Internationally renowned for its exquisite collection of Native American jewelry and art, Hoel’s Indian Shop in picturesque Oak Creek Canyon marks its 75th anniversary this year.
Founders Don and Nita Hoel relocated to the canyon from Phoenix in 1945. They purchased a cabin resort where they operated an onsite general store with a room devoted to the Native American art that Don traded for and sold to supplement his family’s income from the cabin rentals. Thirty years later, the couple built a home up the road from the resort and set aside a room for the art gallery. Today, the shop is under the helm of Don and Nita’s grandson, Dave Watters, and his wife, Carol.
Hoel’s has a reputation for offering an authentic and impeccable selection of traditional and contemporary Native American jewelry, weavings, rugs, baskets, fetishes, katsinas, fine art and pottery, primarily from the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni nations. Among local Native Americans, Don Hoel was known for treating artists with respect and paying fair wages for their work. The Watters feel strongly about continuing this legacy. (Don Hoel passed away in 1983 and Nita died in 1998.)
“Carol and I have a profound appreciation for southwestern art and Native American craftsmen,” says Dave Watters. “We have relationships with all of our artists, and sometimes that includes two or three generations within the same family. It has been an honor for my family to be entrusted with sharing Native American culture and traditions with our clients for the past 75 years.”
Located 10 miles north of Sedona and 20 miles south of Flagstaff, the shop is still situated in the same home that Don and Nita built 40-plus years ago. Seasoned and novice collectors alike will receive an education from the Watters about the stones, metals, artists, tribes and traditions found inside the four walls. It’s an intimate experience exactly the same as the one Don and Nita offered travelers 75 years ago.
Hoel’s Indian Shop is located at 9589 N. State Route 89A in Oak Creek Canyon. For more information, call 928-282-3925 or visit HoelsIndianShop.com.