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.