Verna and Franklin Tahe


Mathew Shepardson: Hi everyone, I’m here with Verna and Franklin Tahe, from Gallup NM. And we’re going to check out some there jewelry today.

Verna Tahe: My name is Verna Tahe. I’m Navajo. My clan is-

We’ve been married for 38 years, we met in high school. We have four children, three girls and one boy, and five grandkids.

The work that we do, it comes from my husband’s late grandfather. That’s where this “Tahe” style came from. So we’ve been into this business, making silver bracelets, gold fill, really everything.

But once silver went up (in 2009), we started getting into copper and three tone bracelets; Copper, nickel, and brass. We’ve been doing that to support ourselves and to do something different, that’s not too expensive, that everyone can afford.

This braided bracelet is our number one seller, it’s all handmade. Mr. Tahe is the one that braids it, even though it gives him blisters. We do bracelets, rings, neckbars.

MS: Was your mom a rug weaver?

Franklin Tahe: My mom was rug weaver. I used to help her make the design. I used to even help her make the colors and collect the wool.

MS: I can see some of that rug weaving back round there.

Your name is famous. Basically anywhere I go in the industry, with everyone else’s stuff, there’s always a Tahe bracelet, with the stamp “Tahe.”

VT: One time we met this woman and her daughter. Without even telling her our name, she saw our bracelet and was overwhelmed. (She said) “I can’t believe you are the Tahe’s. I always wanted to meet you. I always wanted to know who you were.” She enjoyed it (the bracelet), she loved it. She was so glad to meet us, to know where it was coming from.  We were known by our bracelet and our name. It’s what’s taken us this far. I don’t mind meeting new people, taking our time, and doing business because this is the income we have that we have. That raised our kids and ourselves.

VT: I think the one thing about this business is, of course it’s about the money but it’s not only that. It’s knowing the fact you work from home, you’re your own boss. It’s not easy, if you don’t work one day, you don’t get any money for that day. So that where you have to be really disciplined, and how to really push yourselves more to make it, to enjoy it, to love it. And I love it. To make the bracelets look nice, and at the right price, and not undercutting ourselves. It’s a lot of work. We put our heart and our mind to make one bracelet so that other people can enjoy it.