Things we love: Collaboration, Shopping downtown, small businesses.
The Holiday Pop Up Shop has all those things! BUDC, Working for Downtown, and Buffalo Place put out an RFP seeking local businesses that would like to operate rent-free in the STUNNING Market Arcade building until Christmas Eve to sell their goods.
A pretty sweet deal from Sinatra & Co, Market Arcade’s owners, but it also serves to prop up the other retailers already in the building and lure new retailers to set up storefronts for the long term.
We want to share the story of each of the five very different retailers in the Pop Up and encourage you to stop down and spend your money locally this holiday season.
Handmade Gifts By Buffalo Artisans
Andrea and Eric Dacey
Eric was very quick to give all credit to his wife, Andrea, who got this business going. One day while walking around town she exclaimed, “I just adore Buffalo.” And so they had a name. Eric and Andrea were seeking out artists and makers here in Buffalo who wanted to sell beyond the limits of Etsy. “We reached out to about 20 artists. A bunch of people we didn’t even know! And they latched on and we grew from there.”
Three years after getting started with only T shirts to sell, Buffalo Adore now features 5200 items from 85 artists in a 600 square foot store in South Buffalo. The waiting list to get your goods into their store is 110 artists long.
Finally, we asked Eric what he and Andrea have learned over the past three years doing business in Buffalo.
“There is immense talent here. There is eagerness, want, and passion from artists here. And that’s what makes this city so great.”
“I can still remember the thrill, as a little girl, on my first shopping trip downtown. You would get all dressed up, and buy a ticket to ride the bus for yourself. That’s why, as I seek out a permanent storefront of my own, I want it to be downtown. The magic is still here.”
“I’ve been crocheting since I was six years old and suddenly people wanted to pay me for it. Ha!”
Lorri’s talents evolved into being able to create all sorts of items. She taught herself how to work with the glass and wire jewelry you’ll see available for sale here.
“I broke into this Pop Up by saying I wouldn’t flood my table with only my products, but I’ve also brought in a five artists, with five more coming.”
rust belt love
Alyson left town to go to FIT and lived in NYC with her husband, also from Buffalo. All of the good ones come back. Rumors were swirling in New York about a lot of people heading back to Buffalo and that there was a whole new vibe and energy different than the city they left.
So she and her husband came back and got to work. With her illustration and graphic design training, Alyson started making wedding invitations, doing wedding coordination, and letter press made right out of their home soon followed.
“This is actually the first time we’re trying out an in person retail experience. We had thought about a storefront before so we could meet brides somewhere other than a coffee shop or our house. What I think our city lacks is a true stationary store where people can pick up notes, notebooks, and cards. That’s what I’d like to put in a storefront in the future.”
Zandra Azariah Cunningham
Zandra Azariah Cunningham is 14 years old. That being a story in itself, her brand, Azariah’s Innocence, consists of sugar scrubs, bath wash, and lotions are made without any animal products.
“You can do it”
“Scrub your troubles away” are just some of the empowering phrases for young women featured on her offerings.
In 2009, Buffalo State had a program to introduce entrepreneurship to young people, so a 9-year-old Zandra made lip balms that eventually sold at Elmwood/Bidwell Farmer’s market. Over the next 5 years, business evolved into moisturizing cream for skin and hair for both men and women. Zandra uses her product and her presence to push her peers to get involved with entrepreneurship.
Preferred Werk is made up of a circle of friends in Buffalo. A few of the guys moved out to Lake Tahoe for a couple years to work in snowboard shops and do some shredding themselves. Out there, the idea of the company was born, but now that everyone has moved back home to Buffalo, it is growing.
Preferred Werk aspires to be a nationwide brand. They have a crew of EDM and Hip Hop DJ’s. PW throws the parties. The DJ’s wear their clothes.
“Once we were back in Buffalo, we had to take some time finding people to embroider our hats and print our tees. Luckily, we were able to find great partners within the city itself for both.”
Parties have been at Hardware – including one coming up Friday November 21 – Gypsy Parlor, The Wastelands, a warehouse on Main St, and a bowling alley in East Aurora.
PW has a fan base in Buffalo, California, and Vermont and they’re primed for growth.
Stop by during lunch, and you may find one of their founders on break from his 9-5, DJ’ing in his dress suit.
Finally, we are happy to inform you that unlike the Walden Galleria, these business owners will be spending time with their families on Thanksgiving. Come back to shop on Black Friday!