Say Hi

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That smile says it all. Say hello to Kathleen, a high-spirited, outgoing, wife-to-be, who enjoys long hikes with her puppy Cleo & everything vegan!

After graduating from Lake George high school & then moving onto college, Kay quickly realized she was more interested in traveling abroad. She spent some time in Hawaii, but ultimately decided to tackle her dream trip to Australia! After living, working, traveling & experiencing the down under for 8 months, Kathleen discovered that she wanted to become a massage therapist.

Fast forward to 2019 & not only is Kay a licensed massage therapist, but she also received her Reiki II attunement & just graduated from Yoga Kayla’s teacher training program. In fact, she’s teaching her first class there tomorrow at 8:30am! But that’s not all Kathleen’s been up to this year. In addition, she became a dog mom, was proposed to on a Valentine’s Day & the proud new co-owner of a school bus!! Kay & her fiance Zack, are now renovating it together with plans to live in it full time.

Why did Kathleen join our herd? Because she sincerely trusts in the quality of our handmade products. She can speak from experience considering we made her custom herkimer diamond engagement ring. As an artisan aromatherapy oil maker herself, Kay knows the value of something handmade with love.

We asked Kathleen 7 Lucky Questions during our latest photoshoot for our latest series release, Clover Patch. You can shop it now in-store at MinkyMink Boutique or online on my Etsy Shop.

@kleighophotos

@kleighophotos

✼ What are some small things that make your day better?

Cuddling with my fiance Zack & puppy Cleo, good music & fresh air

✼ In 3 words, how would you describe your style?

Comfy, chill & casual

✼ If you could have one superpower what would it be?

Time travel because I think it would be awesome to experience different times throughout history!

✼ What piece of jewelry can’t you leave the house without & why?

My engagement ring of course! However, I do find that I like to also wear a statement necklace. Usually a pendant of some sort. It makes me feel grounded & makes any outfit cuter, in my opinion.

✼ What influences you to buy a piece of jewelry?

My mom always said that jewelry “talks to her”. I’ve felt that deeply, a lot of the time. I just know when a piece is meant for me.

✼ What’s your favorite occasion to dress up for & what piece or style of jewelry do you wear?

A show or festival. I like to stack different types of pendants & necklaces.

✼ Do you have a favorite quote or mantra?

“May the wind always be at your back, and the sun upon your face. And may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars”.

FOLLOW KATHLEEN ON INSTAGRAM @GOUTOSKAY & @KAYGLMT

TO CHECK OUT THEIR BUS FOLLOW @OURTALES WAGON

Say Hello

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@kleighophotos

@kleighophotos

She’s enthusiastic about coffee, passionate about dancing & keen on shopping! Jessica is dedicated to her love of dance. At a young age, Jess earned herself an impressive scholarship that gave her the opportunity to study & train at a performing arts school in NYC. Since graduation, she’s been working professionally in the world of dance.

Presently, Jess is managing a dance boutique in Saratoga while simultaneously teaching freelance lessons & master classes. It’s no secret, she’s a hard worker! When Jessica’s not with her sweet dachshund, Minnie, or making calligraphy art; you’ll most likely find her at the gym or kicking-ass in taekwondo with her boyfriend.

Jess joined our herd by signing up for our ambassadors program because not only does she genuinely appreciate handcrafted jewelry, but she’s a woman who knows how to seize opportunities & lead with passion.

We asked Jessica 7 Lucky Questions during our latest photoshoot for our latest series release, Clover Patch. You can shop it now in-store at MinkyMink Boutique or online on my Etsy Shop.

❋ If you had a theme song, what would it be?

The song Wooden Arms by Patrick Watson really speaks to me. It’s delicate & has a powerful message. However, anything by Queen is great too. They’re so inspirational to me!

❋ How would you describe your style in 3 words or more?

Put together, trendy, fun & slightly lumberjack meets city slicker!

❋ How often do you wear jewelry?

Everyday! Jewelry is a great way to dress up any look & express your style.

❋ Do you have a family heirloom piece or a special piece with a story?

My grandmother is going to give me her original engagement ring when it’s my time! I love how sentimental that is going to be to me because I’ll always have my family with me.

❋ When buying jewelry what criteria do you normally look for?

I’m an equal opportunist with jewelry but I love rings. I like mixing bigger statement pieces with more dainty, small & stackable ones.

❋ How do you usually style your day look & your night look?

I like to piece together an outfit as uniquely as I can. Dressing up a flannel with a high waisted skirt, textured sweater tights & high heels for a dressy casual feel during the day, then amping up the eye shadow for a nighttime look.

❋ What movie can you watch over and over again?

Bridesmaids! Every time I watch it I crack up just as hard as the first time when it was in theaters.

FOLLOW JESSICA ON INSTAGRAM @BESTREGARDSJESS

Winter Fashion

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For those of you from upstate New York, you know the winter season means slush, snow, and not a whole lot of sunshine. The dark, wet, and cold provides us East Coasters with all the more motivation to show off the chic, cozy fashion trends that have taken over this season:

 

Texture

Velvet, faux leather, and teddy coats. All of which are versatile pieces to mix into your wardrobe for anywhere from work to play.

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Animal Print

Have some fun implementing prints and patterns. Dress up an outfit of everyday basic pieces, or add a flirty touch to date night with leopard and snake prints.

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Versatile Booties

Avoid the nuisance of carting around your winter boots. 2019 introduced a number of practical multi-use booties to hop around town in that are certainly here to stay for the remainder of the chilly season.

 

70’s Hues

Brown, copper, and gold offer those ideal muted, neutral tones that pair nicely with statement accessories.

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Layering

It gets mighty cold here in New York, why not make the notorious layering a lil’ fashionable? Mixing prints, colors, and textures can amp up any outdoor outfit.

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Tag @buffalobannon on your social media accounts to show us how you are dressing up your everyday winter trends with pieces from our latest jewelry collection!

Exploring the Parallels

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Ever think to yourself, well, the only real difference between fabricating a sconce and a jeweler crafting an earring would be the addition of electricity? Buffalo Bannon’s craft is comparable to that of three different lighting manufacturers based in New York City: Apparatus Studio, Workstead, and Bec Brittain. There may be a drastic difference between the grand scale of a light fixture and the finer scale of a jewelry object, but these two forms of craft are virtually part of the same world and elements can be found in both that embody one another.

Is that Jewelry─or is that Lighting?

Is that Jewelry─or is that Lighting?

Apparatus Studio, out of Manhattan, has honed in sensual materials like marble, suede, horsehair, lacquer and semi-precious stones. They combine them with patinated metals to create ambient objects that serve as the final touches to an interior. Their collection titled ‘Talisman’, refers to an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck. Buffalo Bannon’s collections too encompass semi-precious stones which can be known to provide balance in your life and sometimes even hold healing powers. These fixtures align in a very strict arrangement of either beige agate, grey jade, white jade or desert jasper beads and are pierced finely by fluted pins─your choice of aged brass, oil rubbed bronze, blackened brass or lastyl tarnished silver, of course, with a 30% upcharge. The essence of the 14 pendant is reminiscent of a necklace, except that it hangs above your dining table, and the loop sconce delicately dangles as though it were an earring, just at a much larger scale. This collection ranges from $2,200 for their 1 sconce, $5,400 for their loop scope, and a worth-every-penny $16,800 for their 14 pendant. The handcrafted artisan quality, seen in both Buffalo Bannon’s collections and Apparatus Studio convey thoughtfulness and add a certain charm one that is not prevalent in machine made jewelry or lighting.

The Sconce as an Earring, The Pendant as a Necklace.

The Sconce as an Earring, The Pendant as a Necklace.

Workstead is another lighting design team, much more fairly priced than its competitor above, that seems to have captured the elements of jewelry making─providing an ethereal, yet affordable set of ambient objects to the lighting market. Their collection titled ‘Signal’ is available in a sconce, flush-mount, or pendant and ranges from $875 to $1075. The hand blown glass globe with a sandblasted finish sits delicately within two metal pins creating a hieroglyphic composition that feels as if it were a prong setting welded or soldered over a stone. This collection is certainly beautiful and defines itself as jewelry within lighting, but does not have the same rare quality of Tess’ hand or Apparatus’ careful attention to craft. Still, this collection by Workstead serves as an example of how a sconce can appear like an earring or a pendant and can have the same details as a necklace.

That Which Falls Uniquely.

That Which Falls Uniquely.

Still not convinced? Well the Helix collection, represents objects with three-dimensional shapes, like that of a wire wound uniformly in a single layer, comparatively to a corkscrew or spiral staircase. This collection by Bec Brittain stands to neither here nor there. Bec is a self-taught, Brooklyn-based designer, who engineers the expressions of her very own ideas, much like Tess’ free-spirited sense of self that has developed the vibe behind Buffalo Bannon. The Helix collection by Bec Brittain, which frankly is hard to immediately understand, is unlike anything else on the market and has come to serve that lighting, normally taken for granted, can be just as expressive as any of the arts. The Helix Hanging comes with a stone counterweight, much like a pendant that would hang around one's neck. Available in the widest variety of finishes─with polished copper and black marble being my absolute favorite combination─and a price point starting at $6,900 for the short version. In addition to the various collections available through Bec Brittain, she has taken on site-specific challenges too─designing custom tailored pieces for clients, just as Buffalo Bannon will carry out your special order requests, developing for you a customized product that would not available to anyone else. The Helix collection is completely unique and truly feels like a pair of earrings, one slightly different than the other, that sway to and from the ceiling.

About our Metals

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Considering to invest in a new piece of jewelry? Both designers and fellow buyers alike will tell you to go for something unique, something durable, something timeless.

Sterling silver is made up of 92.5% silver, and 7.5% other metal alloys, primarily copper. When it comes to designing jewelry, many designers opt to incorporate sterling silver and here is why:

 

1.     Durability – Sterling silver, when cared for correctly, can last a lifetime. Designers who choose to use sterling silver in their pieces are choosing to ensure an everlasting design despite the number of family members it may be passed down to.

 

2.     On Trend – Sterling silver will always be in style, no matter the current trend. The popularity of the material guarantees to pair nicely with any seasons new trend. 

 

3.     Flexibility – Sterling silver is a relatively soft metal, which makes it easier for designers to work with. It allows for many molds and combinations, which results in constant new designs and opportunities for creativity.

 

4.     Versatility – Sterling silver can be considered appropriate for any occasion. Date night, grocery shopping, day-to-day at the office. The color will couple well with other pieces within your collection like white gold or platinum, while also spicing up your daily wardrobe.

 

5.     Hypoallergenic – Sterling silver does not contain any metal additions that may cause skin irritations (unlike nickel, brass, and other base metals). This is a game changer for individuals with sensitive skin, or who are prone to infection for piercings.

 

6.     Maintenance – Sterling silver can tarnish. Simply wearing the jewelry will “clean” the metal from our bodies natural oils, however, if it stays in a jewelry box for too long, there are alternative options. You can store-buy or DIY your own jewelry cleaner to keep your jewelry looking as fresh as the day you bought it.

 

Sterling silver (especially in our case of small business) has continued to prove itself as unique, durable, and timeless. Sure, it may be worth more than a fun pair of earrings you might purchase at your local department store. But the uniqueness, creativity, labor, and love that goes in to each and every sterling silver based piece at Buffalo Bannon Jewelry Designs is worth every penny.

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Holiday Gift Ideas

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Hey BB Fans,

My name’s Maura and not only am I Tess’ older sister, but I’m your guest blogger for the week!

Today, we are covering gift giving. The Holiday season is my FAVORITE time of year. There’s nothing I enjoy more than decorating the Christmas tree, picking out my holiday outfits and yes…I’m one of those crazy people who listens to Holiday tunes right after Halloween. Sorry, not sorry!!

What holiday activity do I love most? Gift giving! I love buying the perfect gifts for the ones I love. Probably because I own a Women’s Boutique and I’m addicted to shopping, but that’s neither here nor there. I put a lot of thought into my gifts and I’m here to help you buy something special for someone on your “nice” list. All of these gifts are available at my shop, MinkyMink in Downtown Glens Falls.


  • For the one with the green thumb - KOBO’S Plantable Box Soy Candle ($30)

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These pure soy candles come in plantable, seed-infused packaging that will grow the scent of the candle! It’s a unique gift that won’t break the bank. The box is biodegradable, plantable, FSC-certified and made of 100% post-consumer-waste-recycled packaging printed with vegetable-based inks. Available in Sunflower, Thyme, Mint and Lavender.


  • For the star gazer - Satya Zodiac Necklace ($89)

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Minimalistic yet subtly beautiful, these 18K gold plated necklaces feature genuine stones. They come with a description on the back of the packaging that describes the sign’s personality, making this gift thoughtful and sweet.


  • For the alcohol connoisseur - Beer Caddies & Wine Bags ($22-$32)

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These are perfect for a hostess gift, stocking stuffer, or just to use to get in the holiday spirit! The Mona B up-cycled canvas holiday beer caddies and wine bags will be a favorite this season. The beer caddies hold 6 cans or bottles. The wine bags hold up to two standard bottles.


  • For the wanderlust soul - Lock & Key Leather Handbags ($215 - $295)

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Take one look at these handbags and you can instantly tell that they are genuinely made with love. They are all hand made by a woman in Kingston, NY who sews her bags one stitch at a time. They have a timeless look with heirloom quality. If you really want to go all out this year, a Lock & Key leather bag is an amazing gift!


  • For the free spirit - Buffalo Bannon Designs Feather Ring ($122)

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This handmade sterling silver ring features a turquoise stone and a whole lotta style! Made by my gorgeous Sister of course! Feathers are perceived as gifts from the sky, the sea and the trees. Feathers arrive unexpectedly, but not without purpose. Fitting for a gift for someone you love. This item was a best seller at my shop and I know will make someone jump for joy as they slip it on their finger.


  • For the girl who's always cold - Look By M Texting Gloves ($18 - $20)

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You can’t beat the price of these fantastic gloves. They come in a variety of different colors and are oh so chic. Perfect last minute gift or a stocking stuffer! Everyone loves a new pair of gloves because it’s so darn cold around here!


Gift giving can easily become overwhelming and we understand the struggle! Now that you’ve read our 2018 gift guide, feeling more confident in accomplishing that holiday list?

No matter what your style or price range, MinkyMink has a large selection of women’s clothing, accessories and stocking stuffers to choose from. Now, let’s drink some eggnog, put on our party pants and let the holidays begin!

 
 
HOURS:  MON  11-6,  TUES-SAT  10-7,  SUN  12-5

HOURS: MON 11-6, TUES-SAT 10-7, SUN 12-5


Thank you for reading.

UP NEXT: Why Sterling is a Good Investment by Briana Maggio be published

Saturday, 12/22/18 @ 2pm EST.

The Origin Story: Part 2

When I started telling people I was going to Buffalo State College, the first question they would ask was,

“Why are you going to Buffalo? They get so much snow!”

Now, imagine that! A young girl who just spent the past two years taking standardized tests, visiting and applying to colleges, getting rejected from colleges and then finally; “Yes!” Getting accepted and choosing the appropriate school. The whole process was hard enough, I didn’t need that extra dose of self-doubt people! That question made me feel my college choice wasn’t up to par.

Why did I choose Buffalo? Well, being the third child with two siblings in private schools, my parents politely asked me if I would consider a SUNY school. I obliged, and started shopping around in-state. My heart was set on New Paltz, but after that rejection letter, the game plan changed. Buffalo State College was the only SUNY school that had a volleyball team, the three majors I was considering and wasn’t in New York City. I’m not a city girl, but Buffalo I can handle. Yes, there will be snow, but I “ain’t-a-scared” of no stinkin’ snow!! I hail from the Adirondacks for pete’s sake!

By late August 2010 I was enrolled in Fashion Merchandising, moving in three weeks early and practicing volleyball 2-3 times a day. Once orientation rolled around, my schedule seemed to be the opposite of the other students and I found adjusting to all the new people around me difficult. Luckily, my roommate and I met on our initial college tour and formed a bond prior to moving in together. She would make sure to fill me in on who was who and what I missed. She even started doing my laundry for me while I was at practice so I had one less thing to worry about when I was running back to do homework. FOREVER GRATEFUL KATHLEEN!!

Fast-forward to junior year, where I was ready, willing and able to embark on the ultimate adventure. Studying abroad in Florence, Italy at the Florence University of Art! In January 2012, I set out across the country, by myself, with a stomach full of butterflies and my heart on my sleeve. When I signed up for classes, I was instructed to choose 8 difference courses and then a system would choose 4 of them for me. The system had spoken and my class index was Italian, digital photography, fashion photography and event planning. At first, I was apprehensive because I was hoping for accessory design, fashion business or even wine appreciation, but ok, yes I do love photography too and I’m in Italy, so I’ll be taking millions of photos anyway,

“quit yer bitchin’”! I tell myself.

I loved walking down those ancient streets. The same streets that so many souls before me passed through. I could literally feel the history. Florence was like no place I had been before. The locals, the food, the art, the artitecture, the espresso. I could go on forever. The city was easy enough to navigate and after settling in (and adjusting to the uneven sidewalks), I could get from place to the other rather quickly on foot.

On the weekends, friends and I would travel and I promptly became the designated photographer, snapping endless candids and landscapes all over the world. One of my favorite weekend getaways was with my blogger friend, Moti from The Metro Man. He’s an influencer now, but back then his blog was just starting to take off. He worked his magic and got himself invited to a couple of fashion shows during *clears throat* Milan Fashion Week. That’s right!! Needless to say, I was impressed and delighted that he asked me to be his personal photographer. I jumped at the chance and then we headed off, arms linked, into the wild world of Italian fashion.

This travel experience was a defining moment for me. It gave me the opportunity to explore new boundaries, test my limits and ultimately discover parts of myself that I didn’t even know existed. I became more appreciative of learning and realized the magnitude of education. I gained new perspective about life and its purpose, my purpose. At the end of my studies, I was ravenous for more knowledge. I wanted to learn more skills and push myself even furthur. That’s when I decided to take on jewelry again. The summer after Italy, I didn’t go home. I stayed in Buffalo and re-established myself. The following semester at BSC, I committed to a minor in jewelry design.

Life in Buffalo was different, it was fun. It was a melting pot of creativity, diversity and spontaneity! A large city with a close-knit feel. Living there gave me my first sense of community. And I remember the exact moment I felt it. I was walking down the sidewalk on my way to work, waving and smiling at familiar faces, thinking about my daily tasks when I realized… I’ve built something here. People didn’t know me because of my parents or my siblings, they knew me because I am an active member of their community, our community. That fuzzy feeling enveloped my body and made me feel supported.

In 2015, I graduated cum laude with a major in fashion merchandising and a minor jewelry design. I stayed in Buffalo for a few more years, working at a fabulous consignment shop called Second Chic and then in jewelry production for a well-known local designer, Alexis Russell Jewelry. All the while making my own jewelry on the side. However, when my hands weren’t needed at AR anymore and my passion for fashion was starting to dim, I knew I had to make a change. Alas, after many moons spent away from home, I heard the mountains calling me back and I finally stopped resisting, and listened.

Check out my photos from

Milan fashion week & fashion photography class.

 

Thank you for reading.

Our Holiday Gift Guide will be published Wednesday, 12/12/18 @ 2pm EST.

The Origin Story: Part 3 will be published in 2019 @ TBD.

The Origin Story: Part 1

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A commonly asked question by curious customers would be, how did Buffalo Bannon come into fruition? In other words, where did it all begin?

My journey with jewelry started in an unlikely place, was put on hold for a long while and then one day, that desire to create showed back up to the party and refused to leave! Let me paint the picture for you.

When I was in middle school, my older sister (four years wiser) would sometimes come home from high school with new, interesting looking jewelry that I’d never seen before.

“Where is this coming from?” I asked.

She replies, “metalsmithing class, duh!”

Metalsmithing class?! What in the heck is metalsmithing and where do I sign up? She explained that smithing is one of the oldest metalworking occupations and a metalsmith is a craftsperson who fashions items out of various metals like brass, copper and silver. It’s not a class that’s often taught in high school, but we’re lucky enough to have it offered as an elective art credit. Upon hearing this, high school could not come fast enough!

Four years later, I finally signed up for metalsmithing and even convinced my best friend to join me! That year, we were taught all sorts of techniques like etching, soldering, enameling and how to make glass pendants in a ceramics kiln. It truly opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities, but was I good enough to pursue this? I wasn’t yet convinced.

The first glimmer of hope presented itself at the end of the year. Around our area, high school students are encouraged to enter their work into a special juried art exhibition at the Hyde Museum. I remember this show being a pretty big deal but it felt like such a far-fetched fantasy. It’s judged by professionals and only 10% of over a thousand entries are selected. Needless to say, I didn’t get my hopes up.

And to make matters worse, the piece my teacher was pushing me to enter was the UGLIEST thing I made all year!! A brooch?!

“You want me to enter this…thing into the show? What about my cool bracelet or pretty glass pendant? Those are way easier on the eyes”

“Tess, you have to trust me. You’re entering this.”

There was no arguing with Ms. Casey. I dragged my feet, but I did what I was told. A couple weeks later, she proved me wrong.

At the show, once all of the artwork was put out on display, it was truly mesmerizing. Walking around, I couldn’t believe all the talent sweeping through our small community! One painting, in particular, made me stop dead in my tracks. It was a colorful, almost psychedelic self portrait with free flowing brushstrokes. It felt like the girl was going to float right off the page. I remember being electrified with the joy of witnessing true, raw talent. The artist you ask? None other than the extraordinary Hannah Williams!! Shout out girlfriend. :)

I hate to admit it, but I felt like chump change in comparison to all the other real artists out there. Although, when I saw my piece for the first time, all shiny and behind glass…I had a sense of calming, almost peace. I thought to myself,

“It doesn’t look so bad”.

That is how the seed was planted. Almost 10 years ago now. I’ll never forget that day, that exact moment when I finally allowed myself to feel good enough. I am good enough. Good enough to do anything…

So with my newfound confidence, I moved on to *cough* graphic design. I know, I know, not what you were expecting but it’s true! I figured, if I’m good at metalsmithing than I must be good at other mediums too, right? I dabbled in drawing, web design, photography, I tested it all. However, true love stories never have endings and this my friends… was only the beginning.

My first piece. The Heritage Brooch, 2009.  @fcavone_photos

My first piece. The Heritage Brooch, 2009.

@fcavone_photos


Thank you so much for reading.

The Origin Story: Part 2 will be publish next Saturday, 12/8/18 @ 2pm EST.