Created by the wild at heart for those who still believe in the magic that is hand-made, Buffalo Girl is the passion-project of Byron Bay designer Terry Cronin.
Drawing inspiration from a lifetime of adventures, Terry grew up on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. A desire to connect with nature meant Terry spent her childhood befriending roaming wild horses. The local Mangakahia tribe always said if she could catch them, she could ride them. And Terry did just that, galloping the beautiful wild horses up and down Whangapoua Beach.
Finding pleasure in tactile creations from a young age, Terry's love for leather and turquoise saw her make bridles, bags and jackets for herself and her family. A true craftswoman with her own unique style, Terry found a way to combine her love for ancient, traditional cultures with powerful crystals and mesmerising designs. Defying traditions and rules, she put her own stamp on the leather-making industry. So from her dreams of the Wild West Buffalo Girl was born.
Her adventurous spirit has taken Terry on some incredible journeys, be it as a former sponsored snowboarder or lover of dirt bike riding. Her lust for new adventures saw Terry relocate to Byron Bay in 2000 to pursue her passion for surfing. It was here that she joined a line-up of local talented creatives peddling their wares at Byron Bay’s artisan markets. Just like Terry, most of her marketplace companions went on to conquer globally, and in the process put the creative sea-side village that is Byron on the international fashion map.
While a lot has changed for Buffalo Girl over the years, a lot has remained the same. Basing her business out of a small studio in the town’s centre, Terry still individually handcrafts each and every piece and the production line doesn’t leave her fingertips. From dyeing to cutting, stamping, and carving, every single step is done by hand. It's a labour of love, but it means every Buffalo Girl item carries so much more meaning than their mass-produced counterparts. From rare feathers to sublime crystals, every nook of the workshop is overflowing with glorious trinkets and treasures. The space holds an undeniable energy, and in the process of creation some of that power is passed into each and every Buffalo Girl piece. A visit to the Buffalo Girl workshop has been known to spark emotions for visitors. It is truly a shrine to Terry’s work.
A self taught leather-worker, Buffalo Girl is an extension of who Terry Cronin is. Carving her way through trial and error, the creative mastered her trade through experimentation. Visions are often shown to Terry in her dreams, and she loves nothing more than being able to jump on her work desk and bring them to life with her very own hands.
It is true that no two Buffalo Girl pieces are the same, which is just part of the magic of the brand. As an artist who likes to tune into each piece with an open heart and mind, Terry treats the creative process like a blank canvas, often improvising the design along the way. Therefore the items are created as they are made. And each unique piece has its own personality, telling its own story. Each item is imperfectly perfect. But that’s what makes the whole damn thing so breathtakingly beautiful!