Merch Girl is the coming of age story of Abbie Evans, a remarkable young woman born with Epidermolysis Bullosa. With skin as delicate as tissue paper and no known cure, she was given just weeks to live, but she survived. Abbie has continued to defy the odds, and was raised on a regimen that challenged conventional treatment: the rigorous life of a musician and the fearlessness of rock and roll.
Texas honky tonk musician John Evans never wanted his daughter to grow up thinking she was incapable of living a normal life. When Abbie moved in at age fifteen, he raised her as if she were a part of his band, bouncing from one concert to the next and selling the band’s merchandise at every stop. Her mother Stacie worried but didn’t hold Abbie back, and against the odds Abbie thrived on the road. Abbie’s passion for life has meant treating EB as just another hurdle, and it is the constant care from her mother as much as touring with her father that gives her an identity and strength outside of her condition.
Merch Girl is a personal case study infused with music. The lyrics of John Evans’ songs lend to the narrative, weaving together stories of Abbie’s past with the uncertainties of her future. Merch Girl documents Abbie’s journey toward a new understanding of herself, her disease, and most importantly her desires. From the West Texas honky tonks where she was raised to the hospital rooms where she must often return, Abbie’s powerful struggle to exist as a normal girl reveals what it truly means to live life on your own terms.