Marfa, Texas, is known for its art scene, but this small desert outpost also contains a number of stylish shops. All of them are independently owned and within walking distance of one another, which makes for an unusually pleasant and unhurried retail experience. Here are a few of my favorite purchases from my latest trip.
The Marfa Book Company has been in open for 20 years, but it recently moved into a new retail space inside the Hotel Saint George. The stylish bookstore sells a nice selection of large-format books and prints on modern art and Southwest living in a gallery-like atmosphere. Grab a margarita at the Bar Saint George and casually shop for a beautiful book to adorn your coffee table back home.
Marfa Book Company
105 S. Highland Street. Tel. 432-729-3700
The vintage sewing machines on display when you enter Cobra Rock’s retail store aren’t just for looks. Owners Colt Miller and Logan Caldbeck use them to make fashionable western-inspired leather boots by hand. The boots are constructed of American leather and have a stylish, minimalist aesthetic to show off during a gallery crawl in town. The store also features a selection of shirts and gifts from other independent designers.
107 S. Dean Street. No phone.
Garza Marfa is a favorite shop of Texas hotelier Liz Lambert’s, and for good reason. Owners Jamey Garza and Constance Holt-Garza have created a unique line of custom furniture and Bolivian-inspired textiles. Their saddle leather bench with throw pillows will command attention and make any space colorful and hip. Be sure to call ahead before visiting because shopping is by appointment only.
103 N. Nevill Street. Tel. 432-729-1946
Communitie, a project of designer John Patrick, is a women’s boutique and gallery space in Marfa’s historic downtown. The clothing is designed by Patrick and produced sustainably by international craftspeople. I love quite a few of their straw hat styles, which are elegantly simple and an effective countermeasure to the West Texas sun.
122 N. Highland Avenue. Tel. 432-729-2055
Ginger Griffice combines natural oils and local ingredients such as goat’s milk and honey to create memorable soap scents for Marfa Brand. One of my favorites, Campfire, a blend of smoked lapsang souchong tea and juniper resin, will make a great memento from your Texas vacation. The Marfa Brand factory store fronts the old Marfa lumberyard, and in addition to soaps, you can pick up incense and other small gifts. If the store is closed, soaps can also be found at The Get Go, Mano Mercantile, Freda or El Cosmico, a “trailer, tent and teepee hotel and campground” just outside of town.
Marfa Brand Soap
213 S. Dean Street. No phone.
Everyone keeps odd hours around Marfa, so you should have a backup plan for at least one of your meals. For a small-town Texas grocer, The Get Go has a nice selection of gourmet food and wine. I suggest local beer from Big Bend Brewing Co., a few bottles of Topo Chico, the ever-bubbly Mexican sparkling water and organic chocolates to take back to your room.
The Get Go
208 S. Dean Street. Tel. 432-729-3335