ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After 42 years of business, the owner of Skip Maisel’s Indian Jewelry & Crafts is retiring and closing down his iconic store on Central in the heart of Downtown.
Skip Maisel, who spent the better part of the ‘70s traveling to the area’s pueblos to fill his store with authentic Native American items, said he is ready to give it up and devote his time to raising horses.
Maisel said he has already sold the store, but he did not disclose the sale price or the buyer.
Except for a few rare items, all of the inventory has been marked down to 50 percent off. But he said he is in no hurry to close and has until December to get rid of everything.
“Whoever takes over the building, if they want to start a jewelry business like mine they are going to have to start from scratch because I am taking everything that’s not sold when I finally close the doors,” Maisel said.
The departure will be bittersweet for Maisel, whose family has ties to the building at Fifth and Central.
“My grandfather built this store in 1939, and after it passed through a few family members, I bought it,” he said. “It was kind of empty at first, so we pushed the shelving up front. The inventory began to grow a little each time after I would go out on the road.”
Masiel said it took him nearly six years to fill the store all the way to the back wall with products.
“I would go knocking on doors at the reservations to find out who might have some jewelry or something for sale,” he said. “I would go there and pick some items up and start knocking on more doors. I picked up some really interesting merchandise in those days.”
Maisel said he already has sold off a lot of his items.
“I still have a lot of customers come in the store on a daily basis and tell me their concern about the store’s closing … but I feel its time for me to move on to do something else with my remaining years,” Maisel said.