City Spotlight: New bike themed craft store, Kickstand Crafts

Abby Wojcik

Assistant Features Editor

In a time when people are buying everything from their toilet paper to their clothing on Amazon, a store has emerged that values uniqueness and community collaboration to combat the monopoly of mass corporation. Kickstand Crafts is a new bike-themed craft store located on Main Street of East Aurora, expanding from being an online store for two years.

Kickstand Crafts sells a wide variety of products, ranging from pillows and t-shirts, to chocolate and kitchen utensils, all keeping with the theme of bikes. All of their products are handmade crafts made by a variety of artists, some local Buffalo artists and others from around the country. Co-owners of Kickstands, Renee Tarrant and Ted Cincotti, have put in a lot of work to make their store a place of originality and creativity.

“You don’t want to just go some place where everybody can get it,” Tarrant said.f“We try to find unique stuff.”

Tarrant and Cincotti are not originally from Buffalo, but after living here for over ten years, they have both developed a passion for local shopping in the area.

“For me, it’s really about what’s unique, what is different, something that is not commoditized, something that isn’t mass produced,” expressed Tarrant. “And even when something in our line looks similar, there are unique nuances and it truly makes something special and people crave that, people want something that’s going to stand out and be truly unique. I think in this element that’s accomplished.”

Avid bikers themselves, Cincotti and Tarrant have used Buffalo bike events and programs, like Slow Roll Buffalo, to make networking connections. They will even approach artistic businesses that intrigue them and ask for them to make bike themed work in order to expand their store’s variety of products.

“They are usually thrilled at the request.” Cincotti stated.

The idea for KickStand Crafts started at a bicycle tour across New York State, from Buffalo to Albany. While biking on the tour, Tarrant had conversations about everything from upcycling to recycling. She thought, “You know, there are so many cool things out there that are handcrafted, handmade. I think there’s a business to be had.”

When she first told her friend Cincotti about it, she was worried about him stealing the idea; however, she realized they could create the best possible business to life working together. “After two years of having a track history and knowing what sells, what doesn’t, what gets people excited,” Cincotti explained. “We’re like, ‘Alright, the concept might work in a brick and mortar.’”

They have since been in East Aurora for a few months and their official grand opening was last Saturday, April 14. They are looking forward to the summer season when the area gets more foot traffic and people are more likely to explore the stores and shops as they go about their day.

Talking about why it is important to make the trip to their store, rather than purchase online, Cincotti offered, “If you have a bike enthusiast in your life, it’s the ultimate place to buy a gift for them.”

Tarrant continued, “I think the main reason why we opened the brick and mortar is because it really is about seeing the product, touching the product. And we found that though the online process you lose that, and so this brings that back, to slow the pace of life down. Come in and see the beauty of handmade, recycled, and support local.”

Kickstand Crafts is also about more than selling bike crafts. They are passionate about bicycle advocacy and partnering with organizations that have an ethical component. They have arrangements with GoBike Buffalo and Bike MS where a portion of the proceeds of certain sales are donated to them in support of their endeavor to make a cleaner environment or battle the disease of MS. They are also hoping to possibly align themselves with Western New York Mountain Bike Association.

In order to support the other local shops around them, they also collaborate with a bike store down the street, Chainring Rhythm. Kickstands is everything but the bike, so when a customer is also interested in looking at the mode of transportation itself, they are able to refer them over. Kickstand Crafts keeps their card available at the front desk, and the two stores are able to cross promote each other.

Kickstand Crafts is truly a one of a kind store bringing together the worlds of art and bicycles. Supporting local shops in your area is a vital part of maintaining its culture and economy. Check them out either online or experience the lovely, quaint store for yourself at 650 1/2 Main St. East Aurora, N.Y.

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