Fun fact: I grew up on a horticultural farm. My grandfather, parents, Aunt Jillie, siblings, and Great Aunt grew chrysanthemums by the 1,000s in Wrights Corners, NY for years. The tens of acres at my grandparents’ house was magical, beautiful, and hard work. Besides the mums, we also grew vegetables and sunflowers and my Grandpa took much of his garden to the local Farmer’s Market in Lockport every week. My brother studied landscape architecture and my mother is a retired art teacher. So naturally, this whole gardening thing is of interest to me and I am diving in to everything that has to do with the outside of the house.Beau is, too.
My parent’s home in Newfane, NY was meticulously landscaped and they spent every hour they could once the weather broke until the snow fell outside working on their flower beds. It was so stunning that people would drive down our road very slowly to check out the land and ask my Dad questions about what things were. (lol!) I spent ALOT of time in nurseries and greenhouses as a kid and have started to visit many of them now as an adult and getting my own things.
We have some stunning places in WNY and each nursery and greenhouse has a certain personality. Some are fierce flower joints, others focus on shrubs. Some have hearty plants and several are uniquely their own. This list is our personal guide to places we love that you should definitely be hittin’ up this Spring:
Our Top Greenhouses and Nurseries:
Russell’s Tree & Shrub Farm: The best place for trees, bushes, grasses, and shrubs. You can find small to large sizes for your budget and talk about delivery to your place. Transit Rd., East Amherst
Hi-Way Garden Center: A well-maintained and beautiful greenhouse filled with hearty and colorful perennials and annuals. We love getting our coleus, hens and chicks, and vegetables here. (yes, like the veggies you can grow yourself) Tonawanda Creek Rd., Amherst
Lockwood’s: A new discovery for us now that are Southtowners! This place has some stunning houseplants, beautiful spikes, and really hard-to-find annuals. Clark St., Hamburg
Seasonal Nursery: The place to look in to for landscaping design ideas and beautiful hanging baskets. We like to get spikes, sweet potato vines, and impatients here. Bullis Rd., Elma
Angle Acres Greenhouse: Here’s your hidden gem, guys. Angle Acres has 4 greenhouses filled with houseplants and unique varying sizes of succulents. Best place for a photo shoot. ***CASH ONLY. If you forget it’s okay- there is a gas station nearby with an ATM. Angle Rd., Orchard Park
It was one of those serendipitous meetings while strolling along Hertel Ave. last fall. The cutest pop-up caught our eye inside a popular local shop and we hit it off talking about Buffalo, Instagram, and the love of WNY artisans. It was buffBOX– a newly launched curated Buffalo box design that was the hit of all that walked by.
We were so impressed by this unique business that we caught up with owner Heidie Buffomante (I mean, c’mon, even her name is totally Buffalo!). Check out the inspiration behind the boxes and how you can get one, too:
Okay, we gotta start with the basics like…what is buffBOX and who are you?!
H: buffBOXes are curated collections that offer style, function, and feature items from small businesses. Each is thoughtfully created with a lot of love.
My husband, Adam, and I live in Williamsville with our sweet pup Daisy. I work as an Assistant Principal at a Middle School (which was also my favorite grade level to teach).
People in life matter, a ton. Gifting a custom buffBOX evokes feelings of importance and connection. Your gift recipient will feel like they have just received something extra special as they notice the unexpected details such as the elevated packaging or the handwritten note on linen paper. buffBOXes also support Buffalo’s small businesses and entrepreneurs. When purchasing, you are building into the resurgence of our city. It is my hope that the quality and uniqueness of your buffBOX items will get you right back into that small business to buy more and of course, connect with the owner/creator/artisan/entrepreneur.
This is new to the scene! How did it all begin and what was your inspiration behind it all? Everyone has a story about their creations!
H: After a brain injury in August 2014 I spent a significant amount of time at home recovering. It brought me immense joy to remix items throughout our home to optimize their function while also creating something beautiful. I needed to be in a space that elicited feelings of comfort and coziness as Adam and Daisy spent many evenings and weekends tucked inside with me. I evolved into styling spaces for my mom, sister and friends. All the while, I would have consistent FaceTime sessions with my dear friend Aubrey in California where we would dream about this turning into a business. Most recently in October 2017 I decided to share my curated pairings of home goods more broadly, did a big shop, came up with 30 variations, and had a “First Look” with family and friends a week later. Very shortly after that Adam picked me up from work on an afternoon we planned to hit up the small businesses on Hertel. It was a very rainy day and we considered just going home. Instead, we braved the Buffalo weather, had a conversation with a few local entrepreneurs about this passion project, and weeks later we were popped-up inside their store. This launched buffBOXes being featured in local blogs, a segment on Channel 7 news, collaborations with local entrepreneurs, and most importantly Adam and I met a lot of new people in our city of Buffalo. We are forever grateful to Bri at Modern Nostalgia, Matt with Scout & Cedar, and Katie creator of BKindCity for believing in buffBOXes and embracing us on that rainy night.
It’s nice to have a creative-type put these gifts together as a gift! Where do you frequent to find pieces for the boxes?
H: I create buffBOXes with functional and unique items I find on our travels around Buffalo and day trips on the weekend. This ensures there is a small business feature in each box. This is important to me and part of why I enjoy curating buffBOXes because each has its own authentic story that is shared on the personalized stationery packaged inside. I also have my stores I frequent often like Hobby Lobby and Marshall’s. I can always find supporting pieces to the anchor item in each box.
What are some good uses for a buffBOX? What kind of gifts could it be for?
H: Reason- (birthday, baby shower, housewarming, new job, just ‘cause, treat yo’ self)
Season- (spring tablescape, essential summer decor, fall vignette, hot cocoa station for a winter wonderland)
In each custom buffBOX there is a handwritten note sharing the small business feature, where the items have traveled from, or how it will compliment their lifestyle based on the information the gift-giver provides on my custom order form.
What are the ranges of buffBOXes if readers are looking to send a gift?
H: Custom buffBOXes come two ways: Regular $69, and BIG buffBOX for $99
For Pop-Ups at local businesses prices range from $4 to $45 for the Build-Your-Own buffBOX option. You can pick and choose which items you want with attractive price points.
How do the gifts get to the people?
H: Free pickup, $10 delivery within 20 miles of Williamsville. Shipping adds on a cost of the flat rate box.
Where can people see the buffBOXes?
H: Instagram @buffboxes is the platform I use to share what’s available for purchase, dates/locations for pop-ups, completed custom orders (with permission from the gift-giver), and information on how to order your own.
My personal Instagram @heidiebuff is a place to checkout how I style our home through the seasons and behind the scenes footage of my creation stages of buffBOXes in the Instagram Story. I just saved our adventure to Rochester to find some new goodies in the Highlight section.
What visually inspires you?
H: Casual simplicity of Skeem Design, color palettes of Kate Spade NY for spring, craftsmanship of Mariposa, timeless pieces in Mackenzie Childs courtly check, lush blankets in neutral color tones by Barefoot Dreams.
You recently had your home featured in Buffalo News! Yay!! How do you envision certain rooms and looks? What is the style you aim to achieve?
H: I am committed to creating our home spaces that are functional and truly evoke feelings of comfort and coziness. To do this, I start with an anchor item and monochromatic color palette. This helps guide my purchasing of other complementing pieces. For example, our oversized coffee table in white washed wood drove the tone of the wooden tabletop tray stacked with books and the hammered metal coaster set. Our hobbies are also sprinkled throughout the home, like Adam’s fondness of sports and collector items and our board game collection. See more pics here!
So you guys are in the Northtowns- what is your go-to place to eat? Any good date night suggestions?
H: Sandwiches and salads at D’Avolio or Japanese at Kumo for lunch. Roccos, San Marco Restaurant, Share, and Sinatra’s for dinner. The best date nights always involve an activity like bowling, games like Spot It, or popping in to play with our nephew Little Rick.
Working on a new custom order form that will be available soon!
Check out buffBOXes in person and meet Heidie! Pop on over to the Ellicott Square Building for the City of Buffalo Artists Market on Saturday 5/12/2018 from 11am-3pm. And remember- Mother’s Day is coming up on 5/13/18 so you’re going to want to send Mom a super fun buffBOX. 🙂
Chloe’s closet is becoming almost larger than Mommy and Daddy’s- and that’s not including shoes. Not an easy feat to beat us. Let’s face it- baby shoes are impossible to keep on and you constantly have to watch to make sure you don’t lose one! It’s inevitable. But we found some moccs and a bootie style that are PERFECT for your squirt and they’re from BirdRock Baby.
It was one of those Instagram finds, when we stumbled upon BirdRock’s super cute (not to mention affordable) baby moccs. Chloe has worn them since she was about 6 months and she just added some to her collection.
The Panther (shown above) is what I like to think of as her ‘Louboutin shoe’, Mermaid is a pink metallic holographic mocc, and we tried out their fleece booties that snap around the ankle.
Besides being cute, BirdRock moccs are easy to get on a tiny squirmy human. The elastic is stretchy enough to pull on and then tightens back to normal without denying baby’s foot.
The other cool thing about BRB is that each month they tally up how many moccs and booties have been sold, then donate that amount to Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to making sure children around the globe receive a healthy meal.
Easy on, easy to keep on. The booties from BirdRock Baby are cozy and adjustable. Simply slide baby’s foot in and wrap the two side overtop one another and choose which snap to use to secure around the ankle. Chloe’s been wearing them this winter over jeans, tights, and just crawling like a naked baby throughout the house.
BirdRock baby is a small business based in San Diego and is definitely to be on your baby list for current and future babes. Chloe approves.
The cool thing about our lives right now is that we can share our stories on different social media platforms. Media that speaks to us. Some of us are writing it (yea, we wish we had more time to write), some are visual documentarians (yea, we wish we had better camera skills), and some are mixing both into their platforms to share their lives and experiences (we like to think we’re in that realm).
A few are focused on straight up Buffalo and others have a more broad scope that appeals to the world (will we ever get there?). We’re sharing a short list of those who live among us here in the 716, but may be missing out on since they aren’t necessary screaming ‘Buffalo’ in your face. But they’re sending out gorgeous shots, fun stories, and cool vibes. (*all pics from handles)
I actually met Kristina when I was 16- seems like yesterday. A blogger turned social storyteller, follow her for fam life, punny real AF shirts, and inspo on getting off your a** in order to get healthy with her workout coaching.
Rachel is a fashion blogger mama who channels through her site and Instagram. Follow her for all of the things we think silently in our heads as we try not to fall asleep at 8pm while attempting to Netflix & chill.
I pretty much hint beg Beau for one of these rings one day (for a right hand ring). Follow for custom engagement ring ideas and drooling all over your screen. A local handcrafted jeweler designing unique and stunning sparkly things.
Did you know we have some of these incredible Instagrammers? Make sure to follow them! You’re missing out if you don’t.
We are always checking out places in and around Buffalo where we can get gifts for everyone on our list. Where are the best places for one stop shopping? What about unique gifts for someone that has everything?
Luckily for us Buffalonians, Red Siren opened up shop on Elmwood Ave. and has us popping in over and over. From gifts for the hostess to a sparkly holiday dress, men’s accessories to jewelry for your bff- Red Siren carries a lot more than your usual shop.
Here are some great finds we love:
For the Football lover. Sunday’s are for football around these parts. There are some really cool women and men’s pieces and accessories in Red Siren that are perfect for Bills day.
For the hostess: There is some seriously pretty host and hostess gifts at Red Siren. No one can go wrong with some handmade entertaining and serveware. There are some unique engraved decor pieces, too.
The cool dude: Red Siren even has a section for the fellas including attire for business and casual, accessories like socks and ties, and these cool pants. We’re diggin’ the red corduroys for Christmas.
For Mom or your Sister: Big fan of Nest candles and luckily we can pick them up here. The holiday scents are there! And how adorbs are the picture frames? Load it up with a family photo to finish the look!
Babies, future babies, Baby Mamas: well of course our fav section right now is where we can pick up some cute things for Chloe! Those baby socks are rattles and she has been keeping warm with her bear hat.
Whether you need holiday gifts, a new outfit, something fun for New Years…we bet you’re going to find something at Red Siren. Watch their Instagram for updates on new things that arrive at the store every week! @the_red_siren
There is easy street parking right on the corner of Elmwood and Bidwell. Afterward, pop over to Caffe Aroma for some tea to warm up! Red Siren is a surprising shop that offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Pop in and say hi to the girls there and leave with full bags of beautiful surprises.
Red Siren // 976 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo, NY 14222
Holiday hours for 2017: Mon-Wed 11-7…Thurs-Sat 10-7…Christmas’s Eve 10-4…Closed Christmas…after Christmas from Tues-Sat 11-6:30 ((check website for usual times))
There is some badass hidden talent that sprinkles Buffalo nowadays. We get a glimpse of it at festivals, craft fairs, and pop-up shops…but we also have some cool people blowing it up on Etsy and Instagram- cause let’s face it, Insta has become our new omg-I-gotta-get-what-that-blogger-posted place to scroll.
One such hidden gem in our city is Jill of All Trades– an online blog and shop filled with style inspo, fun graphic-wear, and unique gift boxes to send out to WNYers. We had to talk to Jill and get the scoop on her!
Hi, Jill! Tell us a little bit about you:
Name: Jill DiGioia – Jill of All Trades
Currently living in: Downtown Buffalo – Hi! I’m new here!
Day job: This is it! I am a T-shirt Maker, Gift Box Curator, Baker, New Blogger, and I also do some Social Media Management on the side!
Insta:instagram.com/jillofalltradesofficial Being new to the area, we have to ask- what is your favorite place in Buffalo?:Canalside! There is always something going on there. Concerts, movies, workouts, festivals, Artisan Markets, and my favorite- water activities! How did you first begin Jill Of All Trades and when?: I have many passions in life which has lead me to be a “Jill of all trades”. I’ve always had trouble narrowing it down to focus on one main trade, so about two years ago I thought why can’t I do them all? This lead to the name and now the new blog! Gift boxes- I have always enjoyed putting together thoughtful gifts and really going outside the box to find something different for every occasion. A couple years ago, I was a Concierge in Las Vegas and received many requests for unique, personalized gifts. So I began customizing gifts for the guests and now to everyone! T-shirts- I am a big believer in spreading kindness and good vibes. Two years ago I tried to find a shirt to promote this and at the time there was not much out there. So my husband and I designed a “BE KIND” shirt and learned how to screen print to make our own. To this day, the “BE KIND” shirt is my biggest seller in the shop and I couldn’t be happier!
It looks like Florida is your original home- what brought you to Buffalo?: While living in Vegas, I met my husband who is from Buffalo. At the end of last year we both decided it was time to be near family and he received a great job opportunity here, so we made the move! This is my 1st time living anywhere with a “real” Winter, so please send any tips/tricks! Your gift boxes are what caught my eye- how do you design one and what do you typically have in one?: I love customizing every box for each client and special occasion. I try to get as much information as I can about the recipient to really put some thought into each gift and make it aesthetically pleasing. I like to include fresh flowers, gourmets chocolates, special soaps (I’m a sucker for pretty packaging), candles, a t-shirt/tote bag, fun mugs & glassware and of course any special requests! How can people get their hands on a gift box to send to someone?: You can order them here: jillofalltradesofficial.com/gift-boxes Your t-shirts are fun, too! Do you make them or have a printer? Are custom orders available? Thank you! We design and screen print all of the shirts ourselves! I am happy to make custom orders too.
Who are some of your favorite local bloggers/shop owners in Buffalo?:stepoutbuffalo.com and buffalovebirds.com! Before moving here, I spent a lot of time on both sites reading about Buffalo and all it has to offer! Since moving, I still love to follow along on the adventures in and around buffalo. Also, I have recently found nickelcitypretty.com another awesome blogger who is fun to follow and has a great page showcasing many of the amazing murals and public artwork in Buffalo! Your blog covers your clothing style- how would you describe your style and how do you hope to inspire your followers with it?: I would say my style is bright and cheerful! I am drawn to things that are colorful, feminine, fun, and in a perfect world- on sale! I love a flowy maxi dress & sandals but also like to glam it up in a cocktail dress & heels. My goal is to inspire followers to have more fun with fashion, try wearing new colors and even add a little sparkle! Where do you see Jill Of All Trades going next/next steps for you?: I can’t wait to explore and meet more of Buffalo! I hope to keep spreading joy through my Gift Boxes, T-shirts and the Blog 🙂 We’re gonna say it– Jill of All Trades is where you will be getting your next gift. Her customizable gift box is what sold us: we had her create a box to send to someone who helped us with something big (*hint: Chloe) and it was a huge hit. Something different, something fun. That’s what Jill of All Trade is all about.