Young Diné entrepreneur shows how ABQ is good for business

Special to the Times | Colleen Keane Native American business owner Adam Billie stands behind his six-color screen print press at Ultimate Reality Designs in Albuquerque.

Special to the Times | Colleen Keane
Native American business owner Adam Billie stands behind his six-color screen print press at Ultimate Reality Designs in Albuquerque.

ALBUQUERQUE

At most print shops, it’s business as usual – customers go in, order products like custom designed T-shirts and posters and leave as fast as they entered. That’s not the case at Ultimate Reality Designs, one of the few Native American-owned screen printing businesses in the city.

Here, owner Adam Billie, Diné, has created an environment where customers are treated like family and good friends.

“I want customers to come in, hang out and call me every day to see if their shirts are ready because they’re excited to see them. I think that’s why people keep coming back,” he said.

To help customers feel comfortable as soon as they walk into his shop, there’s an inviting large overstuffed sofa for them to relax in as they talk about their orders.

“We probably are the only print shop ever to have a sofa,” said Billie.

Billie, 27, opened Ultimate Reality Designs last September. The name was inspired by a philosophy class he took while he was a student at the Institute for American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, N.M.

Ultimate reality refers to something that has fundamental power, which Billie’s company seems to have plenty of.

In the short eight months since the shop opened, Billie said that business is so good he needs to move to a larger space and hire more staff. Right now, he has one staff member.

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Categories: Business