Article - Simply the Best
Sam Abweh has been a constant force in the Native American jewelry and western fashion trade in New Mexico for 25 years. Beginning his journey in the Native arts center of Gallup, New Mexico, Sam worked in a trading post where he learned the ins and outs of the industry and truly fell in love with the community surrounding the jewelry. In 2011 he opened his first gallery in Santa Fe, where he maintains a storefront on the historic Plaza. Tourists and locals alike flock to the inviting shop, instantly recognizable by its display of signature ads for Cowboys & Indians Magazine. The collaboration between Sam and Studio Seven Productions, who shot and designed the ads, ultimately put Samsville on the map. The shop serves as a wonderful basecamp, but the heart and soul of Samsville lies in being “on the road again,” traveling to stock shows and rodeos as a regular (and popular) vendor. Everyone knows when Sam is at an event because the “booth” that is constructed reflects the adobe walls familiar in Southwest style and culture. Since 1995, the Samsville booth has been a consistent award-winning destination.
“Our goal is to present the Southwest, present Santa Fe, and present the artisans who devote the time and effort of creating our jewelry,” says Sam, whose passion for the artists and customers alike is apparent to anyone. Unapologetically friendly, he bounces from customer to customer ensuring their comfort and offering nuggets of information. “We feel at Samsville we are ambassadors to the art by building the connections between the artists and collectors.”
The year 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic have been a real struggle and a true test for Sam.
With immense restrictions on travel, he and his team attended far fewer shows in 2020 than they would in a “normal” year, which, to Sam was like taking away oxygen. Despite this difficult year, Sam remains upbeat and positive about the future; always refining all aspects of his business. Recently, he has added an online store and an upgraded and active social media presence. With more people staying home, Sam and his creative team have found solutions to bring Samsville into the homes of his growing audience.
Despite the changes and upgrades, Sam remains true to the spirit and culture of the art and artisans he represents. “Our message is to bring simply the best Native American craftsmanship and to promote the tradition.”
And Samsville remains “simply the best.”