One of the aspects I love most about the city is all of the commercial offshoots from streets such as Elmwood. Take a walk down Lexington Avenue on any given evening and you will find all sorts of activity. In coming weeks that activity will, once again, be amplified, as jewelry designer Staphanie Robb opens her newest design boutique called Turnstyle Creations. Stephanie, one of the founders of Wild Things (also located on Lexington) told me that the idea behind Turnstyle Designs was to open a sister store that would compliment the street and Wild Things. "In essence, this is my design studio," Stephanie said. "It will also be gateway into collaboration and creation. I plan on featuring custom hat designs, clothing, stylish vegan handbags, aroma therapy and incense, head to foot accessories including killer leggings, the coolest gloves and sweaters and a massive collection of stones that can be custom designed by local artisans. I'll also have local goldsmiths available to custom craft settings for the stones - from assortments to diamonds. This store will be totally unique to Buffalo."
As for the building that Turnstyle Designs will be located in, Stephanie mentioned that she had been coveting the corner since she first came to Wild Things 25 years ago. "I just put down an oak wood floor, and there will be a giant counter that looks into my studio," she told me. "The space is going to be top notch. I envision this business being a continuation of the Wild Things vision - where phenomenal artisans are working together, surrounded by accessories and spectacular vintage and antique displays (that will also be for sale). It's going to be an open floor plan, like a market where you know you can find a variety of artisanal made goods on-hand.
Stephanie also mentioned something to me regarding the Lexington neighborhood that she found fascinating. She said that back in the 70s this artsy section of Buffalo was known as Little SoHo. She then pointed out that another artisan had recently opened across the street (Agenda Studio Gallery), followed by an urban hip salon (John's Salon), and soon White Cow Dairy's farm shop will be opening across from The Place Restaurant (also undergoing a transformation).
"It's like 'Poof!' - West of Ashland suddenly came alive," Stephanie explained.
The designer's hope is that all of the businesses in the district will work together to promote the area, similar to what they must have done back when it was known as Little SoHo. There will be evenings with gallery openings and trunk shows, and live music, with spirits and great food... a real transformative undertaking that will anchor the district as a true destination.
Turnstyle Designs will be opening its doors in just a couple of weeks. The grand opening will be in October.
298 Ashland Avenue