Buffalo Exchange Careers Marisa

Never Stop Learning: Growing Up With Buffalo Exchange

By Mary McMahon, Buffalo Exchange HQ

Marisa Russell remembers growing up and shopping at Buffalo Exchange Albuquerque with her aunt in the ‘90s, back when it was just a corner store. It wasn’t the type of clothes that she saw in malls and on TV, but she always wanted to come back. As she got older and moved into the dorms at University of New Mexico, she would stop by the store weekly to shop. She was tired of working mall jobs, so she turned in her application. “I don’t even know if they were hiring, I just knew I wanted to work there,” Marisa says. She saw Buffalo Exchange as an opportunity where she would never stop learning.

Never Stop Learning, Never Stop Teaching

Flash forward to today, 15 years later, and Marisa is a Buyer Trainer at Buffalo Exchange Albuquerque. She worked her way up, becoming a Buyer Expert in 2006 and a Buyer Trainer in 2009. She has a love of training and seeing how employees grow their buy knowledge, their own style and even how they grow as people throughout the years. She loves seeing new employees find what styles they love and learning from them, too.

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Buffalo Exchange Career Journey Jeanette

Jobs That Travel: Jeanette’s Buffalo Exchange Journey

By Buffalo Exchange HQ

One of the best parts of working at Buffalo Exchange is that there are always opportunities to grow – this is definitely one of those jobs that travel! Whether it be moving to a different city or taking on a new position, anything is possible. Jeanette Sandala is the perfect example of someone who took advantage of opportunities as they arose and has been willing to go wherever she was needed.

Jobs That Travel: From Tucson to the West Coast to NYC and Back Again

Buffalo Exchange Career Jeanette

It all started with the application she filled out with pink sparkle pen, which she strongly believes is the reason she was hired. She started at Buffalo Exchange Tucson in 1998 as a part-time Buyer and has moved and progressed a great deal in her almost 20 year career.

In 2002, she moved to Portland, Oregon and soon accepted an Associate Manager position. Two years later, she jumped at the opportunity to relocate to California, where she became Store Manager of our new Costa Mesa store. After that, it wasn’t long before she moved to the Long Beach location. But as someone who loves jobs that travel, you couldn’t expect her to stay put, right? In 2009, she traded coasts and headed to New York, where she eventually became the Store Manager of the Williamsburg location.

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Read about Rocco

Working at Buffalo Exchange: Meet Rocco

By Buffalo Exchange Headquarters

Rocco Paone started working at Buffalo Exchange Brooklyn as a Buyer in 2007. Since then, he’s come a long way. Believe it or not, this mild-mannered young man recently distinguished himself as the very first person in Buffalo Exchange history to have worked in management at all 5 of our New York locations!

New York State of Mind  

    Buffalo Exchange Brooklyn Buyer

Rocco moved to Williamsburg in 2006, fresh from college in upstate NY.  This was back when rent was still affordable in Brooklyn and he was eager to move to the Big City.  He worked at our Brooklyn location for 3 and ½ years, climbing the ladder to earn an Associate Manager promotion in 2010.

In November 2010, Rocco helped open the Chelsea location as an Associate Manager and was amazed to watch business skyrocket from day one. From there, he rocked on to the Boerum Hill store in downtown Brooklyn and then to Astoria, Queens, all in 2013. He loved being part of the gamble Buffalo Exchange took opening in Queens – there was no other store like it in that part of New York.

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Everything I Know, I Learned at the Buy Counter

By Jessica Pruitt, Buffalo Exchange HQ

Before I came to work at Buffalo Exchange Headquarters, I worked at our Hawthorne store in Portland for four and a half years, moving my way up from Buyer to Associate Manager. Though it was challenging, it was hands down the most fun and most rewarding job I’ve ever had and I took away life lessons that I wouldn’t be the same without. When I worked in the store, my mom would always say that I should write a book called Everything I Know, I Learned at the Buy Counter.

Lessons in Communication

The first lesson I learned while working at Buffalo Exchange was how to be honest and straightforward. When I started buying, I had a hard time turning down clothing from customers when I knew it wouldn’t sell for the store. But when I challenged myself to really say what we needed, I found the results to be overwhelmingly positive. I realized that people don’t like to be misled and that, even if they don’t like your answer, they appreciate the truth. This made my entire life less stressful and is a lesson that I carry with me to this day.

It Takes a Village

Working at the buy counter also taught me fast-paced decision making, teamwork and flexibility. Buying is more an art than a science and fashion is in a constant state of flux. This means that none of us have the 100% right answer 100% of the time and we always have something new to learn. It’s both humbling and empowering to learn how to drop your ego and work as a team.

As my Store Manager would always say, “It takes a village.” No matter how long you’ve been buying, you can always learn something from others – including new Buyers just starting out. You also have to be okay with making mistakes and learning from them, which I’ve found is a crucial aspect of personal growth. As Mrs. Frizzle always says, “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”

Taking on the Challenge

Generally, I find that the more you challenge yourself, the more you grow. Most days, I absolutely loved my job, but there were definitely days when I thought I would never be as good at buying or managing as I wanted to be. Having a supportive team made all the difference. Because Buffalo Exchange believes that work should be a place to grow both personally and professionally, I was able to do more than I ever thought myself capable of.

Sound like the job you’ve been waiting for? Stop into one of our 49 stores to fill out an application and meet our team. We’re always looking to hire individuals who love fashion, love people and love a challenge.

Buffalo Exchange Author Jessica Bio


Jessica Pruitt is a writer, fashion enthusiast and long-time Buffalo. She worked in the Portland, Oregon store as a Buyer and Associate Manager for over four years before moving to Tucson to pursue her dream job in the Buffalo Exchange Marketing Department. In her free time, she enjoys singing as loudly and as frequently as possible, kickboxing and going on outdoor adventures.

Buffalo Exchange Way of the Buffalo Company with a Cause

The Way of the Buffalo: A Company with a Cause

By Dana Zepke, Buffalo Exchange HQ

In 1974, Spencer Block co-founded Buffalo Exchange with his wife Kerstin. For the next three decades, they ran the store hand-in-hand, bouncing ideas off each other and learning a whole lot of life lessons along the way. His book, The Way of The Buffalo, recounts hilarious and insightful tales of these years and many of the core values that Buffalo Exchange still stands by today. Read on for some of our favorites!

Valuing All Life           

“Living things besides humans are important and essential to the quality of life. These plants and animals must be respected, valued and protected where necessary.” – Spencer BlockBuffalo Exchange Values

From January to April every year, Buffalo Exchange stores across the country ask customers to give their furs back to the animals through our annual Coats for Cubs drive, a program initially started by The Humane Society of the United States. These furs are then sent off to wildlife rehabilitators to help out injured and orphaned animals. Since 2006, we’ve donated over 12,000 furs.

Capping it all off in April is our annual Earth Day $1 Sale. On this momentous Saturday, we sell a selection of men’s and women’s clothing at every location for just $1 apiece, with 100% of the proceeds going to a national charity. This year, all proceeds will go to the Humane Society of The United States to aid in their efforts to encourage pet adoption.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

“Re-using and recycling resources is an important way of helping to preserve the environment and the biodiversity that is essential to the well-being of the planet.” – Spencer Block

Buffalo Exchange Recycle

Our business model of Buy, Sell, Trade does more than just give clothing a second life – it also helps lessen the impact of clothing waste and pollution. We believe that reusing and recycling clothing aids in the protection of the environment. But we don’t stop there!

Since 1994 we’ve raised $656,798 for thousands of local nonprofit charities through our Tokens for Bags® program. How did we do it? Simple! Any time a customer makes a purchase, we donate 5 cents to a local charity instead of giving out a plastic bag. Not only do charities benefit, but we’ve kept over 13.1 million plastic bags out of landfills. Win-win!

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Buffalo Exchange Jobs

The Perks of Being a Buffalo

By Dana Zepke, Buffalo Exchange HQ


As you can probably guess, Buffalo Exchange employees spend their days around excellent clothing and phenomenal customers, but did you know the perks of being a Buffalo go even further? Find out why a job at Buffalo Exchange is one of the best retail jobs out there!

Health Insurance

Buffalo Exchange Tagging

  • Buffalo Exchange offers medical, dental and vision insurance for both full-time and part-time employees (and their families) – even if they work as few as 20 hours a week.
  • Our family members are important to us and, whether they walk on two legs or four, we believe they deserve the same level of care. We offer pet health insurance for our employee’s cats and dogs.
  • For those that enroll in the medical plan, Buffalo Exchange offers a free $20,000 life insurance policy.

Buffalo Goodies

Buffalo Exchange Shoes

  • Discount, discount, discount! Our employees are fashion-obsessed individuals who love to shop! On top of the already great prices, employees get discount each month.
  • Need a vacation? Both full-time and part- time employees start earning paid time off on day one!

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Day in the Life of a Buffalo Exchange Buyer

Day in the Life of a Buffalo Exchange Buyer

By Jessica Pruitt, Buffalo Exchange HQ

Being a buyer for Buffalo Exchange is the most fun, rewarding job I’ve ever had. It’s also the hardest. I’ve come to see this as a winning combination. In fact, I credit my four plus years as a Buyer and Associate Manager for immense personal growth and lifelong friendships.

Training to be a Buyer

Buffalo Exchange Buyer

Training to be a Buyer is an ongoing process that lasts your entire career with Buffalo Exchange. To start out, new Buyers observe a trainer or Manager for several sessions before going hands-on. As they learn about the types of clothing that sell well for us and how to price it, they start to make decisions on their own. A trainer or manager is always right there with them to help them along the way.

It usually takes about three months for a Buyer to complete training, but in truth, the training never stops. Whether you’ve been a Buffalo Exchange Buyer for three months or three years, there are always new brands and new trends to learn about. This definitely means you have to stay on top of your development and be proactive about educating yourself.

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Buffalo Exchange Employee Athleisure Style

Athleisure Style: Associate Manager Dakota

By Buffalo Exchange Minneapolis

As a Buffalo Exchange shopper since 2004, Dakotah has long been devoted to recycled fashion and sustainability. Over the years, she’s developed her signature athleisure style while shopping at Buffalo. It should come as little surprise, then, that during one of her frequent shopping and selling trips, Dakotah was approached to join the team. She jumped at the opportunity!

A Career in Fashion

Dakotah began as a Buyer in February of 2015 and, as she learned more about brands, styles and trends, her passion for the resale clothing industry grew stronger than ever before. About a week before her one-year anniversary with Buffalo Exchange, an Associate Manager position opened. Dakotah decided to apply and, well, the rest is history!

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Buffalo Exchange New Year

Thank You for Another Great Year

As 2016 comes to a close, our thoughts turn to those who have made our success possible. Thank you and best wishes for the New Year to all of our wonderful Buffaloes – customers and employees alike! Here’s to 2017!

– Buffalo Exchange

Buffalo Exchange Tucson

Buffalo Exchange Tucson

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