From the moment you walk through the door of Richardson’s Trading Company you’re in for a sensory treat. Displays of painted kachina dolls, bright weavings, feathered headdresses, burnished pots and relics from a pioneer past stir your imagination. As you make your way down the aisles, the creak of oak floors follows your steps and the scent of sheepskin and old saddles fills your senses.
Pause for a moment and take it all in.
Then, allow yourself ample time to admire the expansive cases of old pawn and contemporary Native American jewelry; row upon row of concho belts, bracelets, rings, coral strands and turquoise beads in sky blue and ocean colors. Try on a 1930′s silver squash blossom necklace with lustrous sheen, or a delicate Zuni needlepoint choker from an up and coming artist. With almost one hundred years of trading history behind it, Richardsons has it all.
Continue further to the back pawn counter and there you’ll feel the pulse of the store. Peek into the immense vault of heirloom treasure, items held for safekeeping and those waiting to be redeemed, all part of a time-honored system of finance and trade.
Relax for a while on one of the wooden benches and watch the stream of people passing by. You’ll hear animated conversation in many voices, as Richardsons attracts visitors from around the world.
When you’re ready for a different scene, ask one of the friendly and knowledgeable salespeople to take you into the rug room. Be prepared to be awed. With over three thousand authentic, handwoven Navajo rugs to choose from, you’re sure to find one you love. Whether you’re drawn to 19th century Chief Blankets with deep indigo and red cochineal dyes, JB Moore Crystal patterns in soft churro wool, or the finest tapestry weaves of Two Grey Hills, Richardsons has the perfect match for you.
The rug room also houses an impressive collection of antique Native American baskets. Tightly woven Apache Ollas, aged in rich brown hues, golden Navajo Wedding baskets flecked with sacred corn, colorful Hopi plaques and Tohono O’odham trays add beauty and spirit to the room.
Continue with a stroll into the fine art and museum galleries of the store. From bold acrylics depicting ceremonial dancers to subdued watercolor landscapes, from horse drawn buggies to standing buffaloes, you’ll see numerous pieces that attract your eye.
Finally, at the end of your Richardsons stay, take a minute and pause again, appreciating the fact that you’ve just had a taste of something rare; the flavor of a unique people with a historic past, a one-of-a-kind experience in a one-of-a-kind store.