We had the good fortune of connecting with Buffy Stenger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Buffy, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
One of the biggest habits that took part in my shops success was actually scheduling work hours while home. When you’re working from home the hours and minutes become blurred and by setting an actual work shift it helps me stay focused and not get distracted by household chores on end up knee deep in a Netflix series. Actually scheduling my day, let’s me hold myself accountable for that time frame and helps me be more productive.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Buffy’s Boho Closet has been such a passion project that turned into my career. The road has been long and filled with curves but it’s been successful in pushing me to leave my former job and really pour my heart into what I love. Owning a sustainable vintage shop is amazing, you get to watch first hand people react to finding their favorite fit of ol’ Levis or that band tee from their high school days that mom tosses when they went off to College. I get to witness big moments and take part in making a greener wardrobe and reduce fast fashion waste. Building my Etsy clintale wasn’t easy and took time, it was constant energy and effort and stepping out of my comfort zone to participate in flea markets and pop ups to expand my customer base. But it has all paid off, and when shelter are home orders hit I was lucky enough to still have my career since my Etsy was all online and non contact. I was able to sustain my families lifestyle and overhead while my husband wa spur of work for months. It was a reassuring factor that all the years and leg work I had put in building my shop weren’t unnoticed. I think my best advice is to not give up, good things take time, and to keep putting in the energy and put yourself in places to network and expand your customer base. You also will make great connections in those situations and will meet stories similar with yours that could possible inspire and motivate you, maybe be your lifeline!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
When my best friend comes to visit I start off with brunch at our favorite vegan restaurant that’s walking distance to my house, Flore. I recommend the tofu benediction- a game changer for even non vegans. Once her belly is full we will head to the rosebowl flea market in our walking shoes since we will be on the hunt all day, walking in and out of booths and tents searching for all the antiques and vintage treasures. The rosebowl is a must do for any visitors, there’s nothing like it anywhere in the world. The people watching alone at rosebowl is worth the trip, so much fashion and inspiration. After a full day of walking the flea we would end at Mohawk Bend in echo park for dinner and drinks. They have an in house ginger beer that they use in my whiskey ginger and it’s the perfect finishing touch on an adventure filled day.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be the successful shop I am now without all the encouragement and motivation from my fellow vintage slinging community. I took so much inspiration from collaborating with fellow photographers on sets and styling my husbands hair editorials. I think a big part of building your brand and mastering your trade is reaching out when you need help or hit a bump in the road and inspiring others to do the same. There are so many Etsy Vintage shops that were my lifeline, such as Boho She Didn’t or Bleeding Hearts Co. They’re both also moms with young children who share similar struggles and stories as me and are my favorite sources of light.
All images shot by @FrankieNorstad