Alyse Mervosh: The Five Question Interview

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 
it’s impossible
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!

Links

Read more books and support this small independent book store online and in person.

Instagram @curiomrvosa
Shop online at curiomrvosa.com

And of course, visit them in person at:

302 N Main Street
Taylor, Texas 76574
(512) 595-2366


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The Five Question Interview: Rev. Amy Meyer

The Rev. Amy Meyer has been with 1st Presbyterian Church in Elgin since 2010. Pastor Amy holds a Master of Divinity degree from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and is an ordained minister in Mission Presbytery and has used her training in both church settings and as a chaplain for Hospice Austin. Before her seminary training, Pastor Amy held positions as a youth director for the Presbyterian Church of Lake Travis and as a graphic designer for a division of Trader Publishing.

She lives in Elgin with her husband, Chris and their two children.

1. Why did you move to Elgin? 

I moved to Elgin from Austin after I was selected to be the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. I stay here because I fell in love with the church and the Elgin community!

2. What compels you to spend time creating?

One of the things I love most about being a pastor is having the space to create. Whether it’s a worship service, a special class, or even a short devotional, I have the opportunity to share my creations with the people I love on a weekly basis. I usually find that the most meaningful creations contain an infusion of the holy while still being grounded in the world. I have also discovered that ‘creating’ is ‘meaning-making,’ and it allows me to explore ancient wisdom as I grapple with difficult questions.

3. Tell me three things you’ve learned in the past five years.

1) If you have a voice at the table, use it to call institutions and individuals to the common good. Always remember to be the moral voice for the powerless.

2) Gratitude and forgiveness have a unique way of opening up a path for hope.

3) When the animal shelter tells you she’s a black lab, she’s probably a pit bull. But you will love her anyway. 

4. What are you currently making, reading, watching, or listening to?

I’m reading “Texas Tough: The Rise of America’s Prison Empire.” It’s both disturbing and informative. I’d recommend it, though I’d also warn any interested readers that it’s not for the faint of heart. 

5. Cake or Pie?

Either one as long as it’s vegan. In fact, if you’re interested in some great theological conversation along with some homemade Chocolate Tofu Pie, I’m your gal! 


You can listen to her podcast Passing the Peace here or wherever you listen to your podcasts. And of course you can find her at 1st Presbyterian Elgin

Pastor Amy will be at the Holiday Luna Market with Beer & Hymns where they will be accepting donations for Advocacy Outreach.

Friday Favorites: waffle house, a piano, and a recipe

The folks at Bitter Southerner published a hardcover book of Micah’s photographs from inside Waffle Houses all over the South which first appeared on their website in 2019. Waffle House Vistas is currently sold out, but you can get on the list to be notified when avaialble.


Looking to get lost down another rabbit hole? Turn off your TV and log on to Folkstreams.net for a deep dive into Americana. Folkstream’s catalog includes documentaries of foodways, quilting, blacksmithing, music, and more.


If you’re looking for something to watch this weekend the Australian mini-series Upright is a fearless, hilarious, and sweet road trip across the Nullarbor with a down on his luck musician, a runaway, and a piano. I’m embarrassed to say it took me until the third episode to realize the title was about the piano. Available here.


I’m on a quest to try find the best one pot pasta dishes. Why can’t all recipes be this cute? Recipe link here


I would spend dusk in this glowing treehouse every day.


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