Meet the Team

Craig Nelson

Co-owner of Silver Eagle Gallery, Silversmith, Botanist

I've been interested in Native American art since I was a young boy. After studying botany and biological aspects of conservation at the University of Wisconsin, I started a career in landscaping and retailing live tropical plants. My interest soon turned to Native American jewelry. Deborah and I started Silver Eagle in 1974 with the goal of bringing the creativity of Native American artists to our customers. My free time is spent making jewelry, working around our small farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, riding my Harley Davidson motorcycle, and fishing.

Deborah Nelson

Co-owner of Silver Eagle Gallery, Jewelry Buyer, Rock Hound, Hypnotherapist

My passion has always been art and music. Craig and I met as teenagers and were drawn together by our love of Native American art. I began college as a music major but soon switched to Fine Arts. In addition to our retail stores, I have focused on transcendental meditation, hypnosis, Quantum physics and spiritual counseling. Representing the work of over 200 Native American artists from over 20 tribes has been a wonderful experience for over 46 years. In my spare time I enjoy reading, canoeing, hiking and traveling.

Heather Nelson-Neils

Gallery Manager of Silver Eagle Naples, Jewelry Buyer, Creative Director & Photographer

My lifelong passion for photography came into focus in college, where a degree in advertising and post-graduate work in Fashion Photography and Editorial design fine-tuned my skills. After working as a photographer, photo producer and stylist in New York and Miami for over 10 years, I decided it was time to bring my skills home and join the family business. I relocated to Naples in 2011 and became Gallery Manager as well as, In-House Photographer and Creative Director for the website division. When I am not working I enjoy traveling, gardening, yoga, tennis, and live music and art.

Benjamin Forest Nelson

Gallery Manager of Silver Eagle North Carolina, Silversmith, Jewelry Designer

I grew up on a beautiful lake in Wisconsin and was influenced by my parent’s love of art and spent time in their retail stores learning the jewelry business. I studied Fine Art at the University of Wisconsin- Madison with a focus on glass blowing, silversmithing, and ceramics. After moving to North Carolina, I became the gallery manager of Silver Eagle and expanded the business to include a gem and mineral gallery. I produce a line of contemporary sterling silver jewelry in my studio in Western North Carolina. I enjoy going to concerts, playing and watching all sports, and traveling with my wife Mia.

Mihaela (Mia) Nelson

Jewelry Display Artist, Jewelry Buyer, Certified Wine Specialist

I'm from Varna, Bulgaria, "The Pearl of the Black Sea." My major in college was small business management and international trade. I also studied languages including English, Ancient Greek, Latin and Italian. Seven years ago, I discovered the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and became a fine restaurant manager and certified wine specialist. After marrying Ben, I became part of the Silver Eagle family and have grown to love Native American jewelry and going on buying trips throughout the United States. My time off is spent with friends and family, hiking, traveling and gardening.