BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In a year that's been a challenge for so many local businesses, one Buffalo mom has found a way to expand hers.
Liz Brodfuehrer started Buffalo Seamery about five years ago, and was selling in local stores as well as on Etsy. Last year, she shared a storefront on Parkside Avenue, across from the Buffalo Zoo. Now, she's taken the store over completely.
"I decided to expand into the store and bring more gifts into the area," Liz explained.
The business expansion isn't what Liz had in mind at this time last year. In fact, at that point, she was just offering her services to anyone who needed them.
"It was crazy. St. Patrick's Day last year - everyone needed to make masks. Every seamstress in the country needed to make masks. And that's all I did. Every single day for hours. For months."
Liz exhausted her supply of materials, as she made and donated hundreds of masks to the Western New York community. Now that the mask rush is over, she's once again focusing on her business. Buffalo Seamery offers clothes with unique Buffalo-related patterns. The gift shop also has soaps, lotion, jewelry, and things for the home.
Right now the store is open Thursday - Sunday. Liz says one of the challenges of expanding right now has been the lack of childcare, but the mom of two and her husband are committed to making the business work.
"We have no babysitters, we have no after school care, we have no options. So my husband and I figured out different shifts and how we could cover the childcare," she said.
Buffalo Seamery is the latest addition to the small commercial space on Parkside Avenue. With the Parkside Meadow Restaurant, Fairy Cakes bakery and JAM coffee shop all within a block, it's strip of Parkside that's gone through a recent revival.
"It's really as busy as this strip has been since the 1980s," said Steve Cichon, who has lived in the Parkside neighborhood for decades. "Every time one of these businesses opens, it's something special. And I hope other people in Buffalo see this and bring this thing back."
"I've been in the North Buffalo neighborhood for about 15 years. It was really important for me to have a store that is supporting my own neighborhood," explained Liz.