Curated Buffalo Boxes: buffBOX

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. 

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Heidie, the creator of buffBOX at the Mod/Nos pop-up shop

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 fbroadly, 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.

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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)

Holiday- (Valentine/Galentine, Mother’s & Father’s Day, Halloween, Christmas

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!

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Heidie, Adam, and Daisy from their Buffalo News photoshoot // pic: The Buffalo News

 

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.

How can people get a buffBOX for someone??

H: Follow @buffBOXes on Instagram! If you are not a user, email me at heidie.buff@gmail.com

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. 🙂 

Holiday Looks from the Fashion Outlets Of Niagara Falls

We have a secret: all of our great finds happen at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls. Seriously. Beau gets all of his workout gear from Puma, Chloe gets her fancy pants from Janie and Jack, and I get tons of business attire from J. Crew and Banana Republic. Just to name a few.

We teamed up with the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls- they dared us to find a holiday look without breaking our bank. BRING IT. We were so in. There are tons of stores that have incredible deals, especially in December- each day there is up to 75% off pricing and then on top of those deals you can find the holiday pricing too! It’s so easy to find a handful of different party looks…because you can’t be rockin’ the same outfit at every event.

Don’t believe us? That’s ok- this list here shows you all the deals happening in December. See for yourself. The best part of the Outlets is that they are not that far away. REPEAT: they’re dang close. When we lived in downtown Buffalo, it took us 20 minutes and in Orchard Park it takes us 35 minutes. It’s a nice drive with coffee in hand. Take the 190N for a pretty view of the water if you come from the south. And once you get there, you’ll have plenty of shops in and around the outlets plus a lot of options for refueling with food.

Bring the kiddos because Santa is visiting through 12/24 and the fur babies can hang out with him for photos through 12/21. Check here for details. Chloe held on pretty well for her first shot!

Ok ok, so on to our finds for our next casual holiday party!

Chloe: Janie and Jackhat, shorts, tights
Beau: J.Crew- sweater // Express- pants // Michael Kors- watch
Beau: Puma- sneakers // Chloe: Gap- sweatshirt
Chloe: Janie and Jack- hat, top, jacket
Lindsay: J. Crew- top, skirt // Express- earrings // Banana Republic- tights // bare + BEAUTY- bareMinerals lipstick

Check out the most updated list of stores at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls. We think you’ll be surprised. Challenge yourself to check out some unique stores like Sarar for men’s suits, Beef Jerky Outlet for the carnivore in your family, Helly Hansen for outdoor ski wear, Le Creuset for cast iron cookware, Just Cozy has all the holiday leggings for Christmas morning, and DAVIDsTEA has the tea-lover needs. The online site has an easy-to-read map so you can plan out where to park (we like coming in through Saks) and which way you’re headed. Oh and our biggest must-do? You MUST check out the Donut Ninja, a little kiosk in the center of the mall. They’re fryin’ up donuts, they’re local, and we’re obsessed.

Thank you, Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, for always helping us find what we need! We’ll see you again real soon.

Champagne & Confetti: Meet Jill of All Trades

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!

 

Jill of All Trades herself!
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!

Website: jillofalltradesofficial.com

Etsy: etsy.com/shop/JillofAllTradesLV

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!

 

custom order gift box

graphic-wear
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.

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you & your bff need one, duh

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.

gift box mini’s!

the custom order Jill did for us- so stinkin’ fun!