New Giving Back Initiative: Clothing for the Community®

By Savy Kroop

Drumroll, please… we’re happy to announce our latest giving back initiative – Clothing for the Community®! Through this new program, a wide variety of Southern Arizona non-profits can receive large donations of clothing and accessories from our Sell By Mail department to help them fundraise and do even more awesome work in community.

How Clothing for the Community Works

Essentially, non-profits can use these items to host a fundraising $1 sale. Here at Buffalo, we’ll coach them through the process by providing support, advice, local promotion and, of course, a lot of $1 clothing and accessories to sell. Are you a Tucson-area 501(c)(3) non-profit? Send us an email at PR@BufEx.com to let us know you’re interested in becoming a beneficiary!

The first non-profit to benefit from Clothing for the Community® is Ben’s Bells, an organization that teaches individuals and communities about the positive impact of intentional kindness. Shop, save and fundraise for this great cause during their $1 Sale on Saturday, July 20 at 40 W Broadway Blvd. The sale starts at 8am and is cash only.

Making Sure That No Clothing Goes to Waste

At Buffalo Exchange, recycling is the name of the game and it’s always been part of our mission to make sure that no clothing goes to waste. That’s why we give customers the chance to donate the items we’re unable to buy to local non-profits at many of our stores and also why we send any items that don’t sell to our outlets in Nogales, AZ and San Antonio, TX before donating them. This Clothing for the Community® program is just one more way to give clothing a second life and support local non-profits in any we can.

Over the past 45 years, we’ve spearheaded a variety of giving back initiatives. Through our annual Earth Day $1 Day Sale, we’ve raised over $717,900 since 1997 for non-profits like The 5 Gyres Institute and The Humane Society of the United States. We also run a Tokens for Bags® program in which we give customers charity tokens with each purchase instead of plastic bags. Yes, you heard it right – you can give back to your community just by shopping at your local Buffalo. Since launching Tokens for Bags in 1994, we’ve kept more than 15.5 million plastic bags out of the environment and raised $778,660 for local charities. Find out more at BuffaloExchange.com/GivingBack!


Buffalo Exchange Astoria New York Style Customers

New York Style: Q & A with Our Buffalo Exchange Astoria Customers

By Andrew Bickerton

When I think of New York City’s boroughs, I think of diverse cultures, rich history and, well, pizza. Lots of pizza! When my craving for a slice has subsided, I also think of New York style and the unique ways in which individuals express themselves. We caught up with some of our customers at Buffalo Exchange Astoria in Queens to find out what they love about Buffalo, their style tips and their favorite finds over the years.

Buffalo Exchange New York Style Customer Deb Gingham Jeans White Boots Buffalo Exchange New York Style Customer Deb Sequin Tiger Jacket

 

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone: Meet Deb

What Deb loves about shopping at Buffalo Exchange is the friendly staff that helps you out with any and everything. Not to mention that it has inspired Deb throughout the years to try out pieces she wouldn’t normally wear. Deb’s best piece of style advice? Go for it and don’t be afraid to take chances – you just might be surprised how different it looks on you than on the rack! In a word, Deb describes her style as “eclectic”. Her favorite Buffalo find is a Louis Vuitton bag and sequined tiger jacket.

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4th-of-July-Outfits

Party Like It’s 1776: 4th of July Outfits for Your Summer Gathering

By Anevay Robinson

What are you wearing this 4th of July? Whether you’re traveling for a four-day weekend, pool partying with friends or just kicking it low key, we have a lineup of red, white and blue-inspired looks. Keep the spark alive all day long with these 4th of July outfits!

Buffalo Exchange 4th of July Outfits Concert Outfit Band Tee

Pump Up the Jams

It’s time to celebrate America’s birthday, so don’t forget the jams. If you’re planning on dancing the night away at a festival, start off your look with a distressed band tee, then add shorts and a pair of classic black boots. No look is complete without an accessory – since many festivals require a see-through bag, be sure to add a clear cross-body to your outfit.

Buffalo Exchange 4th of July Outfits Airport Style Comfy Outfit Adidas

On The Road Again

Traveling this 4th of July? Whether the journey is long or short, unwind in a comfy pair of blue sweats accented with pops of red on a graphic tee. Put on some kicks and your outfit is complete! You’ll be comfy on the plane or in the car, yet festive enough to head straight to a gathering with friends!

Buffalo Exchange 4th of July Outfits Pool Party Printed Shorts Tie Dye Adidas

Splashtastic Event

Dive into your pool party with a magnificent tie dye shirt and tropical shorts. This is one of those 4th of July outfits that’s sure to make waves this Independence day! But don’t slip and slide everywhere – finish off the look by adding some crisp white sneakers or slide-on sandals.

Buffalo Exchange 4th of July Outfits Two Piece Printed Watermelon Set

4th of July Outfits to Picnic In

This look is sure to make your mouth water! Get the family picnic started with a watermelon-print two-piece set, then add a cute basket purse and sandals for one of the cutest 4th of July outfits ever.

Buffalo Exchange 4th of July Outfits Chubbies American Flag Shorts Huf Hat

Cookout

If you’re fired up for an epic barbecue this 4th of July, stop right there! I don’t know about you, but these American flag Chubbies are EVERYTHING. Need more red, white and BLUE? Complete this look with blue velvet slip-ons and a blue-accented ball cap.

Oh say can you see all those super cute outfits at your local Buffalo Exchange? Head on down to shop for the 4th of July outfits of your dreams or just some fun summer finds. Oh, and remember to bring along your closet cleanout – we’re buying for the best of all seasons and you could trade in the pieces you’re not wearing for something positively star-spangled!


Buffalo Exchange Minneapolis Wants Your Closet Cleanout!

Hey, Minneapolis! Summer has arrived to the Twin Cities and Buffalo Exchange wants your spring-summer closet cleanout! We’re looking for men’s tees and short sleeve shirts, light jackets for those cool summer nights, blouses and dresses. Along with clothes, we’re also looking for summer shoes and accessories like sandals, canvas sneakers, hats, sunglasses and more. Not ready to part with your warm-weather wardrobe, but still holding onto your closet cleanout from last fall? Bring in your cool-temp clothing – we buy all seasons year round! Your closet cleanout could be worth cash or trade to spend on a summer getaway or a new-to-you look – maybe even both!


Buffalo Exchange Happy Mother's Day Personal Style

I Got It From My Mama: How I Discovered My Personal Style

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.

Buffalo Exchange Mother's Day White Cowboy Boots

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.

Buffalo Exchange Mother's Day White Cowboy Boots

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!

Buffalo Exchange Mother's Day Personal Style

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.


Buffalo Exchange Spring Summer Zine

Extra, Extra! Buffalo Exchange Spring/Summer Zine Is Out Now!

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!

Star-Hansen-Tips-for-Cleaning-Your-Closet

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!

Buffalo-Exchange-Houston-Spring-Accessories-Summer-Bags

Buffalo-Exchange-Houston-Summer-Bag-Wooden-Purse

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.

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Celebrating 45 Years of Business and Fashion at Buffalo Exchange!

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.

Buffalo Exchange Las Vegas Sonia Barcelona Performing

Sonia Barcelona performing at Buffalo Exchange Las Vegas

Buffalo Exchange Las Vegas Pin-Up Style @victoriaaajade

@VictoriaaaJade

@SouthwestMother at Buffalo Exchange Tucson

@SouthwestMother at Buffalo Exchange Tucson

Yummy Treats and Cartel Coffee Cold Brew at Buffalo Exchange Tempe

Cartel Coffee Cold Brew at Buffalo Exchange Tempe

Buffalo Exchange Phoenix Buffalo Exchange Phoenix Vintage Pop-Up Shop

Vintage Finds at Buffalo Exchange Phoenix

@MsMaverickMuse at Buffalo Exchange La Brea

@MsMaverickMuse at Buffalo Exchange La Brea

Buffalo Exchange 45th Anniversary Vintage Pop Up Shop Betty Boop

Amazing Betty Boop Jacket at Buffalo Exchange Long Beach

Darden Sisters Band Performing at Buffalo Exchange Fullerton

Darden Sisters Band Performing at Buffalo Exchange Fullerton

Fun Finds Shopping at Buffalo Exchange Santa Monica

Fun Finds at Buffalo Exchange Santa Monica

Buffalo Exchange 45th Anniversary Vintage Pop Up Shop Eugene

Buffalo Exchange Eugene

Buffalo Exchange Seattle Market

Buffalo Exchange Seattle Market

Buffalo Exchange Bellingham Vintage Dresses

Vintage Dresses at Buffalo Exchange Bellingham

Buffalo Exchange Austin VIntage Pop-Up Shop

Buffalo Exchange Austin Vintage Pop-Up Shop

Buffalo Exchange Dallas Vintage Bags

Vintage Beaded Bags at Buffalo Exchange Dallas

Buffalo Exchange 45th Anniversary Vintage Pop-Up Shop, Buffalo Exchange Nashville

Buffalo Exchange Nashville Vintage Shopping Buffalo Exchange Nashville Vintage Shopping Buffalo Exchange Nashville Vintage Shopping

Vintage Pop-Up Shopping at Buffalo Exchange Nashville

Buffalo Exchange Atlanta

Buffalo Exchange Atlanta

Buffalo Exchange Philadelphia

Buffalo Exchange Philadelphia

Buffalo Exchange Chelsea Vintage Pop-Up Shop

Buffalo Exchange Chelsea Vintage Pop-Up Shop

Buffalo Exchange 45th Anniversary Vintage Pop-Up Shop, Buffalo Exchange Astoria

Buffalo Exchange Astoria Vintage Pop-Up Shop

BuffalRoseann Fino Performing at Buffalo Exchange Astoriao Exchange Astoria

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!

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Dante Celeiro Receives 2018 Buffalo Exchange Arts Award

 

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.”


Not Your Average Thrift Store - History of Buffalo Exchange Vintage Photos

Not Your Average Thrift Store: The History of Buffalo Exchange

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.

Not Your Average Thrift Store - History of Buffalo Exchange - Kerstin outside first location

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.

Not Your Average Thrift Store - History of Buffalo Exchange - Kerstin holding clothing

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.

Not Your Average Thrift Store - History of Buffalo Exchange - Spencer and Kerstin inside store 1977

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.”

Not Your Average Thrift Store - History of Buffalo Exchange - Staff in front of store mid 70s

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!

 


Buffalo Exchange Must-Have Transitional Spring Styles

Must-Have Transitional Spring Styles

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!

Buffalo Exchange Must-Have Transitional Spring Styles Mini Skirts Mini Dresses Doc Martens

Buffalo Exchange Spring Styles Leopard Print Mini Skirt and Doc Martens

90s Minis

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.

Buffalo Exchange Must-Have Transitional Spring Styles Dirndle Blouses

Sweet Dirndl

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.

Buffalo Exchange Must-Have Transitional Spring Styles Rainbow Pastels Brights Striped Tees

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.

Buffalo Exchange Must-Have Transitional Spring Styles Bright Corduroys for Spring Mules Denim Jacket

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.

Buffalo Exchange Spring Styles Highlighter Yellow Neon Hoodie

Neon Craze

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.

Buffalo Exchange Spring Styles Resort Wear Blouse

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!