Amanda Rice and Andrew Whiteford have opened an unusual little fashion shop on the Elmwood strip. It’s called Splash Panic! and it’s a good reason to head to the village if you’re looking for some sweet new spring clothing lines to check out. Not only do they have some different lines, they have a different attitude.
They’re starting off with some bigger lines, though their intentions are to ultimately and positively impact the local artist community. That’s why they’ve enlisted another Elmwood store call Positive Approach to print some of their custom designed t-shirts. “I love all of my independent commercial neighbors,” Amanda told me. “It’s such an awesome little community – we’re both from Lancaster. I’ve never met more interesting characters in my life. Actually, I grew up in Anaheim California… Elmwood reminds me of Anaheim a little bit. It’s laid back and artistic. It’s an open community with musicians and creative people. Our goal is to get local artists to draw up our lines. We want to give the Buffalo artists the opportunity to have a sales platform that they might not normally have. We already feature a couple of artists from Buff State. We’re concentrating on being unique while keeping our prices down at the same time. Our goal is reaching the college and high school demographic.”
I was curious as to how the two decided to open a shop in the city. After all, opening a retail business can be a daunting task no matter the economic climate. “It’s been a lifelong dream for the both of us,” Amanda explained. “I’m totally into fashion and as Andrew and I got older we discovered Elmwood… the street inspired us. It’s been about a year that we’ve been working on it. The Elmwood Village Association helped us find the space (thanks Dan!). The condition of the space was decent compared to some of the others that we looked art… it was ready to be worked on. Then we brought on Nick Tribunella who designed the interior. He put in a tin ceiling, put in a floor… he basically redesigned the whole space.” From Nick:
“The space was completely gutted top to bottom and makes use of many recycled materials from Buffalo Reuse, like the antique dresser, vintage crates and moldings. The artwork is original from a local artist and is for sale – local art will be displayed gallery style. The art will change with the new shipments of clothes and seasons.
“The store is a mix of upscale graphic “mall” design and a more bohemian boutique feel to capture larger demographics of not just walk in shoppers but suburbanites as well. Sleek modern lines and textures were blended with the original architecture and character of the building to create a hip, trendy and urban atmosphere for shoppers to enjoy without taking the 20 min drive to the galleria mall. The chandelier, and tables are all custom designs me.”
According to Amanda the shop is, “…stocking such lines as Threadless, Design by Human, American Apparel, Alternative Apparel and Indi Denim custom jeans. Plus, we just placed an order with 302 Designs – an organic t-shirt company. We just booked Soundlab to host a Splash Panic! fashion show towards the end of June, so keep an eye out for details.”
Splash Panic! is located at 818 Elmwood Avenue 14222. Phone is 716-844-3344