Saturday, November 12, 2011

Alliday Artist: Meet Buffalo Blue Designs!

Tell us a little about yourself and your business.
My name is Allyson Bailey Wilmowski and I live and design in St. Louis, MO. Following an
unexpected liver transplant in 2004, my life changed dramatically as did the way I think
about life in general and the world around us. My now philosophy, that each day is a gift
that shouldn't be wasted, allowed me to adjust my plans and instead of attending law
school like I’d intended, I got a Masters in Textile and Apparel Management from Mizzou
in Columbia, MO. From there, I decided that I needed to find a career that I loved, so I
began making jewelry and fun headbands, hats and accessories for first myself and
friends. When other people started asking if they could buy things, I knew I’d found the
right place for me. Buffalo Blue Designs was born soon after and is in constant evolution.
I’m always trying to do something new and ways to make old things brand new again.

What do you create and what do YOU love about your products?
Buffalo Blue Designs is wearable art. Handmade in St. Louis, MO, most designs feature
upcycled elements in uncommon arrangements. All are thought provoking, eye-catching
and beautiful in their own ways. Buffalo Blue specializes in handmade precious and
semi-precious stone and antique skeleton key jewelry, wearable art accessories
including hand-blocked millinery hats and accessories featuring feathers and vintage
accents, as well as other wearables. Our best sellers, though, are by far the one-of-akind
collar scarves utilizing upcycled/recycled designer neckties. The majority of designs
are one-of-a-kind and all are made by hand.

I take something old and make it new again-- 95% of my pieces utilize recycled goods
and nearly all are one of a kind. I've found that customers really enjoy the individual
nature of my designs; especially when giving gifts!

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere. A shape, a color palette, a pattern—I’m very visual which
helps with my designs. I get asked a lot why I work with ties and I always answer that
the patterns fascinate me. My favorite part of my “job” is pairing ties that one wouldn’t
think would work together, but when I stitch them it’s unexpected, but feels so right.

The Alliday Show believes that everyday should be celebrated as a holiday!
That being said, which holiday do you wish were everyday and why?
I’d have to say Christmas because it always brings my family and friends together. It’s
the only holiday we celebrate all together every year. Tradition is important to me and
sharing it with my family and friends each year allows us to make slight changes
(sometimes unintentional) that make each Christmas somehow better and more
memorable than the last!

If you could create your own holiday, what would it be and why?
Because of my liver transplant, I never take a day for granted. I wholeheartedly agree
with the Alliday theme—every day is a holiday when you think about it. I do admit I
celebrate two birthdays every year though; Mine and my new liver’s.
What is your favorite holiday tradition?
As a family, we always go out and cut our own Christmas tree from my Parents’ farm on
Christmas Eve. Then we decorate the tree, wrap presents and eat yummy snacks until
its time to sleep so Santa can come. The smell of fresh evergreens always takes me
there no matter what time of year.

How would you describe your work in three words?
Fashion-forward, upcycled, unique
Twitter: @Buffalo_Blue

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