Navajo Spirit Builds on Deep Roots

Since 1984, Navajo Spirit Southwestern Wear has been creating and selling Native American-inspired clothing and craft items through retailers, gift catalogs, online sales and Indian art fairs. Today, eighty percent of revenue is generated from its retail shop in historic downtown Gallup, where eight employees cut and sew garments designed by artist Virginia Yazzie Ballenger.

One popular product is the Native American graduation gown, which the company makes from Pendleton blankets. When blanket remnants began to accumulate, MEP guided owners and workers through Value Stream Mapping. The result was new and distinct products such as tablet covers, makeup bags and golf club covers. These employee-inspired items are generating worker satisfaction and new revenue for the company.

With MEP’s help, Navajo Spirit is also integrating technology and automation with processes that have served the company for almost four decades. “We are making huge strides,” said general manager Carl Ballenger.

With new technology, Navajo Spirit has increased production 18 percent. Its renewed confidence has seen overall sales increase by 20 percent.

“With the valuable assistance of MEP staff, we have been led to our future with new life, prepared for growth.” Carl Ballenger, General Manager