteller makers, flute makers, wood carvers, canvas artists, and others show and demonstrate making their wares.
We have thousands of customers across the country. The TTP has been a lot of fun for me. If you're just finding our store I hope you stop by and let us show you around to get aquainted and become one of wonderful customers.