Taos Goes To Market

This Thanksgiving Weekend, the inaugural New Mexico Artisan Market will be taking place at Hotel Albuquerque in Old Town.

I will be there to cover the event, along with several Taos based artisans who have been selected to participate. The New Mexico Artisan Market is supported by the New Mexico Mutii-cultural Foundation, and sponsored by Heritage Hotels & Resorts, known for  promoting New Mexico’s culture and heritage throughout its hotels and with its artist collaborations.

Heritage Hotels helped launch the Spanish Market in Albuquerque and Las Cruces for the Spanish Colonial Arts Society (SCAS), and New Mexico’s first concept retail boutique, Spur Line Supply Co., both providing tremendous economic opportunity for artists and artisans.

New Mexico Artisan Market aspires to be yet another endeavor designed to help local artisans continue to create the work that builds on the State’s rich and diverse history, with their craftsmanship and trade skills, thereby authentically preserving the creative cultural heritage that has thrived in New Mexico for generations.

By hosting and supporting this event,Heritage Hotels continues their ongoing mission  expanding and building on our local, creative economy by promoting our homegrown talent.

As mentioned, several artisans from Taos will be in Albuquerque for this exciting event, and I’ve provided a full list of them below this post, with links to their sites, but I decided to focus on three of taoStyle’s favorites –  all of whom have been featured on the blog before – as a preview.

Patricia Michaels of Project Runway fame, who has a long standing relationship with Heritage (she designed all the uniforms worn by the staff at Hotel Chaco), will be at the Market with some of her stunning designs – I’ll feature  Pat later this week in a separate post – as will Jacquelene and Angelo McHorse of Bison Star Naturals. Mike McMannon, founder of Taos Honey will also be in Albuquerque, so I chose these two for today’s post.

Both Bison Star Naturals and Taos Honey were featured here recently on the Cid’s Anniversary post, so I continued with the Q&A theme I began at that time.

Jacquelene responded right away.

1) Hi again Jacquelene and thank you for doing this during a very busy time.  Please tell us a little about your process, making these wonderful botanical blends?

Our product line has been inspired by the beautiful lands of New Mexico, specifically our home town of Taos. We gather our wild plant material all around the Taos valley, which serves as not only as our inspiration for our various scents, but also as a natural exfoliate and dye for bar soap. We mindfully collect these wild plants in a sustainable manner each season and use the herbs and flowers throughout the year. Our family enjoys the time outdoors and we make a day out of the wild harvesting. We like to pack a picnic and head out to pick river mint and wild rose petals along acequias (traditional ditches) or gather sage brush from the boundless high desert plateaus. We use organically, locally, and naturally sourced ingredients to create our line, influenced by the natural beauty from the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge up to the Taos Mountain peaks. Our soaps and lotions are made with love, having those in mind that seek a clean and high quality moisturizer to use daily in this dry desert climate. We take pride to have a lotion as natural as possible without sacrificing the luxurious qualities of lightness, absorption, and non-greasy touch.

2)You were selected by Heritage to be one of the featured artisans at their Market at Hotel Albuquerque over Thanksgiving weekend. How did they hear about your products?

Bison Star Naturals is an up and coming Native American owned company from Taos Pueblo, New Mexico. Since the release of our signature Sage Pine lotion this spring we have been working tirelessly to grow our brand. This past summer, we were featured in The Taos News as well as hosted on KRQE’s New Mexico Living Show. Not only is our lotion silky and moisturizing, it captures the essence of the mountainous desert region in which we call home with its sage and pine needle essential oils. The unique feel to our formulas, that is unlike anything on the current market, and story of humble progression is getting Bison Star noticed around the state and region.

3) You are a Taos based, small business but this event will definitely expose you to a wider audience – what are you hoping to accomplish by participating in the Market?

From our humble roots on the farmers market scene, Bison Star Naturals aspires to become a Nationally recognized brand. We hope to expand our reach and find additional wholesale opportunities through connecting with others from around the state and beyond. Ultimately we aspire to create a suite of liquid body products that can be offered in hotels with an outdoors, southwest or Native focus, such as the Heritage Resorts. Join us on our journey by following us on Instagram @BisonStar.

bisonstarnaturals

I’ve known Mike McMannon for many years. He’s a long time friend of my daughter Genevieve and I’ve watched Taos Honey grow from its humble origins (and Mike’s passion for  beekeeping) into the thriving business it has become.

1) Tell us a bit about how you began Taos Honey Company?

The present incarnation of Taos Honey Company traces its roots back originally, to Questa Honey, which most people up north remember from the 80s and 90s. I started out as an apprentice with one of the beekeepers who moved parts of Questa Honey down to Taos. A few years ago, he wanted to move onto other endeavors, so I took over the honey and beekeeping business.

2) Bees do more than provide us with the sweet and sticky stuff Pooh Bear was addicted to – could you tell my readers a little about the importance of bee keeping in these times?

Honeybees are companion creatures for us humans, not unlike dogs or horses. We have a mutually beneficial relationship with bees, as we participate in agriculture together. Honeybee pollination is crucial to many of our consumable crops. Bees have always been powerful reflectors of the general ecological health and in recent times they’ve prompted us to address many of our agricultural practices. Bees are likely the most studied of all creatures by humans, yet, there’s still so much that we don’t actually know about them, like, exactly how they navigate. Working with and amongst them, I learn new things every day.

3) When did Heritage approach you about participating in this event, and what will you be featuring in Albuquerque?

One of their charming operatives approached us at our booth at the Taos Farmers market and we signed up immediately. We will be sampling and selling our newest organic Cbd-cannabis infused raw honey as well as our standard raw amber and raw whipped honey from northern New Mexico.

taoshoney

There are, as I already mentioned, several others from Taos participating in the Market, and I’ll be writing about all of them this weekend. The full list of Taos Artisans selected to participate in this event appears below. You might want to bookmark their sites for your Holiday shopping!

Taos Bee Flower, Bison Star NaturalsWannamaker PotteryLyricism JewelryWhite Flower Photography, Taos Honey Company and Lana Dura.

For more on the event to be held this coming weekend at Hotel Albuquerque, please visit the sites linked below.

nmartisanmarket

hotelalbuquerque

 

All images thanks to Bison Star Naturals and Taos Honey. Image of Taos Mountain, Stock Files

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