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Not Your Average Thrift Store: The History of Buffalo Exchange Featured Story

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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!

 

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Shopping for Plus Size Fashion at Buffalo Exchange Tempe

@buffaloexchange

Shopping for plus-size summer fashion at Buffalo Exchange! @caeiyn #SummerStyle #PlusSizeFashion #PlusSizeTikTok #ThriftHaul #Thrifting #Secondhand

♬ original sound – Buffalo Exchange

Just like the summer sun, Caelyn’s sense of style shines bright — watch her bring in a few things to sell and swap them out for some cute, current pieces at Buffalo Exchange Tempe!

Have a plus-sized closet cleanout of your own? Trade in your past-favorite pieces for something new-to-you at your local Buffalo! We buy ALL sizes, from 16+, and your past-favorite pieces could become stylish closet staples you’ll love. Plus, when you sell your closet cleanout now through September 30th, share your email address with your Buyer to be entered for your chance to win a $100 Buffalo Exchange gift card. Find your local store here to schedule an appointment to sell!

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Shopping for Summer Shorts at Buffalo Exchange

 

Ooh la la, we are in the swing of summer! I recently took a trip to Buffalo Exchange to shop for my top summer staple – shorts – and I’m finally ready to let the heat waves and humidity wash over me! So grab a big glass of lemonade or iced tea, kick back and relax because Buffalo makes the once-dreaded activity of shopping for shorts easy and fun!

Buffalo Exchange LuLu Lemons

 

First at Bat: Activewear

I obtained the holy grail of soft activewear shorts, Lululemons! The red color is delightfully bright and paired perfectly with a mesh activewear top I found in store! Bold colors like this are great for outdoor activities because they make you visible to others sharing the road or trail and easier to find if you get lost. Forget about the pricey Lululemon tag, these were under $25! That’s a 58% discount…. need I say more?

Buffalo Exchange Jean Shorts

It’s Jort Season

The fit of jean shorts is crucial. Don’t fret if it takes a try or two, your body is original and all yours and finding the perfect shorts to compliment that is worth the time. The best part about shopping for these at Buffalo? They have a wide array of sizes and brands and styles so you can find a pair you love. I opted for a pair slightly higher than knee length and slightly longer than cut offs because I love that I can go casual with a simple tank or dress them up with a patterned blouse. The best part of these shorts? I can do cart wheels, backflips and somersaults in these without any fear.

Buffalo Exchange Hiking Shorts

Knock Knock! Who’s there? Hiking Wear!

Hello beautiful, comfy, soft, neutral-toned North Face hiking shorts with adjustable straps! I found these hidden in between two pairs of shorts that didn’t fit, but I made sure to look at every item on the rack so I didn’t miss anything. Pro tip – shop up and down a couple of sizes since fit varies so much by brand! And, when in doubt – try it on. Sometimes, the missing element of a piece is you! When I first saw these shorts, I thought they wouldn’t fit, but the adjustable strap made the waistline a great fit and the length was perfect for my legs.

Buffalo Exchange Gym Shorts

Comfy Time with Casual Gym Shorts

Also on the rack were classic, black gym shorts with white piping. A cute and comfy alternative to bike shorts, perfect for lounging and running errands. 

Are things heating up in your backyard? Catch a break from the summer heat by heading down to your local Buffalo to shop for shorts and other summer essentials. Even better, clean out your closet and bring in those great summer staples you just haven’t been wearing this year or your past-favorite fall pieces. Buffalo Exchange is buying for summer, fall and the best of all seasons! Just book an appointment to sell before you stop in.

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5 Things I Think About When I Sell My Clothing

Buffalo Exchange 5 Things I Think About When Selling My Closet Cleanout - Nice rack of clothing with plant in background

By Jessica Pruitt

After a pandemic year, we could all use a good closet cleanout. Whether some pieces don’t fit anymore (*raises hand*) or your style’s changed, chances are there are some excellent pieces from 2020 that you just aren’t wearing anymore. My two cents? Take them into Buffalo Exchange and trade in for some new finds that’ll spark joy in 2021 and beyond. Here are the top five things I consider when getting ready to sell my clothing. 

Buffalo Exchange - Things I Think About When I Sell My Clothing - Photo of Rainbow Vans on Dresser Top with Plant, Photo Frame, Candle, Earrings, and Rainbow Figurine

Scrub a Dub Dub 

As I pack up my items to sell, I take a close look at each piece under bright lighting. Does it have any spots that I might be able to get out if I throw it in the wash another time? Pilling that I could easily take off with a sweater shaver? Do the soles of my shoes need to be cleaned up? I know the Buyers will be looking at these things and that they only buy in items that are fresh and clean and ready to go out on the racks as is. So, if I think it’s a great piece otherwise, I make sure to throw it in the wash or pull out the Magic Eraser before I make an appointment to sell my clothing

Things I Think About When I Sell My Clothing - Photo of an orange tank top, floral pants and jean jacket sitting on top of washer ready to be washed

Too Many Condition Issues

I also consider the overall condition of each piece and just how much I’ve loved it. Does it have an unintentional hole, broken zipper or spots that won’t come out? If so, I make a separate pile of items to repurpose (old clothing can make great patches for sewing projects or rags for cleaning) or to donate to a local thrift store. 

Things I Think About When I Sell My Clothing - Photo of Box labeled "Sell Next Fall"

Before I Sell My Clothing, I Ask: What Season?

Buffalo Exchange buys the best of all seasons year-round. This means that, if I’m selling a like-new Patagonia puffer jacket or a brand new classic Madewell sweater in the middle of June, they’re still going to buy it. These are the classic pieces in excellent condition that Buffalo can box up knowing that customers will still be super happy to buy next year – or that someone will be excited to purchase even when it’s 110 degrees out because it’s such a find! 

Usually, I try to clean out my closet mid-season, once I figure out which pieces I’m not actually wearing. That way, I can sell my clothing while it’s still in-season and in-style, PLUS I can put the trade I earn towards a mid-season refresh. If I end up cleaning out at the end of the season, here’s my rule of thumb: when in doubt, bring it in anyways. The Buyers are always happy to look through everything you have. If I’m reasonably sure that it won’t sell out of season but I’m also not ready to just donate it, then I box it up and label it “Sell In The Fall”. Pro tip: Buffalo Exchange buys in advance of the actual season. So by mid-July, for example, they’re already slowing down on summer pieces and starting to buy for fall. 

Things I Think About When I Sell My Clothing - Photo of 5 pairs of jeans in a stack with artwork in the background

Seeing Double

When cleaning out, I think about whether or not I have multiple versions of the same piece. Do I have two eyelet blouses but I always go for my favorite one? Several jeans in the same cut and yet I only wear one pair? Clearing this kind of clutter out of my closet really makes it easier to get dressed each morning, plus I feel good knowing that I’m keeping great pieces in circulation and in use. Three cheers for reducing, reusing and recycling. 

Things I Think About When I Sell My Clothing - Photo of 5 pairs of jeans in a stack with artwork in the background - Photo of Rolling Stones T-Shirt that's brand new with tags on a clothing rack

Brand New With Tags?

You know when you have something in your closet for a full year but it’s still brand new with tags? COVID aside, since none of us had the chance to actually wear anything last year, tags are usually a good sign that something about the piece just doesn’t call to me. Most likely, I’m never going to end up wearing it. Also a great piece to sell since it’s in excellent condition! Disclaimer though: Buffalo won’t necessarily buy items just because they’re brand new with tags. They always look first at whether it’s a style that’s selling well in their store at the moment.

Buffalo Exchange - 5 Things I Think About When I Sell My Clothing - Photo of Buffalo Exchange reusable tote bag filled with clothing sitting on a table on the porch
Once I’ve decided which items I want to sell, I fold them all up neatly and throw them into my reusable Buffalo Exchange tote (super cute and made from 70% recycled plastic). Inspired to clean out? Now’s a great time to clear your closet of the pieces you’re not wearing and make room for some new post-pandemic looks. When you’re ready to head into the store, just make an appointment to sell at BuffaloExchange.com/Locations.

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Meet Katriel: Model, Stylist, and Buyer at Buffalo Exchange Las Vegas!

Growing up, Katriel cites his parents for inspiring his interest in fashion. His dad is an R&B musician with a flair for good style and his grandmother was a whiz on the sewing machine. His parents were also excellent cooks. In high school, Katriel studied the culinary arts and had the chance to work with chefs in Las Vegas. While he loved the artistic aspect of plating food and the way that his dishes would delight customers, he ultimately decided that fashion was his true love.

Originally a sneakerhead with a self-described 90s Fresh Prince-inspired style, he now takes inspiration from Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz and the 1970s. “I’m a sneakerhead at heart,” he says, “but a boot guy on the feet.” He still has a collection of more than 50 sneakers, with prized possessions like a pair of Air Jordan 1s from 1985 (the first Jordan ever made) and Kendrick Lamar Cortez’s, but his style now is more runway. Think 1970s vintage, Western styles, square toes, loafers and boots. “Being bold with fashion,” he says, “is one of the reasons why fashion is what it is. Be different. Make something out of nothing. Make it yours… I never want to look like somebody else.” When it comes to styling or creating the perfect photograph, Katriel recommends spontaneity. “If you see anything around you, take advantage of it. Step outside of your comfort zone. Put something on that you’re not comfortable with and see people’s reaction.”

Katriel has been working at Buffalo since June of 2019. He loves the way that the job teaches you about a wide variety of styles. With such a diverse staff, as well, you not only get to see the styles – you get to see how people wear them. He also loves talking to customers and finding just the right piece for them. “Just have fun,” he says. “Of course you have to work hard and get your job done, but if you’re not having fun, then the customers won’t have fun. The rest of the staff won’t have fun.”

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Category: Uncategorized

Taking Style Inspiration From My Dad

Taking style inspiration from my dad- four photos of men's wear style

By Estrella Sevilla Meza

In honor of Father’s day, I wanted to introduce you all to my awesome dad and his fun sense of
style. This is my dad, Jose. Ever since I can remember, he would wear Hawaiian shirts, Levi
jeans, boots, white sneakers, hats and Ray-Ban sunglasses.

Man wearing hawaiian shirt, jeans and fedora hat Man wearing graphic tee , jeans and fedora hat Man wearing hawaiian shirt, jeans and fedora hat
I’ve always enjoyed going shopping with him – and sometimes I even get a shirt or two and
shoes while I shop with him! A fun fact about the two of us: we’re both over 6 feet tall and we
both wear the same size shoes. So, unlike most daughters that share shoes and clothes with
their mom, I share with my dad. I often take style inspiration from him.

Happy Father’s Day to my dad, Jose!

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Support Your Community When You Shop at Buffalo Exchange!

Cows and Goats at The Gentle Barn Supported by Buffalo Exchange Tokens for Bags

Looking for ways to support your community while sustainably updating your wardrobe for summer? Have no fear – Buffalo Exchange Tokens for Bags® is here! When you make a purchase at any of our locations, we skip the single-use plastic bag and hand you a 5-cent token instead. Drop your token into a box for one of four local non-profits in your area. We support a new round of non-profits every six months. Read on for some of the great organizations in our stores now through the end of June! Don’t see your city listed below? Find out about the non-profits sponsored by your local Buffalo at BuffaloExchange.com/Tokens-For-Bags-Charities.

Arizona Wildlife Federation Grand Canyon Arizona Wildlife Federation Creek

Arizona Wildlife Federation in Tempe

Help out your local Wildlife Federation next time you shop at Buffalo Exchange Tempe! The Arizona Wildlife Federation is a non-partisan, science-based non-profit protecting wildlife and their habitats through education, inspiration, advocacy and action.

Shoal Creek Conservatory Cleanup Group

Shoal Creek Conservancy in Austin

Hey Austin! Heading to Buffalo soon? Support the Shoal Creek Conservancy by dropping a token in their box when you make a purchase. Shoal Creek Conservancy champions the Shoal Creek Watershed in Austin, TX. Through volunteer workdays, educational tours, water quality improvements and trail projects, they work with the community to make Shoal Creek healthier and more welcoming for all.

Outdoor Outreach group of snowboarders Outdoor Outreach man teaching girl to rappel

Outdoor Outreach in San Diego

Support youth in your community at Buffalo Exchange San Diego (Pacific Beach). Since 1999, Outdoor Outreach has empowered youth through transformative outdoor experiences. More than simply removing barriers to outdoor access, their programs provide space for youth to overcome challenges, build positive relationships and find confidence in their power to make a difference in their lives and their communities.

Woodhull Foundation promo poster

Woodhull Foundation in Brooklyn

Support freedom of sexual expression through the Woodhull Foundation when you shop at Buffalo Exchange Brooklyn! Freedom of sexual expression between consenting adults is a fundamental human right and that’s the work of Woodhull Freedom Foundation. Woodhull is a national organization working at the intersection of sexual and human rights. 

Water.Org kids getting clean water poured on hands

Water.org in Kansas City

Make a difference in someone’s life by helping to provide access to water through Water.org next time you buy, sell and trade at Buffalo Exchange Kansas City! Water.org is an international nonprofit organization that has positively transformed millions of lives around the world with access to safe water and sanitation through affordable financing. 

Neighborhood House

Neighborhood House in Portland

Hey PDX! Help out low income individuals at the Neighborhood House when you make a purchase at Buffalo Exchange in Downtown Portland. The Neighborhood House is a leading Portland-non-profit social service provider, delivering innovative, life-changing programs for low-income people of all ages and backgrounds. Their programs strive to prepare children for success in school and life, help families move beyond poverty and support seniors who wish to continue living independently.

House of Tulip Group of People on Stairs

House of Tulip in New Orleans

Support trans and gender non-conforming people through the House of Tulip at Buffalo Exchange New Orleans. House of Tulip is a Black, trans-led 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides permanent housing to trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people while also providing the safety, security and guidance they will need to pursue their education, become employed and eventually become homeowners.

Goat at The Gentle Barn Tokens for Bags Buffalo Exchange Cow at The Gentle Barn Tokens for Bags Buffalo Exchange

The Gentle Barn in LA

Make a difference in someone’s life by supporting the fuzzy friends at The Gentle Barn when you stop into Buffalo Exchange Melrose. The Gentle Barn is a national nonprofit organization, founded in 1999 as a safe haven and place of recovery for severely abused animals. The Gentle Barn offers their unique philosophy of rehabilitating animals and connecting their stories of survival and healing to the personal experiences of inner city, at-risk and special needs children who have suffered physical, mental or emotional trauma.

School on Wheels boy doing homework

School on Wheels in Ventura

Help out students in your local area through School on Wheels next time you shop at Buffalo Exchange Ventura. School on Wheels provides free tutoring and mentoring to children from kindergarten through twelfth grade living in shelters, motels, vehicles, group foster homes and the streets of Southern California.

Since starting our Tokens for Bags® program in 1994, Buffalo Exchange has raised over $803,000 for thousands of local nonprofit organizations and kept over 16.06 million plastic bags out of the environment. Thanks for being a part of that and supporting your local community by shopping locally & sustainably! Stop into your local Buffalo to shop and support non-profits in your area or book an appointment to sell.

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Six Summer Style Trends To Try in 2021

Just like the weather, summer style trends are coming in hot! As the temps warm up, it looks like there’s a new trend to add to your moodboard every day. To take some of the guesswork out of what to shop for this summer, we’ve compiled a short but mighty list of summer styles to liven up your wardrobe (Spoiler alert: all of these trends can be found at your local Buffalo Exchange!). Scroll through for our top picks on what to wear this summer.

Get into the Groove-y Florals

Florals are ubiquitous year-round, and summer is no exception. Switch out your modern prints for throwback 90s-does-70s florals in bold, bright colors. Bonus points for grungy baby-doll silhouettes or tres chic suit tailoring!

summer style trends, Person standing outside wearing large-print floral dress layered over yellow t-shirt, topped with cream cropped cardigan and black lace-up boots. Her novelty handbag is designed to look like milk carton.

summer style trends, Person wearing black mesh dress with brightly colored floral pattern, purposefully distressed sheer tights and platform shoes. Carrying purple satin handbag.

summer style trends, Person wearing vintage gray leisure suit with colorful floral shirt underneath

 

Mesh-Dressed

Ah, the ultimate summer dressing dilemma: full coverage or breathability? Enjoy the best of both  worlds with semi-sheer, long-sleeved mesh shirts in your pick of patterns. When it comes to prints, we say: the bolder, the better!

summer style trends, person wears Van Gogh's Starry Night printed on a mesh long sleeve, watercolor swirl patterned midlength skirt and yellow and blue sneakers. They hold a denim backpack in one hand

summer style trends, clothing laid flat, mesh longs sleeve top with swirling black pattern, orange and black tie-dyed pants, white sneakers and Pyer Moss logo beanie

summer style trends, two people standing outside of store front, one wearing checkerprint denim and a coordinating camisole and cardigan set. the other wears a green mesh long sleeved top and lightwash denim

Y2K All Day

This one’s for all the zillennials out there! Inspired by the years between the late nineties and early aughts, Y2K style is back with tube dresses, graphic pants and kitschy accessories that would make even Zenon jealous.

summer style trends, person striking a one arm up, cross legged pose, wearing purple velvet tube dress and Nike sneakers, they hold a novelty Hello Kitty purse in one hand

summer style trends, two people stand back to back, person on left holds up a peace sign wearing red lame pants, black cropped t-shirt and black platform boots. Person on right stands in Charlie's Angels pose, wearing purple lame pants, light purple cropped t shirt and black Converse sneakers.

summer style trends, cropped shot of someone wearing transparent plastic shoes covered in stickers, white socks and rolled up jeans

Par for the Corset 

Shapewear as everyday style has been around for a while (think compressive bike shorts styled for daily wear with tees or blazers), and the corset trend shows no sign of slowing down. Give major Bridgerton vibes with ivory satin or go punk rock with vegan leather and heavy-metal buckles!

summer style trends, group of three partially seated. they wear a combination of retro stripe button downs, tie-dye denim jackets, and a pastel pink dress styled with a corset

summer style trends, white corset tank top, vegan leather culotte shorts, black lace-up calf boots and small black baguette bag

summer style trends, two people stand against brown wall. person of left wears plaid dress with vest that acts as corset, persion on right wears romantic goth dress with black under-bust corset styled over it. both wear chunky platform boots with silver buckles and fixtures

Totally Twinning

As we’re able to reconnect irl with our bffs, coordinating outfits will be huge! Be it minimalist neutral sets, streetwear tees and cargos or Clueless-inspired plaid skirts and cropped tees, there’s a look out there perfectly tailored for your dynamic duo.

summer style trends, two friends stand outside of Buffalo Exchange dressed in "fairy grunge" aesthetic, one wears cropped olive green long sleeved t shirt, gray zebra print skirt and shiny black loafers. person on right wears purple and black striped sweater, black dress with tulle skirt and black platform boots paired with purple fishnet tights.

summer style trends, two people sit on cement stair case, dresses similarly in olive, gray and black. person on right wears open button down shirt patterned with lemons, white capris and white crossbody bag. Person on right wears patchwork tanktop, black denim and black lace-up boots.

Fresh Fruit Fashion

Our last summer style trend is a sweet one: retro-inspired fruit prints! This juicy trend is perfect for summer and can easily be found in a range of styles, from pineapple-print sets to cherry embroidered dresses.

summer style trends. person standing in front of flower bushes wears fruit printed white slip dress and casual white sneakers

summer style trends, cherry-printed dress, cropped red cardigan, red sandals, black handbag and cherry printed bucket hat

summer style trends, black cherry print dress, red framed sunglasses, green handbag and white Reebok sneakers

summer style trends, pineapple printed two piece shirt and short set, paired with oversized sunglasses, pink slide sandals and pink top-handle purse

Feeling inspired to shop? Don’t fill that online cart just yet — we haven’t gotten to our favorite summer trend: shopping sustainably! When you shop secondhand at your local Buffalo Exchange, you’re playing a major role in keeping clothing out of landfills. Plus, you’ll be able to find all of these summer styles (plus more!) for a fraction of the cost. Oh, and let’s not forget that when you sell your closet cleanout at Buffalo Exchange, you can choose between cash or trade — that means that the cost of your new look could be totally covered by the things you weren’t wearing anyway! To learn more about how to sell and schedule an appointment today, check out our ‘How to Sell’ blog here. We can’t wait to see you in our store!

 

Stories


Meet Katie Pedro: Playwright, Director and Buffalo Exchange Williamsburg Associate Manager!

Katie comes with a background in Musical Theatre and a Master’s degree from Sarah Lawrence in directing, ensemble work and digital media. These days, when she’s not at Buffalo Exchange, she works as a freelance director and playwright with a focus on narratives centered around women and retelling historical narratives. She also works as Associate Artistic Director with Troy Foundry Theatre in Troy, NY. She takes inspiration from artists like Frida Kahlo, Louis Bourgeois, Caravaggio, and Gustav Klimt, as well as from sound and music. “I think theatre is the greatest collaborative art,” she says, “so things like music, fashion, visual art, digital media – they’re all essential to creating far-reaching performance art.”

Katie’s biggest theatrical influences include Samuel Beckett, Carol Churchill and Jose Rivera. Her work tends to be abstract with a goal of creating worlds that are recognizable but different from ours. “Experiencing art is not one size fits all,” she says. “It’s a very personal experience, and my goal is always to create space for each individual to find what they’re looking for.” Continuing her work amidst the pandemic has been tough, she admits, but just as Spencer Block believed, Katie knows that art is essential to our existence. “Art has survived every era of chaos, war, political turmoil and dysfunction in history,” she says. “We need art to express, communicate, protest, and process… When the opportunities aren’t presenting themselves, create your own.”

Over the past year and a half working at Buffalo, Katie has found her creativity and creative problem solving to be a huge asset to her job. “In the end,” she says, “fashion is art. It’s a way of communicating about ourselves, and even when I’m not making theatre, I feel like I’m working with art every day that I get to handle clothes.”

 

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Top 7 Tips for Secondhand Shopping

Secondhand shopping is the only kind of shopping in my opinion – not only is it a feel-good environmentally friendly option, but once you start paying resale prices for super great stuff, it’s really hard to go back to paying full price. So how to make the most of it each time you shop and ensure you find all the best pieces your local Buffalo has to offer? Go in with a plan. Here are my top 7 tips for shopping secondhand!

Seconhand Shopping Tips Shop the Shoes and Pants First

First Stop: Shoes & Pants

Or your favorite sections! Always hit up the shoe rack and then pants first because they’re the trickiest things to find secondhand. The fit has to be just right. Personally, I don’t want to run out of time and, no matter what’s on my shopping list, I check these sections every time I go. As they say, the early bird gets the… perfect pair of denim.

Secondhand Shopping Tips Shop a Range of Sizes

Size Up the Selection

Size varies pretty drastically depending on the brand. At secondhand shops like Buffalo Exchange, you can shop all your favorite stores & brands in a single rack, so it’s a great idea to broaden your horizons. This is especially true for shoes and pants. Whereas I might wear a size 6 for certain brands, others might be a 10. It’s the best way to make sure you don’t miss out on some dreamy new denim or the perfect pair of kicks.

Secondhand Shopping Tips Men's Tees Graphic Tees Vintage Band Tees

Graphic Tee Heaven

Always, always, always stop by the men’s tees to see what’s in stock. This is my favorite place to find graphic tees, from vintage band shirts and retro throwbacks to current trends. Personally, I like to wear them oversized or crop them.

Secondhand Shopping Tips Shop the Employee Picks and Displays

Look for the Employee Picks Rack and Shop the Displays!

Many Buffalo Exchange locations will have a rack fully stocked with a selection of all the most current trends, in-season pieces and fun vintage. Don’t miss out on this section! It’s a great place to find style inspo and some of the most fun pieces the store has to offer. Everything on display is for sale, so don’t hesitate to ask an employee to grab something for you if you want to take a closer look.

Secondhand Shopping Tips Secondhand Workout Wear

Wondering Where to Find Workout Wear?

Check the s/m/l/xl pants section and the tank tops. I pick up most of my leggings and workout tops secondhand and, believe you me, you can find some incredible deals on Lululemon, Girlfriend Collective, Nike, Adidas and lots more. It’s one of the best-kept secrets, but you’re cool, so I figured I’d let you in on it. 

Secondhand Shopping Tips - Shop Behind the Counter - Photo of Coach Puffy Bag

Check Behind the Counter

Say hello to your new favorite designer bag! Most Buffalo Exchange stores keep their highest end items (shoes, bags, sunglasses, you name it) in the jewelry counter and behind the register. Be sure to take a peek before you head out and, if anything piques your interest, ask to take a closer look! I’ve found most of my favorite bags this way, including a clear Kate Spade bag and a space-themed Coach cross-body.

Secondhand Shopping Tips Take the Trade Secondhand Shopping Tips Take the Trade

Always Take the Trade

My best and final tip? Bring in your closet cleanout and take the trade! When you trade in, you get 50% of Buffalo’s selling price, which you can either spend that same day or keep on a digital trade card that never expires. I always find something to buy at Buffalo and I loooove the feeling of a free, no-guilt shopping spree every time I go. 

Ready to build your dream resale wardrobe? Find your local Buffalo Exchange and head on in to shop all your favorite current trends + designer, vintage and one-of-a-kind finds! If you’re cleaning out your closet, book an appointment to sell ahead of time so that you can trade in for new favorites – maybe without even spending a dime!

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Trend Alert: Three Ways to Style Leather Pants

 

In February, I stopped by my local Buffalo Exchange for a LONG overdue shopping trip. In 2021, my goal is to focus on sustainable style: clothes that I’ll treasure forever, or timeless pieces that I know I can always trade in at Buffalo Exchange. Not wanting to overdo it, I made a promise to myself that I’d only leave with items I absolutely adored. Lo and behold, I found what I was looking for almost immediately: a VERY trendy pair of leather pants! At first glance, leather pants may seem like a strange choice — how often will I wear them? However, I found that they’re remarkably versatile, and I can totally see myself rocking them from fall to spring. Scroll through for three ways to style leather pants!

@buffaloexchange

Styling leather pants from Buffalo Exchange Part 3! #SecondhandFashion #ThriftHaul

♬ original sound – Buffalo Exchange

Colorblock with primary hues for a fun, artsy spin on no-nonsense leather (bonus points for added textures like faux fur and retro-inspired vinyl!)

@buffaloexchange

Styling leather pants from Buffalo Exchange part 4! #SecondhandFashion #ThriftHaul

♬ original sound – Buffalo Exchange

Although they seem to be from totally different worlds, a racing jacket, cashmere sweater and cowboy boots are MINT to be! Finish the look with a top handle faux croc bag.

@buffaloexchange

Watch Aarian style vintage leather pants with other finds from Buffalo Exchange! #SecondhandFashion #ThriftHaul

♬ original sound – Buffalo Exchange

Take a trip to Paris without leaving your block in a French-inspired look featuring polka dots, strappy sandals and a cloud bag in a monochromatic palette. 

As you can see, these black leather pants are far from basic! If you’re feeling inspired to shop, stop by your local Buffalo Exchange today. Each store is filled with classic staples, trendy pieces and one of a kind finds you’ll love. Plus, if you’re due for a closet cleanout, you can bring in your items and leave with trade to spend on a sustainable, new-to-you wardrobe! 

PS – Did you know that you can now schedule an appointment to sell online? Visit buffaloexchange.com/locations to find your neighborhood store and conveniently book your spot today!