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 […]Full Story
Hey Philly, clean out your closet and trade it in for cash or store credit at Buffalo Exchange! We’re buying a little bit of everything, but we’re especially on the lookout for men’s summer items like tees, short-sleeves shirts, lightweight jackets and pants! If you shoe collection is crowding your closet floor, we’re also looking […]View Wanted
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.
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.
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!
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.
By Jessica Pruitt
Drumroll, please…the final numbers are in! To all of you who stopped by our annual Earth Day $1 Day Sale on Saturday, April 20, we want to say a HUGE THANK YOU for helping us raise $52,628 for the Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team! WOW! That’s the most money we’ve EVER raised from a $1 Day Sale. It’s also a whole lot of happy animals! We couldn’t have done it without you.
Teaming Up with the Animal Rescue Team
Every year, we hold an Earth Day $1 Day Sale on the Saturday closest to Earth Day at all of our stores (except outlets) and donate 100% of the proceeds to a deserving non-profit. This year, we teamed up with the HSUS’ Animal Rescue Team to help out animals in need!
Not only does the Animal Rescue Team save animals from abusive conditions like animal fighting operations and puppy mills – they recently rescued 84 Great Danes from an abusive breeder in New Hampshire – but they are also ready to deploy at a moment’s notice to help animals during natural disasters. During the 2017 hurricane season, the Animal Rescue Team helped more than 2,000 animals following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. They do this by developing pet-friendly evacuation plans, moving pets out of harm’s way before a storm and performing emergency field rescues when needed.
Coats for Cubs
Thank you to everyone who donated their fur to our Coats for Cubs program as well! Every year from January 1 through Earth Day, we invite customers to drop off fur coats they no longer want at any of our stores and let us know they’re a donation to Coats for Cubs. We then ship them off the wildlife rehabilitators across the US, who use them to provide comfort to orphaned and injured wildlife. The rehabbers say that this speeds up their healing process. This year, we collected 2,002 furs, another record-breaking amount! Since taking this initiative over from The Humane Society in 2006, we have collected and distributed more than 15,108 furs.
Since starting the Earth Day $1 Day Sale in 1997, we’ve raised over $717,900 for a variety of different charities – and we couldn’t have done it without your help! Whether you’ve been to every $1 sale for the last 20 years or you’ve never been to one before, put it on your list for next year! Remember the special selection of $1 items goes quickly and that the sale is cash only. See you next April! Want to give back in the meantime? Just stop by your local Buffalo Exchange. Through our Tokens for Bags® program, we give out charity tokens instead of bags with each purchase that you can donate to one of three local non-profits!
By Aarian Frye
Break out the swimsuits and get that away message drafted, because summer is almost here! After a long winter and a very sneezy and breezy spring, the warm weather has arrived – bringing with it a new crop of trends to try out. Whether you’re working through the summer or planning a month-long vacay, we compiled the styles you’ll want to stock in your closet. Read ahead for our favorite trends of the summer!
Tie Dye Hard
There’s nothing more fitting to be featured on a list of summer fashion trends than camp-favorite tie dye! Reminiscent of days spent swatting mosquitos by a lake, tie-dye has transformed into a runway-certified staple. Plus, it’s an easy way to extend the life of your favorite T-shirt: DIY your tee with a swirl of rainbow dye to rock with your denim and sneakers. For an evening look, try a tie-dye cotton or silk dress as an alternative to the LWD (little white dress). Finish off the look with white d’orsay heels and delicate gold jewelry.
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!
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!
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.
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.
Sonia Barcelona performing at Buffalo Exchange Las Vegas
@SouthwestMother at Buffalo Exchange Tucson
Cartel Coffee Cold Brew at Buffalo Exchange Tempe
Vintage Finds at Buffalo Exchange Phoenix
@MsMaverickMuse at Buffalo Exchange La Brea
Amazing Betty Boop Jacket at Buffalo Exchange Long Beach
Darden Sisters Band Performing at Buffalo Exchange Fullerton
Fun Finds at Buffalo Exchange Santa Monica
Buffalo Exchange Eugene
Buffalo Exchange Seattle Market
Vintage Dresses at Buffalo Exchange Bellingham
Buffalo Exchange Austin Vintage Pop-Up Shop
Vintage Beaded Bags at Buffalo Exchange Dallas
Vintage Pop-Up Shopping at Buffalo Exchange Nashville
Buffalo Exchange Atlanta
Buffalo Exchange Philadelphia
Buffalo Exchange Chelsea Vintage Pop-Up Shop
Buffalo Exchange Astoria Vintage Pop-Up Shop
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!
Howdy, Tucson! Buffalo Exchange is stocking up for spring and summer and we want your closet cleanout! We’re currently looking for warm-weather pieces like dresses, tank tops, shorts and women’s T-shirts. If you have clothes more fit for fall and winter, bring them in, too – we buy all seasons, year round! For the fellas, we’re especially on the hunt for great jackets and sweaters. One more thing: don’t forget the footwear like canvas sneakers, espadrilles and sandals for men and women. Your closet cleanout could turn into cash or trade to spend on your new spring look!
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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…
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.