We had the good fortune of connecting with Marco Arviso and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marco, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
Sometimes I ask myself this every few months. And Ive learned through the years that in making any kind of choice I always go back to something ive heard and followed. “You have to know what you stand for.” So I sat down one day and wrote all my “core Values”. Some are: Treat people how you would want to be treated. Sharing our Native Traditions and Teachings Honoring our Mother Earth Ending Sexism, Homophobia and Transphobia Awareness of T’e’e’i (Poverty) Working to Promote and Empower other Native Businesses among others. And I look at this list and think, well if I am living by my core values and not compromising myself, then I am living My American Dream. so the choice, any choice becomes easier to make.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The Jewelry I design tells a story. And that story is one of passing down knowledge though my Dine culture in which I try my best to keep up with and practice. I am Navajo so the jewelry I make is Navajo. But it is not your standard Turquoise and silver. Most of my people have those pieces of beautiful heirloom pieces. The heavy silver bracelets and Concho belts. The strands of turquoise heshi. And they wear them proudly to ceremony, graduations, weddings and other special occasions. But I noticed that there was a gap for something that was more edgy for the woman who has the traditional jewelry heirlooms but wants something a little more striking that can pair with her designer clothing, International business trips, or fighting for water rights in a protest, but still maintains that touch of where they come from and what they believe in.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If this was pre-covid. Well for sure I would take them hiking down Canyon de Chelly. A beautiful canyon full of inspiration. Smaller and lesser known than the Grand Canyon but way more intimae and striking. We could go camping and if it is summer, pick fruit from the orchards. Then we would travel to Gallup for the flea market on Saturday. A huge market full of over 100 vendors with handcrafted art items ranging from clothing to jewelry and culinary delicacies like Navajo Blood sausage to lamb ribs with blue corn dumplings. Then we would take a road trip North to Page, AZ and visit Lake Powel and camp on the beach! The next day we could head to the Monument Valley and see the scenery of the ancient monoliths. All the while taking tons of photos. There is so much natural beauty on the Navajo Reservation. And lastly we would visit my family. My family are so funny especially if there is a gathering, ceremony or other event, We would cook, tell stories and knowing my crazy sisters there would be plenty of laughter.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
If I am going to be honest, it would be the TV show, The Profit. It is a great show about a business man, Marcus Lemonis, who invests his money in struggling small businesses. I have learned so much from his show philosophy of working on the three P’s. People, Product, and the Process. So thank you so much if you ever read this!