Spotting a Buffalo Exchange..

Yesterday my friend Courtney mentioned a great clothing exchange shop that is a step up from consignment stores like Platos. It is called Buffalo Exchange, and has various locations filled with tredy, gently used clothing from designers brands such as Anthropologie and French Connection and vintage labels as well! Here is a bit about the store from their website.

The first Buffalo Exchange opened in 1974 in Tucson, Arizona by Kerstin and Spencer Block. To our knowledge, this was the very first store that bought, sold, traded and took clothing items and accessories on consignment. Kerstin, being Swedish, thought the word ‘Buffalo’ was very American. And since the store was going to be an ‘Exchange,’ the store’s name was born. The store was in a 450 square foot space that had been an old union office on a side street near the University of Arizona. Kerstin’s love of fashion and thrill in finding a bargain combined to create the company that now has 41 stores and 2 franchises in 15 states, with $72.9 million a year in revenue (as of Dec 2011). Buffalo Exchange is an independent and privately held company and the founders manage the day-to-day business. Kerstin and her daughter Rebecca still own and run Buffalo Exchange out of Tucson.

There is also a book about entrepreneurship and business called …The Way of the Buffalo: A Business Primer and Fashion Love Song, written by Spencer Block, was published posthumously in August 2011. The paperback is now available and atyour local Buffalo Exchange, Bookmans Entertainment Exchange, Mostly Books and Antigone Books. Also available on kindle and Nook. Spencer’s wife and daughter compiled and edited his writings. Spencer opened Buffalo Exchange with his wife Kerstin in 1974. As both entrepreneur and hippie (of sorts), Spencer wrote over the years about his insights on Buffalo Exchange’s values, and how it has managed to remain vibrant and ever-changing. His discussion on being in business while doing good and remaining sustainable is at times funny, poignant and always down to earth.

The Way of the Buffalo is a spiritual journey. Not a handbook on how to do it, but rather lessons learned by two small-time entrepreneurs over a three-decade experience about the business of business. This collection of essays shares a unique perspective on the spirit of the entrepreneur, the will to sell and the art of providing products and services to the public. Spencer’s beliefs about running a profitable and ethical company are highlighted in this compilation of his musings, poetry, random writings and a few song lyrics. (

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