The Square “Only In Albuquerque: Rooted” series highlights five Indigenous-owned businesses and explores how culture and heritage shape each entrepreneur’s work.
For these entrepreneurs, their businesses offer opportunities to engage with their communities and drive progress.
Read on about these mission-driven New Mexico locals as they share their stories — and learn about the tools they rely on to save time and grow their reach.
Note: Businesses were compensated for their participation.
Lynnette Haozous Art
Lynnette Haozous is an artist whose murals across Albuquerque and other cities tell the story of her people.
“That’s putting my medicine out there and sharing. We need people to be proud of where they come from. We need our culture to survive … We hold that power now, to create our future, to have us still living and still thriving, no longer just surviving.” — Lynnette Haozous
“It’s so easy to be able to just pop up with my art and sell to people like that. You know, I don’t need any place to go to sell my art. I don’t need an official store. I can just go. And wherever I’m at, when I’m going into my communities especially, I can go to them and I can sell to them and I can bring the product to them so easily. I don’t have to be regulated to just one space. It’s so convenient and accessible. I thought that would be the best fit for me and it’s working out really great.
Since I’ve gotten Square, I’ve been able to expand online. I’ve been able to sell my products nationwide now, which is really amazing to have, you know, just my Indigenous representation going out to the world and it’s been really fun to be able to just have a website that showcases my work and people can easily shop online.”
More: Square has POS hardware and equipment for every business type. Get started here.
Sage Mountainflower is a beadwork artist and Indigenous fashion designer.
“To be able to be a fashion designer not only is it my future, it’s creating a future for my kids. I was always proud of who I am. I wanted my kids to be proud of who they are and always wear that with pride.” — Sage Mountainflower
“I needed to get in this fashion show that I’d been eyeing for a while, but they had all these little requirements. And I wasn’t there yet as a as a business. I had to create a website, and Square made it very easy to do that. I was able to do it on my own and make it what I wanted with my own story on there.
Getting my work out there and being able to sell it online and not having to use the cash all the time, it’s just that much easier to be able to to either type in the credit card information or to use the the tap and pay.”
More: Build a free eCommerce website with Square Online
Native Guitars Tour
Jir Anderson founded Native Guitars Tour in 2007 to provide performance opportunities for Indigenous artists in Albuquerque and beyond.
“The person I am is because of everybody around me. Even though you could say I founded Native Guitars Tour, it’s put in front of me by the community to support Native artists.” — Jir Anderson
“If you’re in the music profession and you want to do this as a business, you need to have the right tools. You’ve got to get them somewhere. And why not get them from a place that is able to relate to what you’re doing and has an interest and a buy-in to what you’re doing? The people at Square have done that with us.
We have to set up storefronts for natives that may be in rural communities that don’t have a brick-and-mortar storefront but want that virtual store. So it gives people a lot of access to what we have to offer. It gives us access to give people access to native Americana music.”
Ts’uyya Farm and Reyna Banteah feed the Albuquerque community using her people’s traditional farming methods.
“There’s a sacredness of eating the foods you grow. The more you take the time to slow down, plant your own food and grow it, and save the seeds — that whole process is the way we heal.” — Reyna Banteah
“I don’t tend to like to do too much computer stuff, but when I do have to update inventory and do all those little things — I actually enjoy that process. And I have so many hats to wear on a daily basis. I think that the ease of use and how I can have everything in one place and not worry about separate tools for shipping — there are so many things that go into running the technical side of a business and Square just helps make it a little bit easier to navigate.”
More: Get inventory tracking, daily stock alerts, and downloadable reports with Square
Red Planet Books & Comics
Aaron Cuffee and Dr. Lee Francis own and operate Red Planet Books & Comics, the only Indigenous-owned comic store in Albuquerque and on Earth.
“I will not accept the idea that within American pop culture, Indigenous culture gets to be just left behind. That’s impossible — we’re still here. The story is still going.” — Aaron Cuffee
“Square helped our business grow because it helped to merge our point of sale and our eCommerce inventory tracking in a way that I don’t think we ever understood we’d have to deal with. We didn’t know we were going to be a brick-and-mortar retail shop or that we were going to do the volume that we do through our website and Square. It helped us really get an understanding of that, as well as seamlessly integrating different parts of our business, and helped us grow because we could sell things great.
Prior to the pandemic, we did a lot of events. We went to comic conventions and sci-fi conventions and library conventions and things like that to sell our books. And it was as simple as just picking up our iPad point of sale from the store and taking it to whatever venue we were going to and didn’t have to change anything. Our inventory tracking and control was right there. Our credit card processing worked exactly the same. Nothing needed to change. It made life really simple.”