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Cal Nez Design - News Article - Indian Country Today


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Cal Nez Design - News Article - Indian Country Today

  1. 1. Navajo designer captures magazine coverPosted: November 08, 2005 / /by: Brenda Norrell / Indian Country TodaySALT LAKE CITY - Cal Nez, Navajo owner and founder of Cal Nez Designs, isfeatured on the cover of the October issue of Utah Business magazine as an Ameri-can Indian businessman who has relied on the excellence of his work, and non-In-dian business contracts, to excel in his graphic design and advertising agency. ‘’With 85,000 businesses in the state of Utah, to be able to be the poster boy, orcover information, on Utah Business magazine is really quite an honor,’’ Nez toldIndian Country Today. ‘’I hope it brings motivation to Native Americans; I hope they say, ‘If Cal Nez cando it, I can do it.’’’ Nez said the secret to excelling in business is believing in oneself and maintain-ing one’s determination, regardless of the amount of effort needed or the number oftimes one must start again.‘’Keep going and keep going until you make it work.’’ Nez also encouraged American Indian tribes to initiate and support efforts for Na-tive young people to become involved in entrepreneurships. ‘’They can literally change the economy. Small businesses can become the ‘back-bone of Indian country.’’’ Nez is originally from Tocito, N.M. His grandparents, the late Bitonie and MaryB. Nez, raised him. He spoke only Navajo until he entered BIA boarding school innearby Sanostee, N.M.Today, operating his own business in Salt Lake City, Nez said he takes pride inbridging the gap between cultures and recognizes the support and help of his wife,Yolanda, and their three children. The cover story in Utah Business is ‘’The Minority Report: Ethnic Communities Offer Cultural Capital,’’ by Jenie Skoyand Tabitha Thompson. Nez told the magazine that his grandparents taught him self-reliance and offered him his first opportunity at businesswhen they gave him a herd of sheep to tend at the age of 12. The lessons Nez learned as a sheepherder carried over intohis current business, where he produces brochures, exhibits, advertisements and illustrations for books and posters. ‘’The Navajo people do not realize that we already know business: we have rug weavers, craftspeople, stockmen andstockwomen, who already know the meaning of business,’’ Nez told ICT.‘’We’re already there.’’ Nez said his message to aspiring young Native business people is: ‘’We need you; we absolutely need you. It would begreat to have young blood.’’Cal Nez Designs, in operation for 19 years, relies on diverse clients, ranging from the Navajo Nation to the KlamathTribe, AT&T, Smithsonian Institute, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Republican Party, MikeLeavitt for Governor Campaign, O.C. Tanner and Utah Winter Olympics. ‘’I helped bring a whole new philosophy to the Navajo Nation; I changed the direction, design, print quality and integ-rity,’’ Nez told Utah Business. Now, Nez’s business is one of about 500 Navajo-owned businesses, according to the Navajo Nation. However, it isamong a handful of Navajo-owned businesses that have existed more than a decade. Nez pointed out that the artwork in his designs is original. Expressing his philosophy, he said that if one looks closely athis work, ‘’you will begin to touch his soul and understand what he means by cross-cultural communication.’’ Nez said he strives to reflect Navajo philosophy in his work, including the beauty way. The Navajo prayer, and way of be-ing, says: ‘’May there be beauty before us. May there be beauty behind us. May there be beauty above and below us. Maythere be beauty all around us.’’  By using this service, you accept the our Terms of Use and Privacy Statement.© 1998 - 2005 Indian Country Today. All Rights Reserved