Local college student opens unique Buffalo Bills store in Rochester: ‘No other store like it’

Business

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — If you’re heading to the Buffalo Bills playoff game this Saturday, you may be looking for some last minute attire to get you in the Bills Mafia spirit. 

While many big-chain stores sell Bills gear, a new Rochester boutique is showing off its unique Bills style ahead of the playoffs. 

Hali Rockow created Buffalo Bleached in August of 2020. At first, her products were just on Instagram, but they quickly took off. A little over a month ago, she was able to open a store. 

“I’m from out here, on this side of town, just kind of raised with the love of the Bills and there’s really no other store like it in Rochester,” Rockow said. “Like you can go to the big mall stores and buy your Bills gear, but there’s no really small store that sells cute Bills stuff.”

Rockow is a full-time college student in Brockport and she uses the earnings from her store to help pay for her education.

While she was excited to open the store, she also said it was kind of daunting during a pandemic. 

“You see all these businesses closing and other things like that, and people kind of look at you funny when you say you’re opening one,” Rockow said. Like it’s just kind of not something people do, but I think everyone around here… their love for the Buffalo Bills, and that just kind of carried me through.”

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses have taken a hit at some point in time due to less customers, staffing shortages, increased cleaning costs, etc.

This has made it even more important for business owners and customers to support local. 

“You can go to any of the big stores, Target, Walmart, Dick’s, all that kind of stuff, to get the run of the mill Bills stuff, here you can come in and get something absolutely adorable, cute and totally just be unique,” said Megan Murray, who was at the boutique Wednesday. 

Rockow says her store includes more than just the products she’s made. There are around 25 local vendors with products inside, ranging from clothing, to dog supplies, to games. 

“You’re buying and supporting from other teachers, moms, wives, you’re buying from everyone else,” Rockow said. “And I would say 99% of the local companies are women-owned, so you’re buying a product that’s made with love and locally, and it’s just something to feel good about supporting while you’re supporting the Bills.”

“I’ve just met so many different amazing other artists and vendors and like other people that own businesses through my business, and it’s just kind of the bond I’ve created with them. And they’re happy to sell in my store and I’m happy to have them.”

Buffalo Bleached is located at 240 Elm Ridge Center Drive in Rochester. The store hours are:

  • Tuesday-Thursday from noon to 6 p.m.
  • Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 
  • Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
  • Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

You can also learn more about Buffalo Bleached by clicking here. You can also call 585-622-9070. 

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