Women Who Move Buffalo - Carrie Rinehart

“HERE’S TO STRONG WOMEN. MAY WE KNOW THEM.

MAY WE RAISE THEM. MAY WE BE THEM.”

On a Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago I met up with Carrie Rinehart, founder & director of Buffalo Boss Babes and owner of Rusterior. I met Carrie at the first Buffalo Boss Babes Speaker Series event - Growth last April at Buffalo Distilling Company and have since followed her and all the amazingly cool things she has been and continues to do in WNY. Carrie embodies a positive, can-do attitude, is an inspiration to me (and many more!) and is a kick ass business owner, mother, wife and friend (and did I mention she also has full-time job).

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Since attending that first Boss Babes event last April it has truly left an impact on my life. It may be crazy to think attending one networking event can make all the difference, but for me it has. Like many of the women who have attended & spoke at the Boss Babes events, we all struggle with similar worries, ambitions, etc. Being able to have a networking group to turn to, to ask for help, to get advice or feedback, to vent to one another about bumps in the road, or to celebrate achievements, makes all the difference in the world because it reminds us that we aren’t alone. It helps us continue to keep going & pushing towards the goals we set for ourselves vs. giving up & throwing in the towel. We are all hard on ourselves, especially because we all want to succeed & play a role in making a positive influence in our community, but we need to remind ourselves that its OK to take breaks, to go at your own speed & to keep doing you & not worry about the “outside noise.” Its thanks to Carrie creating this blog & providing encouragement & inspiration to us that we have this strong network of women learning about one another & helping each other as we move toward the course we have set out for ourselves.

For those that may not know a lot about Rusterior and Buffalo Boss Babes, let me tell ya a little bit about both. Rusterior is a Goods and Wearable’s shop located in Fredonia, NY (you can find Carrie’s storefront inside Fredonia Farmhouse Finds) you can also shop online. Carrie hand prints cool clothes and goods to have in your everyday lives, so make sure you check her site out! Buffalo Boss Babes is a woman run blog and social media feed that features awesome women in and around Buffalo. The mission of Buffalo Boss Babes is to inspire and empower the creative woman who help build the resurgence in Buffalo.

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Below is my Q&A with Carrie about both Rusterior & Buffalo Boss Babes (BBB).

HOW DID RUSTERIOR HAPPEN?

I KNEW I ALWAYS WANTED TO OPEN A BUSINESS SO I STARTED (7 YEARS AGO) BY CREATING ALL DIFFERENT THINGS - SCARVES, ACCESSORIES, THE SEWN BUFFALO ON A SHIRT & IT HAS EVOLVED INTO WHAT IT IS TODAY.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ITEM YOU SELL?

THE BUFFALO HATS . THEY ARE A UNIVERSAL PIECE THAT EVERYONE LIKES AND THEY DON’T NEED A SIZE.

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR CUSTOMERS FAVORITE PIECE(S) & WHAT PIECE(S) DO YOU LIKE TO MAKE?

THE BUFFALO HATS & SWEATSHIRTS ARE FAVORITE CUSTOMER PIECES. MAKING T-SHIRTS IS SOMETHING I ENJOY DOING THE MOST- SCREEN PRINTING IS A FAVORITE OF MINE.

WHAT ARE SOME GOALS/CHANGES HAPPENING IN 2019? WHAT WILL BE EVOLVING WITH RUSTERIOR AS WE MOVE FORWARD?

A LOT OF CHANGES ARE HAPPENING AT RUSTERIOR. WE ARE MOVING IN THE READY TO SHIP DIRECTION SO CUSTOMERS HAVE A QUICKER SHIP TIME (5-7 DAYS). CUSTOMERS WILL BE ABLE TO ORDER CUSTOM SCREEN PRINTS STILL BUT MAY HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL PRINTING HAPPENS AGAIN.

*NOTE TO YOUR SELF - CARRIE HAS A BUNCH OF ITEMS UP ON HER SHOP LIKE THESE GOODIES:

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SO MAKE SURE TO SNAG YOURS BEFORE THEY’RE GONE.

WHY DID YOU START BUFFALO BOSS BABES?

I WAS LOOKING TO NETWORK MORE AND THE NETWORKING EVENTS I WERE ATTENDING WERE THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR. I WANTED TO TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT BUSINESS. I ATTENDED A ROC GIRL GANG EVENT AND LOVED THE VIBE AND THOUGHT BUFFALO NEEDED THIS AND THAT IS WHAT INSPIRED ME TO CREATE BUFFALO BOSS BABES, WHICH STARTED AS A BLOG AND THEN GREW INTO EVENTS THAT BOSS BABES WANTED TO ME TO START.

WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF BUFFALO BOSS BABES? & WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO GET OUT OF IT?

BBB IS A TRUE COMMUNITY, IT’S RAW & IT’S REAL. IT’S A GROUP OF WOMEN COMING TOGETHER TO INSPIRE ONE ANOTHER, LEARN FROM ONE ANOTHER & SUPPORT EACH OTHER.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM RUSTERIOR?

YOU’LL NEVER FORGET YOUR FIRST STRANGER ONLINE SALE. IT’S A “HOLY COW” MOMENT.

HOW FAR IS YOUR FURTHEST CUSTOMER? & DO YOU COLLABORATE WITH OTHER BOUTIQUES OUTSIDE OF WNY?

MY FURTHEST CUSTOMER WAS IN AUSTRALIA AND I COLLABORATE WITH BOUTIQUES IN IDAHO AND OHIO. FOR ME COLLABORATING FOR RUSTERIOR IS ABOUT ALWAYS REACHING OUT AND FINDING EACH OTHER VIA SOCIAL MEDIA (INSTAGRAM).

WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT IN 2019 FOR BUFFALO BOSS BABES?

BBB WILL HAVE MORE EVENTS, COLLABORATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS. THERE WILL ALSO BE ONE BIG EVENT HAPPENING THIS YEAR SO STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS!

BEST THING YOU LOVE ABOUT BUFFALO?

THE PEOPLE! YOU CAN’T GO ANYWHERE AND FIND GENUINE PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN BE FRIENDS WITH. BUFFALO’S VIBE IS MORE RELAXED AND CHILL.

FAVORITE QUOTE?

“FEAR KILLS MORE DREAMS THAN FAILURE EVER WILL”

WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE THROWING IN THE TOWEL OR TIRED WHAT KEEPS YOU GOING?

MY SUPPORT SYSTEM. YOU’RE ALLOWED TO TAKE BREAKS AND SHUT DOWN, THE WORLD WILL CONTINUE TO GO ON & THAT’S OK.

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FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLET? FACEBOOK OR INSTAGRAM?

INSTAGRAM IS MY FAVORITE OUTLET, ALWAYS ON IT. FACEBOOK FOR THE BUSINESS TRAFFIC . SOCIAL MEDIA WHETHER YOU LOVE IT OR HATE IT, IT BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER.

**Photo Credit shout outs go to: Seek Axiom, Lovern Photography, Alexis Mohr Photography

Women Who Move Buffalo {Once and For All - Molly Hoeltke}

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{Molly Hoeltke}

Have you ever met a person that you could be around for a few minutes and already feel motivated to follow your dreams because they are so passionate about theirs? That’s what happened to me when I met Molly Hoeltke from Once and For All (formerly Once Vintage).

I was lucky enough to sit down with Molly last week. Growing up she never thought of working in the Fashion Industry, but as she went through school she studied Business focusing on the Arts. As she grew in her career she learned the ins and outs of the fashion industry through the experiences she had with marketing and film industry. She started styling in films {specifically commercials} six years ago and during her time in Manhattan she met a vintage shop owner and that is when she started to fall in love with the vintage apparel.

She moved back home and through all of the unique experiences she had – she was able to put together her own business and help it grow. In 2011 Once Vintage was created – a clothing line full of repurposing and vintage. After 2 years in – in 2013 she made the transition to wholesale and started Once and For All - a limited wholesale line that can be found online and in boutiques across the United States – specifically 10 boutiques throughout the East Coast.

Molly self-taught herself in pattern making, sewing, manufacturing and selling and everything in between - she basically learned everything she needs to know to make her business work and has given herself a fashion degree while learning on her feet.

Her focus right now is on a line with soft fabrics, twills, blues, blacks and whites – like a west coast, bohemian feel. She is evolving her line into a more mature, yet retro feel with an Indie/Australia vibe with cuts being more versatile and wearable for all sizes. She finds inspiration from some of her favorite designers – Chloe, The Row, Isabel Marant, Mara Hoffman and Cali Brands.

When I asked her what she loves best about Buffalo and why she hasn’t moved out of the area she said because Buffalo is a great place to start a business. It’s an easy lifestyle {except the winter}. There is a supportive community {most of the time}, she has a supportive family and it’s inexpensive to live. She loves going out to her country house in Varysburg on the weekends and often times finds inspiration there.

You can find Molly’s line locally in Modern Nostalgia on Hertel Ave. and Anna Grace on Elmwood Ave.

Once and For All is a very definitive and inclusive name. From a woman who has deep faith, it has personal meaning to her and represents her brand and all different women. I can say from meeting Molly she represents a strong woman, who is passionate and driven all while creating an amazing clothing line and has an amazing future ahead of her. And to have this talent in Buffalo is pretty extraordinary.

Thanks Molly for letting me share your story! -B

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{Her Studio}

People Who Move Buffalo

e4957c26ba8b2fbf1344b2b3de3b7ec2[1] When I started this blog, I never really thought it would take me as far as it has. Not only has it helped me professionally, but it has also helped me personally too - making friendships and relationships that I will always appreciate and treasure. So today's post is a special thank you to all those I interviewed this far, for my People Who Move and Women Who Move Buffalo series. I still have a long list of people that I would like to share their stories, but for those who I have met so far, thank you for being you! And inspiring me to keep following my dreams like you all have done.

xo

Have a great weekend!

-B

Tuesday's Talk with Christina at Koukla Cosmetics!

  koukla cosmetics{The goodies I received from Christina! I've been using the primer and bronzer for about a week and I love it!}

Today’s beauty feature is a woman who has faced some pretty big obstacles in her young life, but through them she is living her dream and is an inspiration to us all. Christina Sergakis from Koukla Cosmetics (Koukla meaning Doll in Greek).

So how did Koukla Cosmetics get started you ask? Read Christina’s story below.

-B

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{Chris from Streamline Designs put Christina's vision on paper and created her new logo}

Having her parents move from Greece to Western New York is where it all started. Christina would spend 3 months out of the year in Greece and spend the rest of her time in WNY, until she was 17, that’s when her life changed.

She decided to pack her bags and head to Greece where she continued her studies in the cosmetology field. When she was 19 she had a health scare. Being diagnosed with Guillaine Barre Syndrome, Christina was paralyzed and left in the hospital for over 3 months – recuperating. During this time she kind of lost sight as to who she was and was starting to find herself again. Realizing she may never be able to do to hair and makeup for clients she thought she could teach and sell her products to clients.

Through this time she did research, taught herself the ins and the outs of the business and slowly, but surely she bounced back. Christina saw the opportunity that was given to her father when he came to America and new this was her time to come back to the states and pursue her goal.

Once back here, she continued her research in the various fields of the cosmetology world – working for MAC Cosmetics, NeoStrata Exuviance Skin Care and a handful of other companies, she was able to learn all areas of the business.

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Recently, Christina left her space at Imagine Salon where she sold her cosmetic line, did hair and makeup and hosted Make up and Martini parties and is focusing solely on her cosmetic line. She still offers private makeup technique classes and services for you and your girlfriends {You can find a complete list here}.

Christina’s line is custom blended, skin sensitive, fragrance free, mineral based, with no added fillers, or preservatives. In addition to her mineral collection Christina offers a full line of high end cosmetics that are hypoallergenic, allergy tested, & oil, making you feel beautiful inside and out!

Each product from Christina’s line is made with love and connects to her in some way. For a complete list of Christina’s products {including beard oil for men!} click here.

One of the biggest things that separate Koukla Cosmetics from other cosmetic lines is its customizable!! Matching almost any color of makeup that may have been discontinued or pairing that perfect eye shadow with a dress you have, she can create it!

Christina has some exciting upcoming events that you should check out if you can. Partnering with Her Story Boutique she will be at the Dress Her Up event at Savoy tomorrow doing makeup demo’s for those who are interested. And then this weekend Koukla Cosmetics, Her Story Boutique and EXO Supply Co are heading to the Oscars where they will attend the pre party expo with the stars the day before the awards show…Great Risk = Great Reward.

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{Photo courtesy of Koukla Cosmetics-  Booth for Pre Party Expo at the Oscars}

When asked what is one thing she loves about Buffalo she said the people – “Buffalo is friendly” people want to talk to you and know your story – it’s not like NYC or Seattle. A lot is happening in this area and it’s great to see more women owned businesses that support one another.

Make sure to stay up to date on all the promotions, products and events Koukla will be a part of in the near future by liking them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube!

Thank you Christina for sharing your story and inspiring us all to pursue are dreams!

Monday's are for Pretty Manicures with So Gloss Nail Wraps!

10440138_877321372287335_854823631699779485_n[1] This week I'm kicking off a week long feature of local beauty businesses in WNY. Each day I'm featuring a woman who pursued her dreams in the beauty industry and is helping make women in the WNY area feel beautiful inside and out!

Today I'm starting my week long feature with Jesse from So-Gloss Nail Wraps. I LOVE nail polish, but I, like most women are to busy to find the time to sit and wait for their nails to dry. I also can't stand when I paint my nails and an hour later I find I chipped the nail polish off already. That's where So-Gloss nail wraps come in - they are so convenient for a person who is on the go.

Want to know why - check out my interview with Jesse below!

-B

How did it all get started? How did your brand come about?

I lost my dream job as a fashion buyer & merchandiser 6 years ago due to a company wide down sizing. Unfortunately, there are not many fashion buying & merchandising jobs in Buffalo, so it forced me to think outside the box and provide myself with a job. I was selling nail wraps for 4 years before I got "discovered". One day my phone started going nuts with the cha-ching noise my phone makes when I get an order. Refinery29 had featured So Gloss on their landing page, twitter feed & facebook page. I got a years worth of orders in ONE DAY!!! The orders have been rolling in ever since!

What is So-Gloss? Is it affordable for everyone? Who is your target audience?

So Gloss Nail Wraps are heat activated and applied directly on to your nail, you get instant results. Just heat, stick & file your way to awesome nails. The nail wraps are made of vinyl, so they don't chip or smudge like nail polish {even better!}. So Gloss Nail Wraps are $8 for 24 wraps, they last 4-14 days on your finger nails and 2 MONTHS on your toes! My target consumer is girls ages 2-40.

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If people want to learn more, where can they go to get information?

sogloss.com

Do you have general products that anyone can purchase, do you make customizable products?

I wish I could customize products but at this point I don't have the machine to do it.

Has anyone ever done private parties with a bunch of their girlfriends? 

I used to do parties but with 2 kids and a booming internet business I just don't have the time.

Do you offer any specials, promotions? Or would you like to share any fun events you have coming up?

I sell on daily deal sites like  zulily.com, jane.com & groopdealz.com and I have a buy 4 get the 5th free deal!

How did you land in Buffalo? Are you originally from here, what made you stay? What do you love best about this area?

I have lived in Buffalo all my life. My husband and I have a farm in Clarence with horses & chickens. There aren't many places in this world where you can live in the "country" and yet have major shopping centers just a few miles away.

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To find Jesse's products Like her page on Facebook and check her page out on Etsy! Thank you for letting me share your story!  gold-chevron{Photos all courtesy of Jesse @ So Gloss Nail Wraps}

{Women Who Move Buffalo} Katie Jordan at the Buffalo Zoo

IMG_3603 This week's Woman Who Moves Buffalo is person who is not only a colleague of mine, she is a friend and mentor and overall wonderful person, her name is Katie Jordan. Katie is the Senior Events Director at the Buffalo Zoo and not only shares a passion for animals, but she loves Buffalo!

Katie graduated from New York University in 2008 with a bachelor degree in Media, Culture and Communications.  She didn't really have a clear idea of what she wanted her career path to be until she started working with a small firm in New York during her senior year. It was made up of two women who had just started an event business in Manhattan. Since it was only a two person company at the time, she was able to really dive into the business and get some great experience out of it. They relied on her to be part of their team and also gave her the creative freedom to bring her own ideas to the table. Through this, she found her path and learned to love being a part of the events world.

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Katie has always been someone who looks to better the community and really wanted to come back to Buffalo and use her career to do so. "Non-profit work isn't glamorous, but the end result is definitely worth it. To see your work benefit someone or something really puts everything into perspective." To have your work mean something is very important to me. Animal conservation is very important to me, and working for the Buffalo Zoo has given me the opportunity to use my skills and expertise to help a cause I am very close to. I am able to raise funds for the Zoo, while also educating and providing awareness to the Buffalo community about why the Zoo is so important to our city and to the survival of precious species around the World."

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Other than seeing her work mean something, having a job that allows Katie to work closely with some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth is incredible. From being able to feed elephants, getting kissed by a sea lion, working up close with a baby rhino or introducing a baby polar bear to the public, her job is unlike any other and she couldn't be more grateful for it.  Each day is unique and she never knows what to expect.

When I asked her what she loves about Buffalo this is what she said: "When I moved to New York City, I didn't expect to come back to Buffalo so soon. After living in Manhattan, I appreciated what I had left in Buffalo right away. Unlike other cities, Buffalo is a place where life long friends can be found on any given day. I've learned this first hand and can thank community spirit and friendliness for it. Not only are great things on the horizon for Buffalo as a whole, but more and more people are recognizing that the positives are outweighing the negatives in our city, and that is something to be proud of."  

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So working with the Zoo is a pretty neat gig and has a lot of memorable moments, but for Katie she says, BuffaLoveFest, {which she created in 2013 along with a team of community leaders} would have to be her best event/most proudest moment so far. "We wanted to have an event that celebrated everything we love about our city, at the most unique venue in town, the Buffalo Zoo. I really wanted to take advantage of the "BuffaLove" movement so we gathered a group of popular food trucks, Buffalo themed artisans, Buffalo trivia and more."  If you've attended BuffaLoveFest, you've seen tents around the Zoo including a variety of locally crafted beers and entertainment acts (rest in peace Lance Diamond). In it's inaugural year, this event brought in over 1,800 people and raised more than $30,000 for the Buffalo Zoo. This was above and beyond Katie's expectations, but once again proved to her that Buffalo is a supportive community. "A lot of hard work, sweat and even some tears went in to this event, but it was all worth it in the end."  Now Katie and her team are headed into the 3rd annual BuffaLoveFest planning and the event seems to be growing with even more support each year.

Anyone who works in the event business knows that you never stop working. You are always looking for new ideas or trying to make something bigger and better. The events business is demanding since things are always changing and you are always planning ahead and rarely living "in the moment." Because of this, Katie doesn't get to attend as many other events or fundraisers run by organizations as she would like. She would love to go out and support more organizations and check out what they are doing because there is some great work out there that she would like to support.

Overall, Katie is a driving force for a lot of events and activities that take place at the zoo. Some of the most popular being Polar Bites {coming up on Feb. 19} and Wines in the Wild {July 22}. If you ever go to the Zoo or attend one of these events and see Katie make sure to stop and say hi to her! Thank you Katie, for letting me share your story and for all that you do  in our community and for Buffalo's Wildest Place in Town.

{Fun Facts about Katie}

  1. I have coached women's basketball at Amherst, which is my Alma mater, for 5 seasons.
  2. I started dog sitting over 10 years ago and now "pup-sit" over 30 dogs each year.
  3. I live in North Buffalo with my two rescued cats, Agnes and Arlene.
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{Women Who Move Buffalo} Rachael Hughes from Barre Centric

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{Rachael Hughes, Co-Owner Barre Centric. Photo taken at Buffalo Location 1526 Main St. Buffalo}

I'm so excited to feature Rachael Hughes co-owner of Barre Centric on my blog today. Barre Centric all got started when friends, Rachael and co-owner Gia went looking for a place that offered a unique fitness regime that offered people the opportunity to strengthen, tone and plié.

Rachael and Gia opened their first Barre fitness studio location in Clarence, NY in 2012. Her and Gia were back at it in 2014 opening their second Barre fitness studio in downtown Buffalo. Let me tell you, the studio is amazing! When looking for their second location Rachael and Gia knew they wanted a renovated building. Not only is the Buffalo location fresh, fun and new, it brings a whole new light to Main St. downtown.

Rachael says the best thing about having your own business is, "meeting different clients and helping them reach their own fitness goals." Everyone comes in and takes classes for different reasons and its fun to help each one of my clients meet their goals. For those who are taking a Barre class for the first time, the best advice Rachael gives, is to not be intimated and be patient, it takes at least 5-6 classes to pick up on the techniques.

What makes Barre Centric stand out from other Barre classes and fitness centers? Barre Centric always offer specials and promotions throughout the year. From student discounts, Bridal specials and New Mom specials to a Suns Out, Buns Out, 10 week program that starts before the summer season, there's specials for everyone. The best part is, Barre Centric is independently, locally owned and operated, meaning all the money stays in the local community.

When I asked Rachael what she loves most about Buffalo she said "everything from the food to the people is what I love most."

After my interview with Rachael, I stayed to take my first "official" Barre class at Barre Centric and from someone who works out regularly, it was different, in a good way. It was challenging and fun and went by fast. The class was about an hour long, but didn't feel like an hour because you were constantly doing different exercises. I highly recommend taking a class. Rachael is an awesome fitness instructor and amazing business owner who moves Buffalo forward!

In the beginning of the interview, Rachael shared a quote with me that stuck with her when she began her Barre Centric journey and it stuck with me. It is "what you seek, is seeking you." Sometimes the things we are looking for are actually looking for us. Don't ever give up. Thank you Rachael for sharing that with me and for taking the time out to let me share your story.

For more on Barre Centric's classes click here and make sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

Make sure to also keep an eye out for Ashker's Juice Bar opening next door to Barre Centric soon!

-B 

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 {Buffalo location, class schedule}

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{The studio}

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{I love the quotes throughout the studio}

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