Tenniel was born in a small town in New Mexico where her grandmother had a gift boutique called the Pinos Altos Mercantile. Until she started school, she spent most days helping out at the store. Tenniel joyfully remembers her grandmother going to market in Dallas and always bringing back beautiful things for the store. That part of her childhood still resonates with her today.
She went on to become a consumer decision-making judge through 4-H in elementary school. She’ll tell anyone that it was definitely her claim to fame as a 5th and 6th grader. If you ever wanted to know if something was a good buy, Tenniel Salopek was the one to call. She could also pick out the most expensive item a mile away, a fact that she says is still evident on her credit card bill to this day.
Tenniel Salopek attended college at NMSU and upon graduation, worked in Dallas before eventually moving back to Las Cruces, NM to be married. Her husband’s family has farmed pecan trees for four generations, and now, Tenniel and her husband live on that same farm raising their children.
Tenniel and her sister-in-law started Legacy Pecans & Company in 2017, with one of them focusing on gourmet foods and the other building a clothing boutique under the same brand.
The business has grown substantially over the years, and as such, the women decided it was time for the company to be divided into two businesses. Today, Heather continues to focus on the pecan side, while Tenniel is concentrating on the launch of Buffalo Swag, now the clothing & accessory aspect of the company.
Coming up with a name for a business is always a big task. Tenniel put a fun spin on it, though, choosing the word “swag” simply because it just sounded so cool. That, along with her fond memories of visiting her aunt and uncle’s buffalo ranch in Colorado, made for the clever business name, “Buffalo Swag.”
When Tenniel is not busy with the store, she is a farmer’s wife and a pig hauler. Yes, you read that right. Tenniel’s daughter loves showing pigs, and somehow, she has become the taxi service for those pigs. She jokes that once she has gotten Buffalo Swag off the ground, she plans to work on a name for her taxi service company, as well.
Marrying into a farming family has been interesting for Tenniel, to say the least. She was born an only child and is now part of a large, loud, and very fun family. As you drive down the road she lives on, you’ll find that all of the neighbors are actually a part of that family, as well. According to Tenniel, they travel in packs, and if you invite one, you’ll get them all. With tongue in cheek, she fondly describes them as “one huge family, all living on the same road, running one very NUTTY business”.
Thanks for checking out Buffalo Swag! Do you have swagger?