Duane Owens
#35109145
West Side Local
11/1/11

The Freshest Krud in Buffalo

It’s like stepping into a different world when you remove yourself from loud grumbling of old mufflers and the mixed sound of random shouts that play background music to the steady falling rain that’s going on its third day.
A white sign sits on the sidewalk with red dumpster illustrated on each side and stamped with a “K”. Underneath is the store name “Krudmart” in bold with a red arrow that points inside the store.
“Welcome to the Twilight Zone.”
Inside an old fashioned white chandelier hangs above the black table, strategically cluttered with vintage snapbacks, beanies, scarfs, markers, and ceramic cups. Krudmart, Buffalo’s best kept secret in fashion and streetwear.
Here, exclusive streetwear brands such as 10Deep, The Hundreds, Black Scale (BLVCK SCVLE), and Acapulco Gold hang on rails. These brands don’t appear in malls and the extreme few that do are surely from past seasons. Here is where the kids who are hip to the swag go to shop for the dope threads that they see their favorite celebs rocking.
Although, despite its appeal and offerings, Krudmart still remains somewhat unknown to many Buffalonians, in fact, the city as a whole has a bad reputation for fashion.
In July, GQ magazine printed an article on the “40 Worst Dressed Cities in the Country” and Buffalo was number 25. The picture shown to represent Buffalo’s fashion-sense was drunken fans wearing oversized Sabres jerseys at a Bills game.
Tom Mattison, the new store owner of Krudmart, plans to change the image of the town he’s only lived in for 5 years. When asked why he even came to Buffalo he laughed and answered “Jobs, money”, but quickly realized doing something you don’t have a passion for makes it hard to get up in the morning. Since his teenage years, Mattison has always liked the different and straying away from the norm, and at 31 the purchase of a clothing boutique with such a name that included the word “krud” seemed ideal.
Mattison knows he has a challenge. He wants to transform Buffalo, a city known for its good food, hockey, and long drunken nights, into an area that is recognized for having a type of sense in the clothing realm.
But he has a strategy: “I’m thinking about keeping the store open til 2 A.M. We’ll have music, couches, and everybody can just chill”. Customer service goes hand in hand with sales and expansion so reaching the customers with a personal introduction instead of robotic tag lines makes them feel comfortable and build trust.
Rich Rouse, the store manager, immediately greets all customers that walk in and show them what’s what, “let me know if you have any questions” Rich says just to let the customer know that he is there to serve. Promotion is also key. The Krudmart stickers won’t be seen tagged on walls and elevators as much due to legal issues, vandalism, but has other methods of marketing: “I want to hold boosts at schools and give handouts of free stuff and display our merchandise.” Putting these plans in motion will unleash the accepted brands of the country, and world, upon the city and will score Buffalo fashion points.
Keeping the store fresh from week to week is also a key element in Krudmart’s formula. The store is forever changing with new graffiti being painted on the walls, brands moving and swapping all over the store, and new pictures from brands such as HUF hanging around. Keeping customers on their toes and showing something new keeps customers from getting bored. Repetition is boring, repetition is for malls; boutiques drop exclusive gear in an exclusive way and you have to do it in such a way to differentiate yourself from the rest. The popular brand BBC (Billinaire Boys Club), created by artist Pharrell Williams and Nigo, is rumored to hit Krudmart shelves soon; the technicalities are still being worked out. Tom, Rich, and other staff members discussed how to make this a big thing and get the word out. It didn’t take long for someone to mention having a release party with a bunch of promotion and a DJ at the event, that seemed like the best bet.
This emergence of Tom has brought new ideas and a few good things such as popular rap artist Casey Veggies making a store appearance and customers becoming regulars. As of late, sales have stayed steady, but Tom feels like they’ll pick up: “I’ve only been the owner for a few months and sales depend on the month we are in. New product is coming and it will move”. The store has been hitting their goal of $6,000 a month and eagerly awaits the holiday season.
What’s the key to store success? Customer Service. I wasn’t even interviewing when I came in, it was more of a conversation, and that is what I witnessed with customers. Anyone who gets buzzed through the door gets complimented on some part of their attire and walked around the store being shown everything from the lower rails to the hangings up high. All this without pressure to buy, “It’s annoying when you can tell someone just wants a sale” says Tom. Comfort and trust is what’s prided on. Providing a chill environment with music playing throughout the store at all times is the Krudmart way. Eventually this will spread throughout the city.

This semester I have learned the amount of effort and detail that goes into making audio recording and videos. 3 minute videos most likely took hours to make and that’s crazy. I still think it is kind of cool though. If you have a passion then reporting on it will be easy. I can talk about shoes and clothes and music all day and because of this I have attracted some of the editors of the popular blogs I read daily and the magazine that I plan on working for. You have to be persistent.

As a future magazine writer for Complex all of this makes sense. You NEED to understand the ins and outs of the internet. blogging, flash, analytics, audio, and video are all necessary if you want to be some type of journalist in today’s world. you need to know how to adjust to drastic changes and how to keep up with everything that is current. I have a twitter, facebook, tumblr, instagram, and i regularly keep up with blogs, music sites, and online magazine; also watch a lot of tv. This is what it takes to know all. People want their information now and you have to be the one to satisfy their needs even before they think they need it if you’re going to be in this field.

Journalists incorporating social networks into their daily routine is imperative. It is the way times are working today and how news travels. When the paper worked with Digg, news was given immediately and people didn’t have to wait. And that is the one thing that news has to get accustomed to, being at the service of the impatient, spoiled reader.

Creating facebook pages only helps the cause as well. These pages attract fans and boost the hits to sites. The Saving Face novel got 1,700 fans and all those fans are stout readers.

Twitter I feel is the most essential though because it is live breaking news on a regular basis. Those that are using it are apart of their online community and attract more followers than a facebook page would.

 

http://www.buzzmachine.com/2011/10/13/a-bad-review-of-me/

 

I found “A bad review of me” to be kind of funny. I always like to see when people acknowledge something that they view to be a personal attack on them or they hear something about themselves that they don’t agree with, it’s kind of comical. I appreciate a blog entry like this because it shows how he is really feeling. Even though he posts his opinions on other topics, he actually took this to heart and it was serious enough that it had to of been typed up and posted so that thousands would be able to view.

Him telling Morozov how to do his job and what he should focus on is priceless.

I felt this was a good article but it was also a lot of clicking and jumping back and forth between the six websites/blogs. There was good information and pictures, I just didn’t like the way it was set up. I wish after clicking a mini window that was a part of the website, not a whole new window, popped up and you could go through arrows and when finished click the “x” and move to the next. I look at graffiti as art by the way.

The benefits of video: you can see AND hear.

Weingarten “was more effective online than it was in print.

Video is becoming more and more necessary with the drastic changes in technology that have been happening. Before we were limited to just the paper and ink, but because of computers and camera phones we’d be crazy not to give FULL document of stories so people will get a real life real time visual while the story is told all at the same time.

Reporters that are trained in video are what companies need because if reporters don’t know what they’re doing then the company is getting left behind by the competition.

Fadely says jumping into video may be intimidating because of its difficulty, but if it is something of interest I believe that it’ll make it much easier for whoever chooses to participate.