Everyday Artists

The world's greatest artists walk you through simple, everyday tasks.

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When we step into the doors of Buffalo Exchange, we will see the beauty passed by the eyes of those we have no choice but to sympathize. Be steadfast and remember always that we need much less than we think we need.

Now, let’s start on this clothing rack, minding that we do not miss an item. For even the basest of decorative outerwear, when acquired for the right price, can transform one million realities. If you don’t like the price tag, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. After all, without courage, we cannot wear any other clothes than what we own. We can’t be kind, true, honest, or dazzling.

Consider this floral pattern sweater. I always say you must seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls. This floral pattern is all passion, and it is tearing down my walls. Courage holds the truest form, but it rarely takes the form of stitched roses. Replace it and redirect the mind to more tangible endings, the kinds that linger, but as a friend, not as an unwanted pest.

There is a line, though. A path that leads both to courage and to success. It branches from the path of normality. If you’re always trying to be normal with your wardrobe, you will never know how amazing you can be. For instance, we delight in the beauty of this cardigan, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

We will take the cardigan with us, thinking on it as we go. There is no greater agony than losing an untethered item to another shopper.

In pants, we find decisions harder to make, for sizes are not as forgiving. This said, do not bother yourself so much with the facts of these retro bellbottoms, but focus instead on the truth they tell. There’s a world of difference between truth and facts. Facts can obscure truth. It can obscure belief. There is nothing so pitiful as a shopping cynic because he has gone from knowing nothing to believing nothing. If belief cannot fit your thighs into the waistline, keep heart. We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.

Risks must be taken. What is fear of a good deal? It’s being preeminently afraid of change. It is not doing what you came here to do, out of timidity and spinelessness. The antidote is to take full responsibility for your own thrifty impulses—for the time you take up in this store and the space you occupy. If you don’t know what you’re here to do, then just do some good.

In parting, the thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare your wardrobe that you can be a rainbow of colors in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call fashion the same name you call fashion – if they call fashion at all. I may not dance your dances or speak your language, but be a blessing to that somebody. My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

If you leave today with nothing in hand but your dignity of bad decisions staved off, it is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself to forgive. Forgive everybody for not donating what you could make use of. And maybe try Housing Works.