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New store in San Marcos supports local artistry  

Items on display for sale at the Good Stuff Company Store June 20.
Items on display for sale at the Good Stuff Company Store June 20. The store sells various art pieces and has been open in San Marcos since May.
Photo by Lara Dietrich

An art cooperative has set up shop in downtown San Marcos. It has already impacted the local art scene. The shop’s large windows allow plenty of sunshine to highlight handmade clay pots, colorful paintings and locally grown produce inside the set up at 173 South LBJ Drive.

The Good Stuff Community store opened its doors to the public May 10. The retail gallery brings music, artwork and art workshops under one roof for locals to get involved and come together. The store offers spaces for artists to rent out, display their work and sell it.

The store will hold a grand opening June 15 to celebrate with activities such as paper making and glass blowing.

Carmen Fritz, owner of The Good Stuff Community Store, is an artist herself and thought it was time San Marcos had a store to support local artistry of all sorts.  The shop’s first project will be painting a mural on the side of the building. Children taking art classes will be able to contribute to the mural along with willing community members, art students and local artists.

“A lot of my friends either do their art or music as a side job or they want to go full time and try to make a living. I wanted to be able to give them another way to earn income,” Fritz said.

Fritz recently hosted the San Marcos Cinema Club’s viewing party for the film race finale within her shop. The place was packed with film artists and contributors. Fritz’s relationship with art is long-standing, stemming from childhood. Her goal is to continue to make unique art a livable income for people, and the store a gathering place for the community.

“The main reason I find it important to support local artistry is that so many things are mass-produced and everything is so fast these days, so it is important to have something that is one-of-a-kind and unique,” Fritz said. “It’s called The Good Stuff Community Store because it is very much to promote the community, whether it be the vendors or artists or the shopper of San Marcos or the visitors that are coming.”

Christopher Paul Cardoza, local photographer, said it is hard for many artists to showcase their work in a small town like San Marcos because there aren’t many venues available.

“For me to showcase my more esoteric art photography where I am able to manipulate images and create something more artsy, I don’t have too many places to showcase that and she has opened up her doors for me and I am grateful to her for that,” Cardoza said.

July Moreno, artist and founder of Mermaid Society SMTX, said there has been a growth in San Marcos’ art community in recent years. Moreno gives The Good Stuff Community Store credit for providing the opportunity to showcase and sell her work.