Marfa makers bring the goods

Photo by Makenzie Goodman. Kendall Craig stands in the doorway of her shop, Stop & Read Books.

MARFA — The 15th annual Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love has chosen four Marfa businesses to participate in the vendor’s circle at this year’s event. Exhibitions on the grounds of El Cosmico will feature Far Out Silver, Garbó, Indigo Prophet and Stop & Read Books. These four entrepreneurs will show and sell their wares each day of the festival from 5 p.m. until the music stops.

Photo courtesy of Anett Gabriel. Anett models her signature flight suit.

The pandemic closed doors and businesses across the world, and yet these four Marfa businesses found a way forward in the midst of the confusion and turmoil. Stop & Read books has the only brick and mortar shop of the four. The bookstore opened during the pandemic, a move that has worked in part due to the owner’s innovative book subscription service, skill as a bookseller, high visibility location and online presence. The other three businesses found a way forward based on sheer creativity and social media. Here’s a chance to support local businesses and actually meet the proprietors and see the products in person. They actually exist.

Anett Gabriel of Garbó returns to El Cosmico this year with her signature Flight Suit — a one-piece item both utilitarian and fittingly stylish, under the label Garbó. Gabriel founded Garbo in New York City, relocated to Marfa five years ago, and it was here that the “Flight Suit” was launched. The design was in part to pay tribute to the working class women in Hungary, Gabriel’s homeland. The clothing is designed in Marfa and produced sustainably in small batches in Los Angeles, available at the Sentinel and online at garbomarfa.com. The classic and a new seasonal edition of the ”Flight Suit” will be featured at the festival as well as the debut of a new jacket design. A fitting room will be available to remove the guesswork for both Garbo and Indigo Prophet.

Photo by Adam Gestwicki. Marielle LaRue of Indigo Prophet takes a break in her workshop.

When COVID shut down Indigo Prophet’s newly-opened storefront, owner Marielle LaRue knew selling online was the only way forward. Her social media business model was met with immediate success, and it was clear that working from Marfa would be possible. LaRue designs and sews denim jeans using her own body as a fit model. For the person with wider hips and a smaller waist, these jeans solve the gap in the back familiar to many. Pre-orders will be taken for two styles and six different denims for custom-made jeans across a full range of sizes, and she will debut a new selvedge denim fabric choice in the “High Pope” style at the festival.

Kendall Craig founded Stop & Read Books during the pandemic when her jobs in brand development and event productions evaporated and the book subscription service she belonged to ended without warning. Being an avid reader and wanting a job that didn’t feel like work, she turned her love of books and reading into her business. She loves choosing titles for all readers, from children upwards, with no specific tilt or particular intellectual bent. Craig volunteers at the school with Librarian Crawford Marginot to weed through the collection and choose new titles to bring the best to Marfa children who love to read just like she did as a kid. For the festival, she’s bringing a small selection of titles related to music and also books by local writers, including the late Lonn Taylor, Eileen Myles and Rachel Monroe.

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Millikan. Chelsea of Far Out Silver hawks her wares at a pop-up outside of Cactus Liquors.

Silversmith and lapidary Chelsea Millikan moved to Marfa in 2018, and two years ago established Far Out Silver when she began selling her pieces online. River guide Sage Keith later joined Millikan and the two have been out hunting raw materials, which Keith says is really fun, for stones for their jewelry. They also work in turquoise and other gemstones. For the festival, they will bring finished pieces of locally-sourced stones as well as all the other jewelry across the spectrum of their work. 

Celebrate the ones who in spite of the odds didn’t miss a beat, weathered the pandemic thus far, and continue to bring innovative design and thinking to Marfa and beyond.


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