Heidie Buffomante knows the power of a gift. Most importantly, it strengthens the connection between two people.
It’s seeing this connection — and the deepening of relationships — that motivates her to create buffBOXes.
Buffomante started the business from her Amherst home, where she curates collections of items from small businesses around Buffalo. Each gift is specially packaged with a handwritten note inside.
So far, the business has been a success, but Buffomante’s story isn’t without pain. Following a traumatic brain injury in 2014, she spent a lot of time at home healing, wondering what was next.
“I didn’t know I had this in me, that I could create something beautiful and other people would like it and want it,” she says.
“Finally I took a risk and did it, and she was right. I needed to believe in myself and show the world my magic.”
Today, Buffomante is back to working full-time as a school assistant principal. She operates her business on the side, taking adventures around Western New York during evenings and weekends to scout pieces.
She’s a cheerleader for Buffalo’s resurgence and sees supporting local small businesses as an important part of that, even though it would be easy to purchase items online.
“There is such energy and authenticity in our local shops,” she says. “And when I visit and buy from these stores, I build meaningful relationships.”
Relationships, to Buffomante, are everything.
“The connections I have in my life and the happiness I feel, I want to spread that,” she says. “Although I didn’t know this would be part of my journey and my life, it’s a creative way for me to use my energy and have an impact on my community.”
Regular sized buffBOXes are $69, and big buffBOXes are $99. Purchasers choose from a number of categories, and Buffomante uses that information to custom curate the perfect gift. Shop on Instagram at @buffboxes.
Story topics: Shop local