Goat Mountain Co. is California Made

by Rebecca French

Roshua Tree, CA]eaching a business milestone is an achievement worth celebrating! It represents success, growth, and spotlights the dedication and hard work put into a venture. This holds especially true for the very special gift shop Goat Mountain Co. Besides their kids, it’s husband and wife of almost 25 years, Erin Campbell- Alvarez, and Joe Alvarez’s ultimate joint venture. And it’s Goat Mountain’s third anniversary!

Goat Mountain’s so authentic and delightful, you’re always bound to find one-of-a-kind, often handmade, gifts for friends and yourself. But Erin and Joe aren’t into celebrating themselves. They aim to do what they always do this third anniversary: celebrate life, love, art – and most importantly – local area artists. “Every month’s a party!”, says Joe, laughing. He’s talking about the curated monthly art show Goat Mountain holds in their gallery space lovingly dubbed the “TEENY WEENY WALL”. It’s part of the Yucca Valley 3rd Saturday Art Walk.

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Over the years, Erin and Joe have worked nonstop to showcase hundreds of talented local artists and their amazing work done in every medium and mode imaginable. “We are super blessed to be a part of such a beautiful artist community. We constantly make opportunities to bring in local artists and love showing their work”, says Erin.

“There is so much talent out here. Wow.” Joe agrees.

Past themed shows have included “Homage to Wes Anderson”, “Anthropomorphic Fantasy”, and “Flower Power Super Bloom”. This month’s show is guaranteed to pop and is entitled “L U C H A !” after Lucha libre (i.e., free fighting), Mexican freestyle wrestling. Joe and Erin put out the call for artists to submit two Luchadores enmascarados (masked wrestlers) archetypes to the show; one rudo (villain) and one technico (good guy).

Maybe a metaphor for the perennial struggle of life – good vs. evil. Maybe symbolic of the good and notso-good in us all. A dualistic oeuvre seems to come naturally to gifted artist Joe, as he often adopts alter egos in his multimedia work, such as a clown – the embodiment of hope in a foolish world. Erin herself is a talented creator, who’s been lauded with acclaim for her lovely clothing collection Lover Dovers.

But what of the dual nature of being artists and also store owners? “We love meeting people and hearing all their stories.”, says Erin.

“Everyone has a story. And they’re worth listening to.”, shares Joe. “Sometimes, I feel like a therapist.”, laughs Joe.

“Joe has several aliases!”, cheers Erin.

You can now count filmmaker among Joe’s monikers as on Saturday, May 18th, 5-9 PM, he and Erin will host a special viewing at Goat Mountain of a short, highdesert, fantasy art film: “Cichano Moises vs. La Bruja”. This is in tandem with their Lucha libre art show and in conjunction with Space Truckin Gallery (right next door to Goat Mountain Co.). Expect an appearance by the Hi-Desert Lucha Troop, who’ll sign autographs!

So, with all this amazing creativity flowing, gratitude sharing, and relationship building, what possibly could the next three years hold for Goat Mountain?

“These last three years have shown us there’s a lot of love in the community. We would love to expand into a bigger space.”, shares Erin. “We’d also love to see the art scene here continue to grow and flourish.”

Amidst Goat Mountain’s colorful stacks of earrings, socks, t-shirts, and objects d’art, mostly made in California, you can find Joe in his workspace actively sewing handmade appliques to bespoke jackets, shirts, and tote bags.

“Yeah, we want to extend our gratitude and appreciation to everyone.”, adds Joe. “And a sofa! I want to get one of those big Chesterfield sofas for our shop. Sitting in those things is like riding in a Cadillac!”.

So next time you’re in the heart of Yucca Valley, come visit one of the heartbeats of Yucca Valley. Get some friendly licks from Buttons, Joe and Erin’s sweet cattle dog, and their eternal employee of the month. Also, say hello to Nelly the cow!

Goat Mountain Co., 55940 Twentynine Palms Hwy, Suite # 7 in Yucca Valley.
Open Thurs, Fri, Sat, 12-5 pm.

Rebecca French lives in Twentynine Palms. She started her career on the business end of publishing at The Washington Monthly, Newsweek, and Businessweek magazines. She’s done mostly behind-the-scenes writing and editing for years.

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