The little house that could! 

For some reason this house makes me smile every time I see it :) 

What do you all think?

PS What is up with the erratic weather? 

Update 1/24: The house is located on Bryant Ave, between Elmwood and Richmond.

Vintage is the new Black!

Buffalo’s Creative Class Series: RustBeltThreads

Founder: Amanda

Business Type: Web Based

Description: Selling vintage items

Venturing into a thrift store is comparable to metaphorical time travel. Visitors get the opportunity to browse and purchase items from the past, them restore those items into the present. Yet, finding favorable items in a thrift store or estate sale takes time and a keen eye – one that Amanda has. Back in 2008, Amanda discovered her knack for finding vintage items, and presenting them to people for purchase on eBay. Soon Amanda’s small-time hobby became a part-time business. She discovered Etsy, and began to sell her items in the midst of like-minded online retailors. Unlike the others, however, she is selling an assortment of items straight form the Rustbelt.

            Amanda graduated with a degree in Graphics Design from Buffalo State College, and although she is not originally from Buffalo, she considers herself to be a proud Buffalonian. RustBeltThreads started off selling only clothes and shoes, but she soon started selling other items such as reading glasses and drinking glasses that were very popular in the 50’s - also very popular among her customers. Amanda recently sold some of those items to the prop department of the hit TV show Mad Men. When I asked Amanda why she liked Vintage clothing she stated: “I just think that in Vintage clothing the pieces are made so well, they are constructed very well, and the prints are just different, making them timeless. I feel like I need to show this to people. That a dress from the 50s will last a lot longer than something you buy today.”

            The items listed on RustBelthThreads are from thrift stores, estate sales, and other outlets that feature vintage items. Amanda informed me that she has thee 6-foot z-racks that are filled, and numerous items spread all throughout her apartment. While Amanda is not in a rush to open a storefront anytime soon, she is an active part of the city. Just this past December her and three other retailers hosted an event called Queen City Market at Karpeles Manuscript Library on Porter Ave. The one-day holiday sale event featured 55 other vendors and was a big hit, which may lead to an annual event. Amanda says it was the first time she got her name out in Buffalo.

Chatting with Amanda has very humbling. She truly is passionate about vintage and promoting the sale of vintage items in the WNY area. Amanda has found that she has had customers from every continent (except Antarctica) making the purchases spilt between national and international. Amanda says that Buffalo will develop into a thriving city, but it is not going to happen overnight. She believes it may take a decade or so, but we will get there.

It is always great to meet people that take something they love and turn it into a business. I look forward to see how the online business continues to grow. 

Please check out RustBeltThreads at http://www.etsy.com/shop/rustbeltthreads or http://rustbeltthreads.tumblr.com/

Back at the West Side Bazaar Gift Shopping  

Trying to find a gift for a friend. Which ones do you all like?

Who says a garage door has to be plain? Check out what the Essex Center students designed.

Adaptive Reuse… Essex Street Arts Center

Once an ice manufacturing warehouse, now a center for creation. The Center is located on the West Side of Buffalo. Check out their webpage http://www.griffispark.org/arts-in-education-2/

Buffalo’s Creative Class Series: Pasteurized Tees

Founders: Michael Bowen (Owner) and Collins

Business Type: Retail

Description: Customized fashion and design

Ever had that “I have an awesome idea for a graphic t-shirt” moment? Well Michael Bowen did…and guess what its yours. People enjoy expressing themselves through clothing, but even more so they enjoy when their clothing makes a statement.  During a trip to Toronto Michael discovered a shop that allowed customers to print graphic t-shirts of the company’s design - there was no personalization. Michael saw a problem with this because he knew that people wanted their own design, not only on t-shirts but on various items they owned.    

The inception of Pasteurized Tees was created with the individual’s personal interest in mind. A person can come to the store to discuss a design or email a design that they either created or liked. Michael and his partner Collins (the two guys in the top right photo) will work with the individual to coordinate color and lettering for a great design. The awesome part is that they can put the design on anything, from a t-shirt to a jacket that is your own or purchased from the store (check out these three clients that were in the shop when I stopped by). 

Completion does not usually take long, about a day. Moreover, the prices for tees usually range from $10 to $30. The concept is a creative one, and it is going to be awesome to see the company grow. GO get your design on and create a personal tee or a gift for a friend. The shop is located at 478 Elmwood Avenue, also check out the facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pasteurizedtees

Some buildings in Buffalo remind me of English style housing…or is it just me?

Did not expect to find these on the East Side. Awesome

Did not expect to find these on the East Side. Awesome

How to Style your Anatomy

Each time I walk through Elmwood Village, between Anderson’s and Lexington Ave, my eyes always force me to stop. Within a window, hangs a gorgeously designed dress that is simply breath taking. From the stitch work to the clean design, this dress has a fresh and alluring appeal. Today I did not walk past the window; instead, I entered the shop that it belonged to, and was pleased to find that behind this window lies a thriving member of Buffalo’s fashion community.

Anatomy is a small boutique in the Elmwood Village owned and operated by native Buffalonian Ali Eagan. The boutique offers a wide arrangement of collections that vary in style and season – all designed by Ali. The coolest aspect of this shop is that just beyond the ready order pieces is Ali’s design work space - complete with sewing machine, threads, fabric, and a dressmakers mannequin – this is where Ali does “made to measure” in store. What’s made to measure? Costumers can come into the store, choose an in-store silhouette or bring a personal garment and Ali will tailor it to your liking.

Ali earned her fashion design skills at New York’s own FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology), but this Buffalo native never planned on staying in NYC – she had bigger dreams. After a few years working for a major design label, Ali moved back to Buffalo where she opened Anatomy in the Elmwood Village, which is now celebrating one year of operation.

While Buffalo does not have a fashion scene like New York’s, there is a growing community of fashion designers that are making a local name for themselves. Ali voiced that though she is having success and loves her location, it is sometimes difficult to be a fashion designer in Buffalo, due to the fact that you cannot even buy fabric locally. In spite of this, the fashion circle of Buffalo keeps designing on and there are a good number of boutiques within the Elmwood Village.  Ali also informed me that the Elmwood Village Association is hosting its annual fashion show called Mass Appeal on November 18th at 7pm in Lafayette Presbyterian; one of Buffalo’s preserved masterpieces.

So New Yorkers and Buffalonians if you are into chic style and personalization, please be sure to visit Anatomy’s website @ http://madebyanatomy.com/ or stop by 569 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY 14222.

Question: How can Buffalo further develop its fashion scene?

Buffalo what are your thoughts?

New York what is your advice?

From Central Park to Delaware Park