QUARANTINED: Buffalo Bannon Designs
We caught with Tess Bannon of Buffalo Bannon Designs to talk to her about the new Mantra Mini Series, creating during tough times, running a business and much more! Read her Quarantined interview below:
What was coming up for you in the coming months prior to the impact of COVID-19? Right before the widespread news, I was looking into which vending events I was wanted to attend this Spring/Summer season. I know my May show is canceled, but I have two on the forefront for June/July. If they don’t get cancelled, depending on the state of the virus, I’m not sure how comfortable I’ll feel going forward with them. I want to keep an appropriate distance and don’t plan to test the limits in this type of situation.
How are things going since the impact of COVID-19?
The corona virus has encouraged me to pivot my business strategy as a whole and amplify my presence online. Since I am unable to work at Minkymink, being at home has really given me the time to sit and be with my thoughts. I’ve been trying to use this time to reflect, connect and invest good energy in myself.
What are you most excited about with Buffalo Bannon’s Mantra Mini Series?
I’m excited that I can provide a small token of affection to those who need it. I was inspired to create a Mantra series because mantra’s are a tool that help me when I experience feelings of stress or overwhelm. The practice of repeating a word of phrase in the present tense can bring you back to your focus and give you the strength to move forward with confidence.
What non work related things have you been doing to keep yourself busy?
In February I moved into a new apartment. My roommate, her 2 kitties and I have been creating a nice little space for ourselves; getting used to our new normal. I’ve always been pretty good at keeping myself busy. I’m a jill of all trades and dabble in lots of side projects outside of work. I sew, I craft, I upcycle and I organize like a maniac! Developing a daily routine has really been my main focus these days. Waking up early, moving my body daily and taking the time to cook myself good meals. Essentially I’m trying to do all the things I “never have time for” because now we have all the time & the more we do it… the easier it becomes.
Is there any new stones, designs that you have been working on?
Actually there are a few new things I am working on and some are behind the scenes. I’ve really been developing my business strategy, diving into the books and upgrading my marketing as a whole. I’m also using this time to try new things like live sales, pre sales and efforts to expanding my email list. I’m interested in getting to know more about my customer base.
As far a designs go, I’ve actually have been inspired to create more. Custom orders are flowing plus I’m able to balance a small series alongside a future collection. Overall, I feel like I am in a good place of growth. I am open minded and willing to take risks in order to reach my goals.
How has COVID-19’s impact effected your business?
It’s caused me to take a step back and re-evaluate. Luckily, I had previously signed up for business and mindset coaching with @soulgetters and @daniellainzerilli, so I have a tremendous amount of support from them as well as the other girls in the community. Divine timing so to speak!
How have you had to make any adjustments?
Aside from not having the extra income that I would make from working at MinkyMink, I fortunately haven’t had to make too many other major adjustments. I work alone majority of the time and I make my own schedule. Of course, I’ve had to limited the places I go and the people I see, but over all I am adjusting fine.
Do you have any advice for artists struggling through these hard times?
Listen to your body, be easy on yourself and take care of your mental health! In other words, if you’re body is starting to ache from sitting at your home desk, get up and stretch! If you’re not feeling extra creative because of something you saw on the news, forgive yourself and do something else that will put your mind back at ease. Lastly, remember that you are not alone. Everyone around the world is experiencing some kind of hardship in their life right now. If you find yourself going down the negative-thought-rabbit-hole, use positive mindset tools to bring your thoughts back to center. This could be expressing gratitude, tapping, meditation, repeating a mantra, going outside, singing or even dancing! Doing something positive to re-balance that thought scale.
What things do you miss the most with having to social distance? I miss thrift shopping, being able to go on a long drives and just pop into places that you discover on the way. Spending weekends with live music and friends. Hot yoga. Not having to worry about my every move when I leave the house for the first time that week…
Is there any artists/designers you are currently hyped on?
I have a deep love for art and am constantly discovering new amazing artists on Instagram! Recently I came across @jupiterroakjewelry’s page and saw she made these insanely gorgeous preserved botanical wall hangings! Oh how I’d love one of those in my future home. Fun fact about me, I have a mug collection! The three ceramic artists I’d love to add to the squad are @melisabethceramics @treupots & @annamarievalenti. I have a thing for handmade clothes as well! One day I hope to own pieces from @ninelivesbazaar, @solsticeintimates, @tessa_perlow & @finkle_brook!
What music has been getting you through these stressful times?
Lately, it’s been India.Arie, John Prine, Grace Potter, Shook Twins & the Dead.
What do you like most about running a small business?
I love the freedom. Freedom to ebb, flow, change direction, slow down or pick up the pace when necessary. I’m a pretty self motivated person, so I really enjoy creating my own schedule. Still working on finding the right balance, but the journey is half the fun!
When going out and about, what precautions are you taking with social distancing? When I have to go out in the world, I suit up as much as possible! That includes gloves, mask, sanitizer and wipes with me at all times. I’ve been wiping down all my packages, mail and groceries. Doing my laundry more, showering more, just cleaning more overall!
What can fans of Buffalo Bannon expect for 2020?
2020 is the year of getting my buffalos in a row! I’m doing so much work behind the scenes and the organization is really paying off. You can expect to see more small batch series, fun stories about the custom pieces we create and new eco-friendly packaging. We’re also planning to release a brand new line this Fall titled the Reflections Collection. It will feature a mixed palette of warm tone gems such as druzies, rose cut sapphires, sunstone, moss agate & garnet. The designs are inspired by nature, but with a modern contemporary twist. Super excited to see how it all unfolds over the next few months!