Local jewelry company collaborating with Native American artisans

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local company is seeing great growth after only a few years in business. It sells high-end jewelry but it’s doing much more than providing women’s fashion.

Syndey Alfonso is still settling into her new showroom downtown.She founded Etkie just three years ago.

“Etkie is a jewelry company that collaborates with Native American artisans in New Mexico,” she said.

Her background includes working with women’s cooperatives abroad.

“So when I returned home, I just realized that there was such amazing talent in my own backyard,” she explained.

Etkie means ‘impact’ in Turkish. Alfonso says she wanted to find a way to empower Native American women to use their craft and be “able to promote that in a way that elevates it and really enables families to earn an income and a living wage from the quality products that they produce.”

Etkie began with a single artisan. Now, about ten women are involved. Some are mothers and daughters.

They hand-make high-end bead-work cuffs that are being sold in 100 stores around the globe.

“There’s data that suggests that if you invest in a woman, she invests into her community,” Alfonso said.

She explained that she recognized the importance of family and community responsibilities.

“Having a business that enables women to create the kind of flexibility that they need in their life is the very core to our business model,” she said.

The jewelry is pricey, but Alfonso says it is part of a growing ethical fashion trend and helping Native American women behind the product to support their families.

“We don’t have the answers but all we can do is provide an opportunity through business to enable extremely talented individuals to thrive.”

The Etkie showroom is located on 4th Street near Summer.

The grand opening is this week. Customers will be able to see the artisans at work and check out the product by appointment only

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