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Almost everyone who lives in southern New Mexico claims to love the backdrop of the Organ Mountains and the stark but beautiful flora and fauna of the desert surrounding Las Cruces, but three Las Crucens turned it into a love affair with a product line.
Viva New Mexico is owned and managed by Scott A. Krahling, with support from his wife, Robin, and their friend, Mario O. Jimenez III.
Scott Krahling can be found most Saturdays sitting in the shade of his vending site at the Las Cruces Farmers and Crafts Market.
“We're a New Mexico merchandise company,” Scott Krahling said. “Our mission is to bring New Mexico to life by encouraging people to experience the hidden treasures of Southern New Mexico. Our fictitious guide in this effort is an owl named Guía. My family and I created a game called “Find Guía” where we would hide stuffed owls along trails and kind of play hide and go seek. We incoporate the owl into most products and encourage people to follow us on social media @FindGuía. It's all an effort to encourage more people to experience New Mexico’s culture and the outdoors.”
In operation since January 2019, Viva New Mexico has no storefront, so the Farmers Market and the venture’s website (www.vivanm.us) are the sole points of sale.
When COVID-19 shut down the Farmer’s Market, Scott Krahling laid low like most of his fellow vendors, but he continued having products printed for when things opened up again. He proudly noted that all his printing is done locally.
“For most of the outbreak, we were shut down,” he said. “Now that the market is back, we’re providing hand sanitizer and requiring masks.”
Scott Krahling said the entire venture is rooted in a deep love of the nature of southern New Mexico, and so he keeps the product line simple in an effort to free ep plenty of time to hike and explore with his family.
“Our main products are t-shirts and stickers,” he said. “We have regular customers who are always looking for new stickers, so that keeps us on our toes. Stickers are two for $5 or one for $3. We usually have a sale going on for some of our t-shirts, but most are either $15 or $20.
Highlighting the best of southern New Mexico is gist of the mission, he said.
“We’re willing to partner with anyone who wants to join us. We’re currently partnering with the Doña Ana Village Historic Preservation Committee to help raise money for their preservation efforts. We also have a quarterly newsletter that highlights different adventures around Southern New Mexico. People can sign up for that on our website www.vivanm.us.
Customers can visit us at the Las Cruces Farmers & Crafts Market or order online at www.vivanm.us.