All About True West
Carrying on a Legacy of Connecting People to the Southwest
Remember Packard's? The Iconic store that lived on the plaza from 1944 to 2013 and was known not only for the quality of its Native American art and jewelry but also for the integrity with which it handled business?
Good news! True West, which opened in December of 2014, has taken over Packard's legacy, carrying many of the same artists and upholding the business integrity between customers and artists for which Packard's was known. From the plaza on Lincoln Avenue near Marcy Street, the airy new True West gallery hosts a large array of authentic Native American and Western traditional and contemporary jewlery, pottery weavings carvings sculpute and art.
This Is Us
Owners Craig Allen and Lisa Sheridan were formerly associated with Packard's as managers. "We're carrying on the torch," says Sheridan. Packard's legacy as a destination store was built largely on their honesty, the quality of their wares, and the longstanding trust among artists and customers. In the two years since Packard's shuttered their doors, no one has really filled that void.
"Packard's was a longstanding and trusted source," reflects Allen, "We experienced it firsthand, Lisa was part of their management team for seven years, and I came in toward the end."
Of the many artists True West represents, the majority are Native American. "There were a few artists we sought out because we knew about their good quality. We've had a lot of artists seek us out because they've heard how we operate and many of our artists have been referred by other artists. We sit down, look at their work and make sure we're a fit," Allen explains.
He continues, "We have had nothing but positive feedback from our customers. Everybody likes that we have something for everybody, and we have merchandise from $25 to $85,000. A lot of people have been amazed to see so many well known artists in one place. We have some of the best quality available, and a at a fair price."
Allen and Sheridan are meticulous about the stones in the jewelry they carry, and whether they are natural, stabilized or block. "We don't carry any block turquoise." Allen says. "About 95 percent of what we handle is natural, and if it's stabilized we disclose that to the prospective buyer. (Stabilized Turquoise is made more easy to work with and set in jewelry with the aid of an additive such as epoxy, while block Turquoise is essentially reconstituted shards of Turquoise.)
Lisa reflects on True West's quick growth: "I hear from customer after customer when they find out who we are and how they got here that they're thrilled because no one filled the void that Packard's closing left until now. People say it feels like Packard's felt. There's a good vibe. That's been very rewarding."