Hey Queen City! On Sunday, June 2nd from 7:30 – 9pm, Buffalo Exchange Charlotte will be hosting an after-hours fashion extravaganza with Stylist Madison Fields, Screenprinter Yavenchi, and Designers JON (@polo_errday) and Shekinah (@thekinah). They’ll each be showing off a variety of looks that mix together their own designs with pieces from Buffalo Exchange. Shop curated racks, snack on tasty treats, and jam out to local DJ FLLS! Save the date and stop by Buffalo Exchange Charlotte on June 2nd for your chance to meet some of the up-and-coming stars in Charlotte’s fashion scene. See you soon!
Hello, Eugene! The Market District Buffalo Exchange is celebrating 20 years of fashion and we want YOU to join the celebration on Saturday, June 1st! There will be live music, tasty treats, games, gifts with purchase of $75 or more and even a chance to win a $20 Buffalo Exchange gift card and swag bag. Jam out to live music from local band Diablito (playing at 12pm). Plus enjoy complimentary pizza from Sizzle Pie, iced coffee from Farmer’s Union Coffee and delicious cupcakes from Emmmscupcakes — on us! We can’t wait to see you there!
School’s out for summer! Whether you’re a student just finishing finals or working 9-5, everyone deserves a chance to relax and unwind – shouldn’t your wardrobe follow suit? Now’s the time to find your new look for summer at Buffalo Exchange! We have all of the warm weather essentials like skirts, tank tops and sundresses, short-sleeve button downs, graphic tees, and shorts! When you’ve picked out your look, finish it off with summer essentials like sandals, hats and sunglasses – Buffalo Exchange is a one-stop shop. But wait, before you spend all of your hard earned cash on a wardrobe refresh, remember that we’re currently buying for summer! The pieces you loved last summer could be worth cash or trade to spend on this year’s look. Pack your bags with your closet cleanout and hit the road to your local Buffalo Exchange today!
By Savy Kroop
I wish this wasn’t such a corny cliché, but yes, I will happily call my mom my best friend. Her optimistic and confident personality has made me the way I am today. She is the most open-minded person I know and believes wholeheartedly in being your own person. Her view on individualism has created what she jokingly calls a “brat” who knows what she wants (i.e. me). From a young age, I started experimenting with my personal style and my mom let me wear whatever I wanted. From hairstyles to clothes to friends, she let me choose my own path and express myself the way I wanted. And yes, I blame her for every horrible fashion choice I made.
These Boots Were Made For Never Taking Off
Some kids had a favorite blanket, teddy bear or doll. Not me! I had my favorite boots. They were white Western boots that, in my mind, went with everything (even my Easter Sunday dress). My grandma constantly would try to get my mom to a) brush my hair and b) “take those dang cowboy boots off!” My mom would reply with something along the lines of, “Just let her be herself.” Of course, I don’t remember much of this. I will say, however, that I currently have a new pair of white cowboy boots that I wear regularly. Coincidence? I think not.
WHY2k Did You Let Me Wear This?
The white cowboy boot story may be cute, but as I got older and continued to express myself through my personal style, my fashion journey took on a slightly more embarrassing tone. BUT I think we can all agree that we made questionable fashion choices in the early 2000s, right? At that time, I started becoming obsessed with brands, logos and shopping at the mall. It started with Limited Too and then progressed to wanting an exclusively Hollister-filled wardrobe. My mom was not too thrilled about shopping at these stores because, well, they were more expensive than the secondhand stores we used to shop at before my mall-brat phase. However, she was patient with me and let me shop the Hollister sale section and even buy the occasional full-price pair of jeans!
New Style, Who Dis?
My mom’s patience paid off in the end though, because when I got to high-school, I discovered thrift shopping for myself. I realized it was a great way to find unique pieces that no one else had. My mom went from being reluctant to go shopping with me to being excited! She knew that I was still figuring out my personal style and thrift shopping was a great way for me to discover what it was (and on a budget, too!). Shopping secondhand allowed me to try out a wide variety of styles and trends, from boho/beach babe to Instagram-coffee-shop hipster to punk chick, all the way to who I am today! I discovered my personal style on my own, but I owe it to my mom for encouraging me to follow my own path and giving me the freedom to do so.
In the midst of switching up your own personal style? I recommend stopping by your local Buffalo Exchange to find new-to-you pieces that totally speak to your sense of style. Better yet, bring in your closet cleanout and you you could take home 30% back in cash or 50% in trade to spruce up your wardrobe. P.S. Need a fun Mom’s Day idea? Go resale shopping! You and your mom will both find something you love.
By Jessica Pruitt
April showers bring…our latest spring/summer zine! As the weather warms up, we’re loving bright colors and fun patterns from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s – don’t miss our “Trends We loved and Still Do” pages for some of our favorite pieces. Whether you’re doing a general spring clean or paring down as you move out of a dorm room, be sure to read Professional Organizer Star Hansen’s handy tips for tackling your closet. Plus, since we’re celebrating 45 years of business and fashion this year, we share a quick timeline of Buffalo Exchange history. Stop by your local Buffalo Exchange to pick up a free copy of the zine or check it out online!
Finding the Joy in Your Closet Cleanout
Star Hansen chimes in with some surprising tips to help you get your closet just a little more organized. One of her top tips? The more categories, the better! Categorize by function rather than color, she advises, and use closet rod dividers to label each section. She believes that a happy closet = a happy you, so pick up a copy of our latest zine to find out more!
Summer Bag Trends We Love
Looking for ways to add a little zip to your spring wardrobe? It’s all in the accessories! Peek some of our favorite spring bags – from bright and fuzzy to holographic to fresh takes on a classic wicker bag – at Buffalo Exchange Houston.
By Aarian Frye; Tucson 45th Anniversary Party Photos by Kaitie Brainerd
In 1974, the first Buffalo Exchange opened its doors in Tucson, Arizona as a thrift store with a twist: it had a curated selection and a buy-sell-trade model beneficial to both shoppers and sellers. Fast forward 45 years to 2019 and Buffalo Exchange has flourished into 50 stores across the US – from New York to California, each Buffalo has its own unique personality and style. Where do those stores get their inimitable style from? The communities they’re a part of! In March, we thanked our fabulous customers for their loyalty during our 45 years of business with a vintage pop-up shop at all of our stores across the country.
Sonia Barcelona performing at Buffalo Exchange Las Vegas
@SouthwestMother at Buffalo Exchange Tucson
Cartel Coffee Cold Brew at Buffalo Exchange Tempe
Vintage Finds at Buffalo Exchange Phoenix
@MsMaverickMuse at Buffalo Exchange La Brea
Amazing Betty Boop Jacket at Buffalo Exchange Long Beach
Darden Sisters Band Performing at Buffalo Exchange Fullerton
Fun Finds at Buffalo Exchange Santa Monica
Buffalo Exchange Eugene
Buffalo Exchange Seattle Market
Vintage Dresses at Buffalo Exchange Bellingham
Buffalo Exchange Austin Vintage Pop-Up Shop
Vintage Beaded Bags at Buffalo Exchange Dallas
Vintage Pop-Up Shopping at Buffalo Exchange Nashville
Buffalo Exchange Atlanta
Buffalo Exchange Philadelphia
Buffalo Exchange Chelsea Vintage Pop-Up Shop
Buffalo Exchange Astoria Vintage Pop-Up Shop
Roseann Fino Performing at Buffalo Exchange Astoria
As a special thank you, we also threw a 45th Anniversary party in Tucson to celebrate our employees, business partners and everyone else who has made our success possible. From vintage embroidery and cowboy denim to an unbelievable collection of Southwestern jewelry, all of the attendees arrived dressed-to-impress in their Western garb, ready to hit the dance floor. Scroll through to see some of the best fashion of the night!
Howdy, Tucson! Buffalo Exchange is stocking up for spring and summer and we want your closet cleanout! We’re currently looking for warm-weather pieces like dresses, tank tops, shorts and women’s T-shirts. If you have clothes more fit for fall and winter, bring them in, too – we buy all seasons, year round! For the fellas, we’re especially on the hunt for great jackets and sweaters. One more thing: don’t forget the footwear like canvas sneakers, espadrilles and sandals for men and women. Your closet cleanout could turn into cash or trade to spend on your new spring look!
By Savy Kroop and header art by Jessica Gonzalez
Every year, the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award honors a member of the local art community in Southern Arizona with $10,000 so that they can continue doing their great work. On January 29, 2019, family, friends and other local artists gathered at the University of Arizona Poetry Center to celebrate as this year’s winner, Dante Celeiro, accepted the award.
Dante Celeiro accepting the 2018 Buffalo Exchange Arts Award from Kerstin Block, Founder of Buffalo Exchange
History of the Arts Award
The Buffalo Exchange Arts Award was established in 1994 by Buffalo Exchange founders Kerstin Block and Spencer Block to highlight emerging artists in the performing and visual arts as well as individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the arts through education, organization and advocacy. Each year, candidates are selected by two separate panels of experts who are familiar with the Southern Arizona Arts scene. Over the years, Buffalo Exchange has worked alongside the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona to award over $200,000 to 24 Southern Arizona artists.
Community Leader Dante Celeiro
Hailing from NYC before heading to the Southwest, Dante has been involved with social activism in the arts community for over 25 years. He started the Tucson AIDS memorial quilt panels at the Southern Arizona Aids Foundation and now manages Boys R Us, Arizona’s first gender performance troupe. Feeling that there needed to be more safe spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community, he also created Fluxx, a non-profit that advocates open dialogue about queer culture. The organization aims to boost visibility and encourage the creation of queer arts and culture through exhibitions, performance art and workshops. Fluxx recently hosted a 10-week “School of Drag” program, for example, that taught 11- to 16-year-olds about the history of drag, makeup, costumes, wigs and dance.
Photo by Rachel Castillo
At Buffalo Exchange, we know that we owe our success to the communities that surround us. “We’ve always believed that art is essential to the well-being of the community,” says Buffalo Exchange Founder Kerstin Block, “and Dante really exemplifies that. He has dedicated himself to mentoring young people in the arts and providing them with safe spaces where they can be themselves. We’re proud to support someone who has done so much for LGBTQ youth.”
By Jessica Pruitt
In 1974, when Kerstin Block first had the idea for a different sort of secondhand shop, she never expected it to grow into what it is today – she just followed her love of thrift store shopping. “I came upon the idea that there must be other people who are equally addicted to this kind of shopping, but who didn’t want to sort through as much stuff.” Enter a whole new business model – a resale shop where customers could buy hand-picked treasures in one place and also sell their clothes for cash or trade on-the-spot.
From Thrift Store to Resale Boutique: The First Buffalo Exchange
At the time, Kerstin had recently been fired from a job at a local furniture shop. When she mentioned that she’d like to try opening her own business, her husband Spencer was all for it. To start, they rented out a small 400 square foot spot in Tucson, AZ and filled the store with pieces from Kerstin’s own closet. They also asked friends to bring things in. Soon enough, they had a bustling business buying, selling and trading the likes of denim skirts handmade by Kerstin, Hawaiian shirts and Kork-Ease sandals, drawing in lots of students from the University of Arizona. Their most common price? $3.50.
Originally from Sweden, Kerstin chose “Buffalo” because she liked the way it evoked the American West. Spencer contributed the “Exchange” half of the name since that’s precisely what they would be doing – opening up a shop where you could exchange your clothing for cash or trade on-the-spot, an uncommon model at the time. And just like that, they ran the business together, doing everything themselves. Kerstin was the face of the store, running the register and doing all the buying. Spencer worked behind the scenes, creating clothing racks out of water pipes and handling the accounting.
Resale wasn’t very popular at the time, but they knew there would always be people who wanted to find something cute for a good deal: they just didn’t necessarily want to dig through so many pieces in a thrift store setting. “We made it look like a little boutique,” says Kerstin. They handpicked each item based on what their customers were interested in buying and displayed them in a fun, easy-to-shop space.
Charting New Territory
Kerstin and Spencer didn’t know much about business, but they weren’t afraid to venture into uncharted territory. Par for the course for Kerstin, who struck out on her own at the age of 18, taking a boat over from Sweden to study at the University of Arizona. What they initially lacked in business knowledge, they made up for in strong values. “We built our business on a lot of principles,” she says, “such as respecting people and treating everybody fairly and listening to people. Those are our tenets in business.”
As they opened more locations – a store here and a store there – those tenets only grew. They knew how important it was to be honest and the value of people – both employees and customers alike. After all, they relied on their customers to bring in clothing and they relied on their employees to build a diverse inventory. To do this, they valued individuality and embraced the things that make each person unique. They empowered people, taking into consideration what they wanted out of the job and teaching them how the business works.
Perhaps it’s these tenets (not to mention a true passion for clothing) that have kept the business going strong for 45 years and counting. Today, Buffalo Exchange is still owned and operated out of Tucson, AZ by Kerstin and her daughter, Vice President Rebecca Block. Kerstin still oversees the daily operations of the business. “What I’m most proud of is how much we’ve been able to empower people – especially women,” she says. “That and the clothes. It’s always been about the clothes.” Now, that love for fashion has spread to around 50 stores – and growing all the time. Visit BuffaloExchange.com/Locations to find one near you!
By Savannah Timpani, Buffalo Exchange HQ
It may still be snowing, but spring is in the air! After a long, cold winter, nothing is more refreshing than a new-to-you wardrobe filled with top spring styles. Don’t be afraid to mix and match key spring pieces with your comfy winter favorites while it’s still warming up. After all, that’s what transitional style is all about!
From square neck dresses in ditsy micro florals to denim miniskirts, shorter lengths are here to stay! Higher hems giving you chills? Try layering with a warm sweater, tights and combat boots for the perfect in-between-seasons look.
Nothing brings to mind the warm-weather season like sweet, feminine styles that conjure up thoughts of a romantic picnic. Offered in just about every cream-colored hue and fabric, these retro-inspired tops gather and puff in just the right places, making them flattering for all. Pair them with your favorite jeans and skinny sunglasses for a totally on-trend outfit.
Rainbow and Pastel
Whether they’re bright and bold rainbow stripes or muted pastel tones, spice up your closet with colorful spring styles. A cute and comfy tee is just about the easiest way to try the trend.
Brighten Up Your Spring Styles With Cords
Thicker fabrics like corduroy don’t have to get packed away just yet! Lighten them up with a fun tee and some cutout booties and VOILA, a perfect get-up for those sunny, yet still chilly days.
Highlighter hues are hot, hot, hot for spring/summer this year. If you want to try out the trend before the higher temperatures hit, opt for a simple hoodie. You can easily layer it with just about anything and pair it with plenty of sporty accessories, like a sling bag or chunky sneakers.
The Resort Blouse
Dreaming of spring break, but still have your heater turned on high? Give your look a playful feel with a printed resort shirt. Collared and boxy, these tie-front cuties are statement pieces in their own right. Wear them with boots and a chunky sweater today and some shorts and espadrilles later.
Want to find the perfect spring styles for your wardrobe? Clean out your closet and head to your local Buffalo Exchange to find some awesome transitional pieces that you can start wearing now!