Alyse Mervosh owns Curio Mrvosa Books and Vintage in Taylor alongside her husband, Alex Cuervo. They opened the shop in summer 2021, after Alyse was struck with the idea during the pandemic. A lifelong thrifter and avid reader, originally from the D.C. area, Alyse moved to Austin to play drums and was a member of several garage punk bands, after earning her degree in journalism at Wisconsin. She moved to Taylor in 2016 with her husband and their two cats.
While this may qualify this as a Six Question Interview, I had to ask…
Bean & Noodle: “Can you somehow spell out how to pronounce your store name? I see by your last name that it might be a play on that?
Alyse: “Mrvosa” (pronounced mer-vo-sa) is indeed a play on my last name. Two letters were added to my family’s name when they arrived in the U.S. from Serbia over a hundred years ago. It was originally spelled Mrvos (now Mervosh). I always wanted to use that original name somehow, and when Alex suggested adding the a, that was it! To me it has a nice, somewhat mysterious, ring to it.
1. Why did you move to Taylor?
After living in Austin and playing in punk bands for 15 years, my husband and I were looking for a change of pace. Taylor’s architecture first caught our eye, and the welcoming, creative nature of the folks here made us feel at home right away.
2. What compelled you to start a business in Taylor?
I’ve worked at a variety of small businesses over the years and wanted to contribute to our town’s eclectic vibe. My aim is to curate an inspiring space that encourages creativity and curiosity.
3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.
1. I’ve learned the importance of slowing down, though I’m still working on putting this into everyday practice. I keep a postcard (pictured above) by the artist Hiller Goodspeed nearby as a reminder, it reads:
you can’t waste time
you’re doing what you’re doing
and that’s just what’s happening baby
2. Coming from the city and being more of an introverted person, I learned to embrace small-town life. I’m so grateful for our tight-knit community. It inspires and encourages me. Through good times and bad, we’re really here for one another.
3. Both with music and the bookstore, I’ve learned to do what feels right for me, to trust my gut. Whatever comes, I’m more content, and I’ve found my people along the way.
4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?
Making music with Eerie Family, we’re a gloom-pop duo, just my husband and me. Recently finished reading White Horse by Erika T. Wurth, The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki, and Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng. Watching Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities. Listening to El Michels Affair, Charlie Magira, and Courtney Barnett.
5. Cake or Pie?
Tough question. I choose pie for breakfast and cake for dessert!
Read more books and support this small independent book store online and in person.
Shop online at curiomrvosa.com
And of course, visit them in person at:
302 N Main Street
Taylor, Texas 76574