More than a store

Buy a yarn or spin one at one-stop shop for weavers

Navajo Times | Ravonelle Yazzie
Mary Walker, owner of Weaving in Beauty, assists a couple of customers looking for wool to buy on March 1 in downtown Gallup.

GALLUP

The first thought you have upon entering Weaving in Beauty is, Why didn’t anyone think of this before?

That had certainly occurred to owner Mary Walker, who had waited for years for a one-stop shop for weavers and finally decided to just open one herself.

“The silversmiths have their supply places,” Walker reasoned. “The beaders have plenty of places to go. There wasn’t anybody who was here for the weavers.”

“Here for the weavers” might be Walker’s own motto. She first got interested — “infatuated” is her word — in Navajo weaving as a college student working at FedMart in Tempe. “They had a FedMart in Window Rock at that time,” she explained, “so they would sometimes send me up here.”

At that time, there were plenty of people still making a living with their looms, and beautiful rugs and blankets were everywhere. “I started pestering everybody I could find who knew anything about it,” she recalled. “That led me to fixing rugs, and that led me to appraisal.”

Pretty soon, Walker was the one people were pestering if they wanted to know something about weaving.

Over the years, as the craft started to disappear, Walker recruited expert weavers to teach others at weeklong workshops at the Quality Inn and other venues. Her Weaving in Beauty company also offered rug repair and appraisal, and sold some supplies on the internet. All this time, Walker was living in Tempe and commuting to the reservation whenever she got the chance. Then, last year, a shop on Gallup’s bustling Coal Street came up for sale. “My husband and I took a look and I thought, ‘This is our space!’” Walker recalled.


 To read the full article, pick up your copy of the Navajo Times at your nearest newsstand Thursday mornings!

  Find newsstand locations at this link.

Or, subscribe via mail or online here.




Categories: Culture

About Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at editor@navajotimes.com.