Time To Shop - Santa Fe Style

S H O P P I N G   I N   S A N T A    F E

B E A U T I F U L &
W O N D E R F U L L Y   E C L E C T I C

Photos by C. Whitney-Ward

Indeed, everything at CASA NOVA at the Railyard is a feast for the senses, hand-picked by owner Natalie Fitz-Gerald who has perfect pitch when
it comes to aesthetics.

Her vision was to fill her dream space with everything that delighted her senses, and when you step inside, you know that Natalie delights in color, texture, old/new Africa, and bold, beautiful and eclectic designs from around the world.
And this wonderful, vibrant mix works. How does she do it?

"I love taking things out of context - from so many cultures - and re-contextualising it. I call it a fusion of art, culture and living."

Natalie's decorating advice? "If your decorating a room, build it around one piece that you love. Trust your instincts. If you do, each piece that you add to the room will work with all the others. You are the common denominator."

And, Casa Nova is committed to supporting and nurturing local African artists, craftspeople and designers, collaborating with artist cooperatives on design, product development and marketing. The goal is to assist with innovation while respecting the rich and diverse traditional cultures and techniques.

CASA NOVA by Natalie
At the Railyard
530 S. Guadalupe St.
Santa Fe, NM



C O W B O Y   U P   I N   S T Y L E!

If you mosey down Ortiz St. - just behind the Hotel St. Francis and Inn of the Governors, you'll find THE HATSMITH. Step inside and you'll be greeted by JD Noble, sporting one of his custom, handcrafted fur-felt hats and lookin' pure cowboy.

Photos by C. Whitney-Ward

JD  and partners Art & Fran Sundheim opened the shop two years ago and although it's the new kid on the block,  the workmanship and ethic is Old Santa Fe.

S O M E   O F   T H E   B E A U T I E S

Intricate hand-beading by Artist Gayle Green turns a
custom hat into a work of art.

And then there are the exquisite silver hatbands by legendary silversmith Jimmy Begay Jr., who dropped by to model  his latest concho bands.

All JD's hats are custom built to fit a client's head and the process is fascinating.
The 'star' of the show is his coveted 1880's CONFORMATEUR - originally
used by the French to make wigs.

This beautifully-made instrument is placed on a clients head allowing sixty ebony ribs to push out, forming the circumference of the client's head.  A small white card, slipped into the lid, records the exact shape of the head.


"You curve and create lines that are pleasing to the eye," explains JD.

He steams the hat to loosen the sizing and then shapes the crown and irons the rim.

"When it dries," says JD, "it will have a memory for the crease and it will
 hold its shape perfectly."

Then the paper template is inserted into another antique instrument -

Wooden pegs are pushed against the edge of the template and the
 shape is locked with a built-in vice

The flip side of the formillion is placed into the hat and shaping and
adjustments made to create a perfect fit.

"It satisfies all my creative needs," notes JD, who wanted to be a sculptor and ended up  'sculpting' hats." It makes people happy when you place a perfectly-fitting hat on their head."

T H E   H A T S M I T H
228 Ortiz Street - Santa Fe, NM

Tell them Chasing sent you...


S O M E   O F   T H E   B E A U T I E S


They live in Galisteo, New Mexico, were they restored and furnished  an  amazing adobe house filled with antiques culled from their travels and their passion for collecting. That done they opened a wonderful antiques and interiors shop - HOUSE OF ANCESTORS - in Santa Fe showcasing authentic Early American, Southwest and Central American finds. 

Jim's parents were antique dealers and he remembers hanging on every word when  their dealer friends  would talk shop. "I was eight and would absorb everything like a sponge," he remembers. He opened his Early American and Shaker furniture business in Hudson, New York and met Theresa when she walked into his shop one day. "I collected French antiques," says Theresa, "but I was restoring a house and needed some architectural pieces."  They've combined their considerable talents and  travel extensively, hand-picking  each piece of antique furniture, ceramics, devotional art and folk art.   So when you walk into their shop, every table,  chair or bowl has a  wonderful story.

Photography & Text by C. Whitney-Ward


Behind Kaune's Market on Old SF Trail


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