The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to present the 2019 BN360 Spotlight Professionals, sponsored by Alpine Films. Each year, BN360 highlights 12 up-and-coming young professionals who strive for professional growth and development, care for their community, and are passionate about the future of the Buffalo Niagara region. Meet Christa Penner, the Spotlight Professional for August 2019.
Owner and Managing Member | Shopcraft
Christa is the owner and managing member of ShopCraft, the artist behind C Designs, and the mom of an energetic four-year-old. ShopCraft is a group of 25 local artisans collaborating to foster business development while providing a purely local experience for shoppers. Christa’s work through C Designs, a full-service graphic design company, has been featured at festivals and art markets throughout the region, including the Allentown Art Festival, the Elmwood Festival of the Arts, the Queen City Market, and many more.
In addition, Christa has served on the Mount Mercy Academy Alumni Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Elmwood Strip Merchants’ Group where she manages marketing. Christa holds a bachelor’s degree in art from Mercyhurst University.
First Job Out of School
Christa began her professional journey as the Director of Marketing for a local real estate company.
Greatest Professional Win
One of Christa’s greatest professional experiences has been growing ShopCraft.
Best Piece of Professional Advice
“I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me.” – Tracee Ellis Ross
Christa is a very active member of the Buffalo Niagara Community. She is involved with:
- Elmwood Strip Merchant Group—Co-Founder
- Elmwood Village Association—Marketing
- Mount Mercy Academy—past member of the Alumni Board of Directors
Thoughts on Living and Working in Buffalo Niagara
“This a wonderful community to both live and work in. It’s big enough to allow for growth and exciting new opportunities. The affordability of living and working here allows for more ideas from individuals and small business to come to fruition than a bigger city would allow.”
Greatest Hope for the Region
“I would love to see the region continue on its current trajectory, with new innovative businesses popping up and creative reuse of our current stock of buildings. I hope to see the region make advancements in environmental sustainability for our city, including improved public transit options, bike infrastructure, and a regional composting program.”
On Being a Spotlight Professional
“I am so honored and humbled to be recognized among such a talented group of young professionals.”
- Go To Lunch Spot—Lexington Co-Op (Elmwood Avenue)
- Best Buffalo Hidden Gem—The Farm Shop (Ashland & Lexington Ave)
- Dream Vacation Location—A European adventure
- Best Buffalo Activity/Hobby—Dining at all of the locally owned restaurants
- Favorite “Buffalo” Food—Sponge Candy