Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Brian Brigham

Honored October, 2011

Brian Brigham

Brian Brigham has given Santa Fe his welcoming business spirit and friendly expertise for 40 years. His business, Piñon Fast Print, is the smallest independent print shop in Santa Fe, achieving consistently high-quality printing results. Through the many newsletters, brochures, and business cards displayed, it is clear why Brian’s shop has been described as a cross-section of the heart of Santa Fe.

Born in Detroit, Brian’s first experience of Santa Fe was in 1949, when his family lived here briefly. His family moved many times in the first 21 years of his life, so Brian learned to take care of himself, to have patience and persistence. He attended Dartmouth College, majoring in government; then served four years in the U.S. Navy in Morocco. When he returned, Brian entered the public relations field in Washington D.C., representing life insurance companies and machine tool fitters.

That work didn’t suit Brian very well—he had to do things his own way. He and his father attended an Own-Your-Own-Business expo, and Brian bought a printing franchise called Copy King. He decided to move his family to Santa Fe, and a year later, Brian opened Piñon Fast Print—now occupying its Pen Road location for 35 years.

In Santa Fe, Brian met the late Sensei Nakazono, one of the country's first practitioners of non-Western medicine. Brian’s declining health was improved by his teacher’s sound-healing principles, acupuncture, aikido, and dietary guidelines. Cultivating quietness inside chaos in the work environment remains central to Brian’s well being.

“Money has never been the primary thing I’m doing—it’s service—I wanted to be useful.” Brian has given ten per cent discounts or more to all non-profit organizations. Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, and the Coalition for Homelessness are some of his favorite causes. He is known for working nights and weekends to meet deadlines. Brian works with sustainable materials, using recycled materials, and printing with organic inks.

Brian has also contributed to local youth soccer. After his daughter became a soccer player, he coached several teams, refereed, printed team forms and brochures, and devoted countless hours to keep the soccer league going. He served as president of the Recreational Soccer Club, and serves on the Northern Soccer Club Board.

Friends have said, “Brian is a beautiful human being who humbly serves our community in countless ways.” “Brian’s gift has always been his compassion and caring for others.”

Story by Barbara Harrelson

Photo © 2011 by Genevieve Russell