Farewell is a dream of a bookshop in east Austin, TX. Co-owners, Travis & Mikaylah, hunt down rare & out of print books from all over the country as well as run a small gallery space in the back of the shop. If you're on the prowl for something out of the ordinary - think theory, art history, first edition novels & small press gems - then Farewell is your spot. Bonus: Farewell shares its space with a killer coffee shop, an artful boutique, a whipsmart tailor & a vegan jewish deli food truck. Talk about bang for your buck!
We're so psyched to have them on board as our sponsor this year & can't wait to see what treats they bring to the sale ... next Sunday!
What’s in a name — tell us how you came to “Farewell”?
Travis: I knew for a long time that if I ever opened my own bookshop I wanted to call it Farewell. Farewell has a double meaning. It's a humorous acknowledgement of the slow death of printed matter, and a bittersweet way to acknowledge and honor the departure of Russell/Domy. Once we opened we also realized that every time we made a sale it felt like having to say goodbye to a book we loved, like a friend.
Farewell’s heritage is pretty interesting: book shop employees save said dying book shop & make it their own. What gave you guys the guts to go for it?
Mikaylah: I think we both felt that the spirit of Domy was so integral and important to Austin that upon hearing the news of Domy's closing we were both making plans to move to different cities. When we realized that we might be good candidates, as the former employees of Domy, to keep a kind of space like Domy alive in Austin it truly felt like a no-brainer. It was a huge leap of faith and we had no idea if we could do it but we knew we had to try. This endeavor is especially dear to me as Austin is my hometown and the growth and survival of art and community spaces is something I think is really important to ensuring it's vitality. It was the Austin community that ultimately made Farewell a reality.
Farewell shares its space with four other small businesses (Las Cruxes, Flat Track Coffee, Dress Smart Tailors & Shhmaltz), smart! Can you tell us a bit about how you guys came to that mix?
Mikaylah: We knew that with the rising price of rent in Austin, especially commercial properties, it would be important to cut down our rent wherever possible, as well as creating an interactive space that functioned and served folks in a lot of different ways. At the 913 building you can get a mean espresso at Flat Track, an amazing veggie reuben or falafel at Shhmaltz, get clothed + a good record + a dose of medicine at Las Cruxes, and get those clothes tailored if they don't fit perfectly at Dresssmart. If that's not enough, you can get your reading material and fill of art at Farewell. We've set it up so that you could survive solely on the 913 building! The only thing missing is a bed.
What are you reading right now?
Mikaylah: 'Two Accounts of a Journey through Madness' by Mary Barnes, Mt. Analogue by Rene Daumal and we're both re-reading 'In Watermelon Sugar' by Richard Brautigan for Farewell's next book club meeting.
Travis: 'All the Pretty Horses' by Cormac McCarthy, 'Against Nature' by J.K. Huysmans, and the Spacemen 3 biography
Tell us a secret.
The kids are alright. They're reading and buying books again.
images via Farewell