Trading Post Times
On to Scottsdale, Arizona
Having just one little store in East Dundee, Illinois just wasn’t enough.
In 2004, River Trading Post opened shop in Scottsdale, Arizona. Our startup was in the oldest
house in Scottsdale, on 1st Avenue. Five years later, we built a brand new Scottsdale gallery,
from scratch, over on Main Street, right in the heart of the Scottsdale arts district. Folks have
told us that it the finest gallery in Scottsdale (Indian Art or otherwise.)
The March to Santa Fe, New Mexico
In 2006, we discovered a wonderful old Adobe House on Santa Fe’s famed Can-
yon Road, and decided that it would make a great place for the third River Trad-
ing Post gallery. We love this old place that sits right in the heart of the Santa
Fe art market.
River Trading Post in Santa Fe always wins our annual
Best River Trading Post
That is due to the fact that River Trading Post in Chicagoland
and in Scottsdale do not have gardens.
Building River Trading Post...
One of the great things in life is having really great, fun people
around who enjoy working with our collectors and with our art-
ists. Three people in particular built River Trading Post into one
of America’s top Native American art galleries.
Kathi Ouellet, one of the top experts in the field of Pueblo Pottery,
built River Trading Post, Scottsdale into perhaps the finest gallery
in the city. Julie Brush, who managed a Native American mu-
seum in the Chicago area, transformed our Santa Fe adobe house
into a spectacular gallery. (Sadly her life was cut short one year
ago.) Joe Zeller started the whole thing 10 years ago after he re-
tired from the advertising business.
...With Guidance From Our Mentors
We had some great guidance in the early days. Russell Foutz, a
gritty old Indian trader from way back, spent hours with us offer-
ing some sage advice. He told us early on, “There is no way you
are going to make any money doing this.” Russell was right on.
Jon Bonnell, owner of the famed
, is considered our
Guardian Angel. He cared about us, held our hands and we
learned a lot from Jon along the way. Jon taught us that we had to
have a sense of humor, and not to take ourselves too seriously as
he watched out for us.
We lost both of these great teachers a while back now.
The River Trading Post Builders. Kathi
Ouellet, Julie Brush and Joe Zeller
Russell Foutz was an old time Indian
Trader, having owned trading posts
throughout the Navajo Reservation. He is
legendary, indeed a historic man.
Jon Benson Bonnell attended many one
room schoolhouses on the Navajo Reser-
vation. He had a way of encouraging
craftsmen and collectors in the field of
Native American Arts. Jon looked over our
shoulder in Scottsdale to make sure that
everything was OK.