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A Chat with Theresa, the Creator of @BuffaloveNotes

• What is BuffaloveNotes? Simply put, BuffaloveNotes are just meant to be easy, quippy, and often topical tags that spread local love and joy. A BuffaloveNote can be a hand-printed tag that originated from us; a kind, handwritten thank you on a receipt; a scribbled smile on a coffee cup; or a sketched reminder on someone's windshield. They are anything that can be left behind to bring someone a spark or a laugh with the hopes that they share that same feeling with someone else - either from that particular passed note, or a new one of their own. BuffaloveNotes are meant to carry on the spirit of what it's like to be a good neighbor, but in the back-to-basics, paper and snail-mail kind of tangible way.

We like to say it's "pick it, post it, pass it": Pick up the note, post about it (so we can, too!), and then pass it on, however you choose.

• We love what BuffaloveNotes stands for. How did it start? I usually give an audible laugh at this question! It's a bit of a funny story looking back. One morning I walked out to my car and found a crudely affixed note on the back of a torn-up piece of paper. The note was...a bit much for the Monday, but it made me smile, and it was a surprise that made me hit pause in the monotony of my regular routine. The first thing I did was take a picture of it and text it to a friend, and then I put it on someone else's windshield so they could have the same laugh.

The immediate thought was, "Why can't I do this in a bigger way?" And the answer was that there was no reason why I couldn't, so I did! A social-specific project was the right move at the time, so I got the handle and email started, and I began to buy paper, print some notes, and get some of my friends involved to extend the network of love-note writers. From there it grew, slowly but surely, and that's the exact pace that I think makes it fun and accessible.

• With everywhere you have put your notes- where/what ones are your favorites? My favorites are the ones that make me laugh - and hopefully others, too! I think that's often the best way to connect with someone, and anyone who knows me knows I have at-the-ready puns etched into my DNA. A shared smile or giggle is how you can communicate the neighborly TLC that "Buffalove" is meant to represent without the mushy sentiments that may not immediately apply.

Travel now is not exactly on the table, but some of the favorites of mine and from others that I've seen are when Buffalo extends our goodwill abroad with notes and puns. After that, I love the notes that are from quick scribbles or open opportunities, like on someone's to-go coffee cup or even a heart drawn on someone's snowy car. It's all about finding the moment - or letting it find you - and then hoping it inspires others to do the same. (That's why people should always send us those photos, too! Let's shout the good stuff from the rafters.)

• Do you feel as if BuffaloveNotes has even more of an impact now with COVID-19? It's hard to say, but I do truly hope so. There are fewer moments for someone to find something as we're often only out and about now quickly, and with a purpose, so it may mean that the notes or tags aren't spotted as easily anymore. But I do think that it means when someone does find one on their path, it hopefully resonates more because of that same hurry or rush - it goes back to the importance of just pausing when we can, or really being open to letting those moments find you.

I do personally know that some of our notes have made it to the frontline workers who deserved every bit of thanks and compassion during this crazy mess of a year, and while paper can't fix what's happened and continues to happen, it hopefully brought some of the outside gratitude in to them when they needed it.

• Do you know how many have been placed in our communities? I do not. However, it is really cool to think about it in terms that aren't official: Maybe it's not a tag or has our handle on it, but you can bet that people have written, placed, or passed BuffaloveNotes of some nature all over this city, and to me that is so damn cool.

• Have you ever heard a great story come from someone who was inspired by one of the notes? Someone once tagged us in a post that was just captioned, "I needed this today." That's what the entire thing is about - hard stop.

• What was the first note you ever for BuffaloveNotes? "Your sunshine is showing." And it's still one of my very favorite lines. There's no official tagline or catchphrase for BuffaloveNotes, but I like to think that this particular saying is kind of like our longitudinal line in that in runs through everything. Especially when we think about what the sunshine means to our area!

The first and oldest notes I used to print are a bit cringey to look back at and see - I played around with paper and fonts and the like - but I do love how it's grown into a recognizable brand and "thing" that can still feel flexible and fun.

• Do you have a 'craziest' spot you've put a note? There may be some notes written on bathroom walls around the city...

• How can I find one of the notes? A few ways! One is that you keep your eyes peeled for one of our tags around the city. We leave them around everywhere we can (in hopes that they don't get lost or blown away) and post specific ones that should give away a key location. Another way is to buy - or receive from a very kind person - one of our note cards, which are on Etsy and linked from our Instagram page, and have their own blank tags on the back to write on and pass along.

And the third way, which is often my favorite, is to create your own! Find your own canvas and opportunity to write something funny, kind, or in-the-moment for someone to happen upon - and snap a picture to send to us!

I like to say "we" when talking about this project, but personally, I am so excited to see how it all grows; and not just from what I print. It's so fun and inspiring to see others get involved - it was always hoped to be bigger than just one individual. So let's go, Buffalo!