This summer — when the news broke that Colorado’s Buffalo Exchange was at the center of a massive sexual assault scandal — many were left with their heads spinning. The store was often viewed as an anchor for South Broadway’s community of misfits — it hosted a popular annual gay pride event and was generally a bustling store where like-minded fashion lovers congregated. But thanks to an anonymous Instagram account, the reality of the franchise’s culture came to light.
The source posted dozens of first-hand stories of alleged abuse, assault and discrimination perpetrated by co-owner, Todd Colletti. The national organization acted swiftly to remove Colletti and sever its ties with its local counterparts. Unfortunately, this left its employees jobless in a pandemic and many who found solace in the thrifting community lost. Now, a new shop owner is hoping to rebuild some of that community with a new store — Scout Dry Goods & Trade.
Originally started in Omaha in 2008, owner Kelly Valentine was inspired by the store she is soon to occupy. Then a college student living in Denver, Valentine was a regular at Buffalo Exchange’s South Broadway location and was attracted to the idea of sustainable resale. Later, with no retail experience, she took the plunge and opened her own concept in Omaha’s historic Dundee neighborhood when she was 27. Over a decade later, Valentine is still going strong and ready to expand Scout to Denver.
The Denver location — although similar in style and concept to Buffalo Exchange — is not connected to the organization or Colletti. Rather, Valentine hopes to stay true to her goal to provide ethical and sustainable fashion in a positive environment.
“I’m so excited to bring Scout to Colorado and revive the mission to bring items back into circulation as long as possible. Same awesome location but a new owner and a new culture,” said Valentine.
Already, Valentine has rehired half a dozen former Buffalo Exchange staff members and hopes to open Scout’s doors on January 2, 2020.
“The whole thing really feels so surreal and has come full circle,” said Valentine.
Scout Dry Goods & Trade plans to open on January 2, 2021, at 51 Broadway, Denver.