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In early spring, it’s always uplifting to see buds on trees or shrubs and flowers poking up in the garden. Once we see them, many of us can’t resist taking a few photos. Now we want to see some of those photos you have taken recently as you wait for your garden to be in full bloom. Email your photo to homeandstyle@buffnews.com. A phone number is helpful. We plan to h…

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Name: Kristen Smigielski, 25. Who she is: Vocalist who sings a diverse range of music and started her jazz band, Kristen Smigielski Combo, last June. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in music degree (voice performance) from SUNY Buffalo State, a master’s in music from University at Buffalo and is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in education at SUNY Buffalo St…

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The handbag above received 50 percent of the votes in our latest Reader Challenge. This was the chance for purse-lovers to submit photos of their spring handbags – and have readers vote for their favorite. The purse belongs to Clarence resident Kathy Curatolo. "Whenever I carry this bag, people literally stop me no matter where I am and say, 'I love that bag,' " said…

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Name: Debra Horn Stachura Who she is: Co-owner with her husband, Bob, of Buffalo Advertising Management (BAM) on Delaware Avenue. A runner since college, she has completed seven marathons in Buffalo, Erie, Pa., Chicago and New York and continues to run 5K and 10K races. She graduated from SUNY Fredonia and earned a master's degree in education from SUNY Buffalo State. S…

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For our latest Reader Challenge, we asked for photos of spring handbags – any color, style or material. Thank you to everyone who participated in the challenge. Now it’s readers’ turn to vote. This week there are three options from which to choose. We ask for your email address to avoid multiple submissions ... not that our readers would ever do that. :) The deadl…

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Name: Kristy Schmitt, 33. Who she is: Director of education at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens. She oversees the Children’s Garden at Plantasia in Paradise, the garden and landscape show continuing through Sunday at the Fairgrounds Event Center and Artisan Hall in Hamburg. She is a board member of PLANT WNY, which presents the show. The Arcade native ea…

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The arrival of spring seems the perfect time to present our latest Reader Challenge: stylish handbags that sing spring. Have a handbag you love? Don't be shy. Please email a photo to homeandstyle@buffnews.com. It can be a shoulder bag, clutch, bucket bag, evening bag, something vintage – any bag you either have owned for years or recently purchased because you couldn…

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Name: Pamela Miskey, 63. Who she is: Owner for 38 years of Tis the Season Gift Shoppe, 15 Lincoln Road, Snyder, which specializes in seasonal decor, women's clothing and accessories, and locally crafted Buffalo-themed products. Before opening the shop, she was an assistant administrator at a local nursing home and had little retail experience except working at L.L. Berg…

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Name: Brad Hahn, 27. Who he is: Executive director of Explore Buffalo, a nonprofit that provides tours and programs focusing on Buffalo and Western New York history. The North Buffalo resident graduated from Williamsville South High School and the University at Buffalo, where he majored in geography, English and political science. One tidbit he shared: "I have had the s…

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Name: Siobhan Taylor, 40. Who she is: Owner of MS Eye Candy Boutique, 85 Allen St., which shares space with Trend Up urban menswear, owned by Giovanni Centurione. Her boutique was previously located at 292 W. Utica St. for seven years, before relocating to its current address in May 2018. Taylor, a Lackawanna High School graduate, is an Allentown resident. She has a 22-…

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Name: Jennifer K. Fortune, 46. Who she is: Media director, FIFTEEN, an advertising and marketing agency on Delaware Avenue. She is responsible for making strategic media decisions on how to get a product or service to a target audience. The North Buffalo native is a graduate of Nardin Academy and Allegheny College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communica…

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Bright colors appeared on the runways during New York Fashion Week, which officially ran Feb. 4-13 and featured designers' collections for fall/winter 2019-2020. But bright colors showed up somewhere else – on fashion show attendees. Many wore brightly colored coats in this season's popular shaggy, fluffy, usually faux-fur "teddy" style. Some wore one color head to toe …

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Name: Susan Grelick, 63. Who she is: Passionate collector of hats, handbags, jewelry and clothing of all kinds. Ballroom dancer and past president of the Amherst Dance Club, which holds five dinner dances a year. Members wear gowns and other formal attire. The former Amherst town supervisor is currently legislative director and counsel at the New York State Senate. W…

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Name: Andrea Converso, 49. Who she is: The North Tonawanda native teaches seventh-grade French and Spanish at North Tonawanda Middle School. She graduated from SUNY Buffalo State and has been a teacher in the district for 26 years. She and her husband, Ken, live in Wheatfield with their rescue dog, Tucker. What she's wearing: Black silk blouse from Banana Republic; W…

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Name: Traci Ackerman, 48. Who she is: Founder of Red Disk, which produces hand silkscreened wallpaper created by local artists using the color palette created by C2 Paint. Designs include a collection that reinterprets the 1920s wallpaper designs by renowned American artist Charles E. Burchfield. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in art education with a minor in art …