Amid a display of individual tiles with horses, cards with dragonflies and small ceramic Nevada-shaped creations, Archuleta-Henderson displayed her talent at Mir Mir’s Café in the Washoe County Complex on Wednesday. Hers was the first of several companies to showcase their products at the café on Wednesdays.
The vendor who operates Mir Mir’s Café, Carol Ewing, is extending the invitation to local artists and retailers on behalf of Made in Nevada, an association of businesses that promote items produced in the Silver State. The association achieved nonprofit status in July and is intended to create local jobs and spur the Nevada economy among domestic and international markets.
“I love the state,” Ewing said. “I like to promote those people who are entrepreneurs, think for themselves and think outside the box.”
Ewing lost her sight 18 years ago at about age 50 from a degenerative condition. She became a transcriber of Braille, a career that lasted for 15 years. In the process she also became the first blind person in Clark County to be hired to support the blind.
Two years ago, she decided to try her hand at restaurants and won a contract for providing staff and food products for Washoe County’s Mir Mir’s café and two other delis, one in Carson City and one for the Nevada Department of Transportation. She now opens her doors to retailers and artists to show their workmanship to her lunch patrons.
Ewing has an appreciation for all of Nevada’s landscape, which is why Made in Nevada appeals to her. She moved here from Tennessee in 1968.
Three years ago, she joined the Business Enterprise of Nevada, a program of the Nevada Bureau of Services to the Blind and Visually Impaired.
“Some people who have only been to Las Vegas think that (Las Vegas) is Nevada,” she said. “They have no idea about Tonopah or Goldfield or Tahoe. They never get past the desert.”
Archuleta-Henderson appreciated the opportunity to show her works through Ewing.
“My (art) professor said, ‘Anyone can draw, but it’s the ideas that make an artist valuable,’ ” she said, adding that she, too, is an admirer of the state.
Lynette Castillo, a founding board member, said Made in Nevada was formed about 20 years ago, starting off with mostly manufacturing companies and products, but it has since grown to retail and gift items. What started off with one or two people now has 120 members, Castillo said.
“I believe in Nevada,” Castillo said. “We want to do anything we can to make Nevada be known.”
Next Wednesday, Ewing will have Brandon Boyer’s Tiffinbox sandwiches at Mir Mir’s Café. Future guests will also include Tahoe Creamery and Centered Films, a Reno-based video production company.
“I live here and I have a child who was raised here,” she said. “To me, it’s important to see the good side of what Nevada has to offer.”
For more information about Made in Nevada, call 315-5718 or visit www.madeinnv.com. For details on the showcase of future vendors at Mir Mir’s Café, call 324-7373.