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!


Buffalo Exchange Bright Trends Ahead Spring 2019 Fashion Trends We Love

Bright Trends Ahead: Our Favorite Spring 2019 Fashion Trends

By Aarian Frye

After a dreary winter, we’re all excited to welcome back spring and with open (and bare!) arms. And I don’t know about you, but I’m even more excited for a new season of looks – and this is a big one! From bold colors and tie-dye to absolutely decade-dent trends from the 80s and early 2000s, I found tons of inspiration at Buffalo Exchange. Read ahead for my favorite spring 2019 fashion trends!

Buffalo Exchange Spring 2019 Fashion Trends Neon Smiley Face Bag Buffalo Exchange Spring 2019 Fashion Trends Neon and Animal Print

Neon in the Afternoon

A departure from traditionally somber and subdued hues of winter, neon is everywhere this spring. The eighties revival has been trending on runways for the past two seasons and now we’re seeing it pop on the street. To incorporate the color du jour into your wardrobe, start small – a sweatshirt, belt bag or even acrylic accessories. Neon pairs perfectly with one of our other favorite 2019 fashion trends…

Buffalo Exchange Spring 2019 Fashion Trends Vacation Trend Hawaiian Shirts

Buffalo Exchange Spring 2019 Fashion Trends Vacation Trends Hawaiian Print Jumpsuit

Vacation? All We Ever Wanted!

If you’re anything like me, chances are that you were dreaming of a getaway to the tropics this winter. With the revival of retro vacation style, you can dress for a Caribbean cruise without leaving your zip code! If this dream look is a little bold for your taste, bring bright prints back down to earth with a midwash denim skirt and sporty sandals or chinos and canvas sneakers.

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Easy Ways to Save Money: Make Your Budget Resolutions a Reality in 2019!

By Savy Kroop, Buffalo Exchange HQ

It’s one thing to make a resolution to save more money, but actually doing it can be a whole different story. If I’m being honest, I’m definitely guilty of giving up on my New Year’s resolutions by February 1st (if not sooner…). So, to keep myself on track, I came up with some easy ways to save money and some tips and tricks for sticking to my budget!

2019, Budget, Saving Money

Write Down Your Budget

My first suggestion? Write down your budget. This might seem obvious, but being able to visualize your spending habits can be a wakeup call! If possible, share your goals with a close friend or family member – it’s always good to have someone who can hold you accountable, keep you honest and encourage you. For example, the last time I made a budget, I estimated $40 a week on eating out. My roommate just shook his head… we both knew it wasn’t true. If you’re looking for some easy ways to save money, it’s important to start out by being honest about your spending habits!

To get started, write your monthly income at the top and, below that, write down how much you’d like to save this month. Remember – any savings is good savings! Next, start listing out all your necessary expenses (groceries, rent, etc). You can distribute anything left over among your unnecessary expenses like shopping, eating out, going out with friends, health and beauty, and so on. The goal here is to end up at 0. If the amount is negative, cut down one or more of your “unnecessary” categories. At the end of the month, be sure to reevaluate – it can be hard to accurately budget at first, but you’ll soon get the hang of it!

Treat Yourself – at Home!

If you’re looking for easy ways to save money in the “going out” category, this is the resolution for you! I think we can all agree that treating yourself and spending time with your BFFs is important for self-care. However, going to the nail salon, getting brunch every Sunday or going out for fancy cocktails with friends can get expensive. I’m not saying to cut these things out of your life in 2019 – just choose to treat yourself at home every now and then! This year, I plan to organize weekly “treat yourself” nights with my close friends. And, since we all know that Sunday brunch is the best part of the week, I plan to organize weekly brunch potlucks!

Closet Cleanout, Buffalo Exchange

Easy Ways to Save Money on Clothes: Shop For Free!

Lastly, my absolute favorite thing to do at the beginning of the year is a wardrobe overhaul! I love to start fresh with my closet, but without spending a lot of money, so I clean out my closet and then head into Buffalo Exchange to trade in for some new-to-me finds. I always find a lot of pieces there that spark joy (thank you, Marie Kondo, for the tip!).

To start, really try to pinpoint your style – reflect on what you see yourself wearing for the new year and, once you have a clear idea, begin going through every item in your closet (yes, I said EVERY item). Begin sorting items into three categories: keep, sell and donate. Try only holding on to items that you truly love. Like Marie Kondo would say, “Keep only those things that speak to your heart”. Once you’re done, you’re ready to head to your local Buffalo Exchange!

You really can’t beat the prices of shopping secondhand, especially if you sell your closet cleanout and put the trade you receive towards your new-to-you finds. Talk about easy ways to save money (not to mention fun!). Phew! Finally, a New Year’s budget resolution that I won’t have any trouble keeping. If you don’t live near a Buffalo Exchange, you can always try the Sell By Mail program. Just request a bag online, fill it up and mail it for free via UPS. Well, that’s it from me – I’m off to plan a “treat yourself” Sunday brunch for me and my friends. Happy budgeting!


Happy New Year and Thank You for a Fantastic 2018!

As 2018 comes to a close, we’re thinking about our hopes and resolutions for 2019, but we’re also thinking about all the great things that happened over the past year. We’d like to say thank you to all who have made our success possible. Best wishes and Happy New Year to all of our wonderful Buffalos – customers and employees alike! We couldn’t do it without you. Cheers to a fantastic 2019!

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Buffalo Exchange Portland (Downtown)

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Buffalo Outlet (Nogales)

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Buffalo Exchange Pittsburgh

 

With 2019 on the horizon, we’re always looking to expand our Buffalo family. If you love fashion, people and working hard while having fun, make it your New Year’s resolution to join our herd! Apply in-store or online today. Happy New Year!


Buffalo Exchange Tokens for Bags program

Tokens for Bags® Charities

Every six months, we support new local charities through our Tokens for Bags® program. Instead of giving out bags, we give customers the opportunity to donate five cents (the cost of the bag) to a charity of their choice. Since 1994, we have raised over $778,660 for thousands of local nonprofit organizations through our Tokens for Bags® program, saving 15.5 million bags from polluting the environment.

Find your local Buffalo Exchange below and check out the charities you can give back to.

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Winter-Menswear-Blog-Header Layering Sweaters and Jackets

Menswear Winter Style Guide: Tips for Layering Up and Staying Warm

By Aarian, Buffalo Exchange HQ

When it comes to dressing stylishly for winter, it can be a challenge. Amidst the doldrums of gray skies and freezing temperatures, you may find it easier to throw on whatever’s laying on your floor, plus a large puffy jacket and call it a day. No longer, my dudes! I enlisted the help of my boyfriend Dylan (read: cajoled him thoroughly) to show how you can put together a variety of warm winter looks with some smart layering and just a few key pieces. Of course, we shopped at Buffalo Exchange Tucson for the best deals. Read ahead to find out how to style menswear in dropping temperatures without dropping major coin!

Buffalo Exchange Winter Menswear Herringbone Sports Coat Scarf Vans

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Buffalo Exchange How to Layer Clothes for Winter and Cold Weather

Winter Layering Guide: How to Layer Clothes for Cold Weather

By Savy Kroop, Buffalo Exchange HQ

One of the best things about winter is getting to wear your favorite pieces ALL AT ONCE! Wondering how to layer your clothing so you can keep your warm-weather wardrobe staples going strong even when the temperatures drop below freezing? We’re here with a handy guide to show you how to style your summertime favorites with long-sleeve T-shirts, sweaters and jackets so that you can stay warm all winter. Read ahead for three simple ways to layer up and take on the cold!

Buffalo Exchange How to Layer Clothes for Winter Cold Weather Vintage T-Shirt Jumpsuit Plaid Jacket Silver Shoes

Buffalo Exchange How to Layer Clothes for Winter Cold Weather Vintage T-Shirt Jumpsuit Plaid Blazer

T-Shirt Weather All Year Round

My absolute favorite thing to wear any time of the year is a T-shirt, especially a vintage one! My closet is filled with unique tees, so instead of packing them away for winter, I just keep cozy by throwing on a long-sleeve shirt underneath. When looking at how to layer clothes for winter, I like to play with proportions, so I paired this combo with a jumpsuit from my summer wardrobe and a warm thigh-length plaid jacket.

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Buffalo Exchange-Holiday-Party-Blog-Header

One Piece, Three Ways: Holiday Party Looks to Take You Through The Season

By Aarian, Buffalo Exchange HQ

What’s up, winter Buffaloes! During the last few weeks of December, it’s likely that you’ll receive a slew of invitations to holiday parties, kickbacks and soirees alike.  It’s also likely that, after years of attending such engagements, you’re at a loss for something to wear that doesn’t make you feel like you’re living your own personal Groundhog Day – and all without breaking the bank.  To combat this closet conundrum, I set out to Buffalo Exchange Tucson with one of my holiday wardrobe staples in hand (a navy blazer!)  to style three holiday party looks. Keep reading for style secrets and plenty of sequins!

Buffalo Exchange Holiday Party Looks Copper-Sequined-Dress Velvet Slides

Sequins for a Soiree: A Casually Glam Holiday Party Look

For my first look, I wanted to create a holiday party outfit that looks put-together without feeling overthought. I found exactly what I was searching for with this fully sequined midi dress. Featuring a front vent and fluted hem, this dress is one-of-a-kind and certain to grab the attention of your fellow party-goers.  With the addition of my boucle blazer and dove gray velvet mules, I brought a lot of texture into the mix, making this fabulous dress more relaxed. Wear this look to a family dinner or office fete; in this copper number, the world is your oyster, my pretty penny!Full Story