Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Make Music Madison 2017

We're participating in a city-wide event called Make Music Madison where over 400 bands play throughout the entire city!  We're featuring 4 different artist June 21st, here's our lineup:

12pm Jourdin Hines - Acoustic
1pm Brian Jurczyk TBA
2:30pm Matty and the Hitman - Folk/Indie Rock
5pm Jacob Grace - Guitar/Vocals

Also, our lovely Amy Lang did an amazing window display that you just have to check out, and we're handing out $5 off coupons!

See you June 21st!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Festival Season

It's festival season world wide, but most importantly, it's finally festival season here in Madison,WI. Marquette Waterfront Festival is considered our first festival of the season.  Sure there are little fests all over town, and we don't want to discredit them because they are fun as all get up!  However, the Waterfront Fest (a.k.a. Yahara Fest) is a festival where you can kayak, canoe, or pontoon up to the shore of Yahara Place Park and listen to tunes for 2 days on June 10th and 11th.  You can bike or walk to the festival and put out a blanket as well to enjoy the music.  Check out their webpage for more info on the festival as well as their Fool's Flotilla Parade at this site.

Festival season comes with a whole set of it's own fashion trends and here in Madison we are the epitome of hippy chick festival wear!  Coachella may be one of the more well known fashion festivals, but in Madison we rock hippy clothes year round, it just hits peak level during the summer months when festivals happen to be lighting up our little neighborhoods.

Festival fashion - think quirky hippy gear and there you have it!  At Upshift we have a store full of fashion that will fit right in at any festival; fringe, flowers, beading, leather, and flowing fabrics.

High-waisted short-shorts with a flowing beaded top and a straw hat with military boots.  Boom. Festival.

Floral gaucho pants + flowing top + thick sole tennies + flat brim hat - bra = festival gear

Tribal print flowy pants, crochet trim top over a swimsuit, finished off with platform espadrilles 

Hippy skirt with a tube top swim top and leather huarache sandals, so festival!

Upshift: Up Close and Personal

We're knocking down the 4th wall for this blog and I'm going to speak first person so you get a better understanding of where we're at at Upshift! I love blogging for Upshift, it serves so many purposes that my other social media does not; the blog gives you, the reader and loyal customer, a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes of Upshift and what makes us tick.  I get to be super candid with my blog and use wording and a vernacular I wouldn't ever use on my very public social media; Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  Those platforms are reserved for a more professional and polished attitude. On this platform I can talk about how much we love fashion and drinking wine and cocktails as well as any triumphs or struggles regarding Upshift.

With that said, it's kind of obvious that I haven't had time to blog in a while.  There are so many reasons, but mostly because owning a business keeps me on my toes and constantly on the go.  Additionally, I am an instructor in the Fashion Marketing Program at Madison College and teach anywhere from 25-75 students in any given semester.  When I'm not keeping Upshift going or teaching on campus I'm teaching in the Madison Metro School District as a substitute teacher (which I totally love doing more than anything).  At this point it might sound like I'm telling a sob story on why I don't do more to connect with my customers or even an excuse as to why I'm not more visible at the actual store.  It's not that at all, I'm sharing everything I do because believe it or not all the amazing things I do in my life are interconnected, if I'm teaching at Madison College I'm interacting with future employees that could work at Upshift, additionally I'm using Upshift as a teaching platform so students can practice their craft in our store.  When substitute teaching I'm connecting with the community that shops and supports local businesses.  I run into fellow teachers and students at Upshift all the time.  So, beyond all of this, Dustin (my badass other half) and I have a super healthy social life.  We spend every second away from Upshift talking about Upshift!

Alright, so here's the scoop, it's SUMMER holiday break and I'm not teaching June through August so be prepared for much more of a social media presence.  Starting with my next blog post about festival season!

With all of that said, Upshift is doing great thanks to all you amazing people that support us.  In order to keep moving forward please spread the word (our best advertising!) so more people come through our doors.  The more people that come through our doors guarantees we'll keep fresh inventory and it'll keep our mission alive!

Peace, love and be fabulous!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Upshift and Cats Go Hand-In-Hand

Our history with cats goes all the way back to when the original business plan was written in 2009.  I wrote the business plan on a cocktail napkin while working my previous corporate job.  I knew I needed a change and I decided to create a life based on things I love.  So, on that napkin I wrote the words Fashion. Wine. Cats.  It's no secret that each of those things are things I love!  Fashion and wine are a staple of my adult life.  Cats on the other hand have been a part of my life since before I can remember.  I was raised by parents that are very compassionate towards all animals (they had a pet crow that they rescued in 2002 that lived peacefully alongside their German Shepard and cat), and so that love of all animals was passed on to us kids. Every cat I've ever had somehow found me, and almost always through rescue sites.  The two cats I have now, Cece and Rocky, were both rescue cats.

Cece in front Rocky in back
The idea to open a swap shop that served wine was developed as a concept from that napkin I wrote on in 2009.  Additionally, I wanted to have a shop cat in our store.  My husband was 100% against the idea, so we compromised and opened the shop with wine, and decided to partner with rescue sights or raise money to assist organizations that help injured or orphaned animals.

One of my staff, Amy Lang, planned an event with Kadlec Ranch Rescue (click here to go to the event site to get all the details) to help raise awareness for what they do.  Through planning the event we realized that all of our staff at Upshift have cats that are rescues! So, even though we don't have a shop cat we do have a bunch of people that are compassionate toward cats and their welfare!

Here are a few pics of kitties to make your day just a little bit more fabulous!

Cece, short for Chester Copperpot from Goonies - Lindsay's furball

Rocky Road - Lindsay's other furball

Kitty and Madison - Jo's rescue kitties

Madison - Jo's furbaby

Kitty - Jo's other furbaby

Andie and Tater Tot - Amy's rescue kitties
Another pic of Cece, because she's so darn cute

Baby Ruth - Lindsay's first rescue (she was just so darn pretty, I had to share)

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Best. Event. Ever

This event involves kittens.  I repeat KITTENS!  So Kadlec Ranch is a rescue sight in Madison and they take in sick, injured, or orphaned animals and ultimately find homes for these animals, mainly kittens. Kadlec Ranch Rescue is a 501(c)  non-profit rescue group located in Rock County. They have a litter of kittens that need to find a home and we are hosting them May 20th at our shop from 12-2pm.  So, you can show up and snorgle kitties while you swap for half price!  We're also doing a HUGE push to raise supplies for Kadlec Ranch and this is what it looks like:

May 13th-20th bring a donation of cat/pet goods (litter/food, etc) and get $5 off your swap all day/everyday for the week!

May 20th: $10 to swap from 12-2pm where you get to see the kitties.  Face painting for kids and coloring books for kiddos!

May 21st - 30th bring a donation of cat/pet goods (litter/food, etc) and get $5 off your swap all day/everyday for the week!

We LOVE kitties and all animals so your donation and swapping will help critters that would otherwise be cast aside.

Thank you in advance,
Lindsay (owner and animal lover)

Friday, April 28, 2017


As an instructor at Madison College in the Fashion Marketing program I try to participate in all things relating to the program. I believe wholeheartedly in our program and in guiding young adults toward their future career choices.  This holds true when I work each day in the Madison School District as well.  I love asking students what they'll do once they transition after school and always ask, "If you could do anything in life, what would it be?"  

I was lucky enough to get this guidance in high school and went on to an amazing career in fashion by first going to UW-Stout in the Apparel Design and Manufacturing program. This created a foundation for my career as the CAD Coordinator at Maurices, Inc as well as the Visual Merchandiser for Forever 21 and ultimately to being the owner of  UpShift and teaching at Madison College.  I hope to pay it forward by guiding others and aim to do this everyday either through teaching or by connecting with my staff at the boutique.

This month I joined two of my colleagues and one of our students to attend Visioneers, an amazing program hosted by UW-Milwaukee's Peck School of Arts, that focuses on bringing the design world and young students together. It's a statewide learning program for high school and middle school students interested in art design where professional designers in each field offers feedback on student completed projects.  We oversaw the fashion design sector of this program and got to meet with 18 students from all over the state that brought forth amazing designs, a ton of passion, and so much incredible energy.  I seriously got to see the future of the fashion world.  

It was a great day filled with so much energy and creativity,  I got to be around future designers that think so much differently than current designers.  The students I worked with were from high school and seemed infinitely wiser than I was in high school (20 years ago.....*gasp).  These students were articulate, patient, kind, creative, mature, collaborative, and most importantly forward with their thinking.  

Here are 3 of the designs we were lucky to judge:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March News 2017

So many amazing things coming up this month!  Without further ado, here you go:

  • March 12 Daylight Saving Start!  (Longer days are here my friend!)
  • March 13 Floorset (All new spring inventory)*
  • March 18 Community Feature (Mary Wallin, Yoga Instructor) $10 to swap 2-4pm
  • March 19 Stylist Event (Heads up, this is our 2nd to last one for the season)

*March 11 we are hosting an exclusive event for a local group of women that are in need of free clothing, they get to come in and take anything they need to help them find success in life!

winter hours are over!

Friday, February 10, 2017

4 New Trends February 10th

Itching for spring like every other person in Madison?  Yeah, yeah...us, too!  The tricky thing about seeing more sunshine and noticing the days getting a little longer is that Mother Nature still has some chilly weather up her sleeve.  This is the perfect time of year to freshen up your trends to put a little spring in your step to get you through until actual Spring hits (apparently according to a little shit of a groundhog that's like 6 more weeks away).

Anyway, here are 4 trends that will hold you over until you can go spring shopping (psssst, you could also swap instead of shop because we will be bringing in our spring inventory on March 12th).

Bohemian at its best, but still cozy and warm!

Washed out whites, both winter-y and spring-y at the same time!

Edgy but classic all at once.  It's all about layers this time of year!

Classic mixed with sexy for a night out.  Drink your way through to spring!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Important Message Regarding Our Inventory

Just as a recap we carry women's clothing sizes 0-16 in today's trendiest styles and we are a swap shop where customers come in with a bag of gently used items to swap up for a whole new wardrobe! We've been doing this for almost 5 years and are so incredibly proud of our diverse customer base, and as the owner I spend a ton of time trying to get to know our customers so I can offer the best of the best to everyone who walks through the door of our little shop!*

My staff has been trained since we first opened our doors to greet our customer by saying, "Welcome to Upshift, have you shopped here before?  We offer women's clothing, but also have men that shop here as well as anyone that prefers women's silhouettes.  Please look around and let me know if you have questions."  They are required to greet every customer this way so that everyone feels welcome.

It was recently brought to my attention that we have not carried that same sentiment over to our social media and online platform. We have men that shop our store as well as customers that prefer women's styles and of course women and youngsters.  Everyone is always welcome and just because we identify as a women's clothing shop doesn't mean we are exclusive to that clientele.  In all honesty, I'm so naive I just assumed that most if not all stores are open to this same type of sentiment and thought it was apparent by how we operate.  I'm glad I have a platform to clarify.

If you're curious about our vibe the best way to find out is to come on in, you'll find super fun staff surrounded by music and most often a bunch of positive people drinking wine!

*We are very aware that we need to offer sizes 0-24, however due to our limited space of 450 square feet we had to limit our offering until we move to a bigger location.  We've heard it loud and proud from our customer and hope to make it happen soon!

Peace, love, and all the grooviness!

Lindsay Leno

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Did you know?!

Just some fun facts about us!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Friday, November 18, 2016

Friday Video Blog - Thanksgiving 2016

Check out this video for all that is happening at Upshift; Stylist Event, Thanksgiving, Small Biz Saturday, and awesome trends!

Sunday, November 20th 2-4pm $10 swap with complimentary wine

Support local by checking out our awesome neighborhood

Six Amazing Outfits for Thanksgiving

Edgy for a perfect "Fakesgiving" with Friends

Sweet as pie for grandmas house

Festively colorful for a dinner out

Nutty professor for a chill Thanksgiving

Completely casual and cozy for a night in

Cool, casual vibe but still dressed up for din-din

Small Business Saturday, November 26th

We are a small business and depend on shoppers like you to keep our doors open! Support small, support local year-round, but especially on Small Business Saturday.

We are open 10-4pm and will have complimentary wine as always!  Stop in and show your support, also shop our entire neighborhood where you'll find a coffeeshop, teahouse, bakery, pizza joint, a rock shop, diner, and many little boutiques just like ours.  Curious about our 'hood? Click this link. Otherwise, see you Saturday at Upshift located at 836 East Johnson Street. 

Need more reasons to support small and local, check out these stats:

Stats from the Small Business Administration

  • There are 23 million small businesses in the country.
  • Small businesses have increased by 49% since 1982
  • 54% of U.S. sales happen at small businesses.
  • Small businesses have created 8 million jobs since 1990.
  • Franchised small businesses employ roughly 8 million people, and make up 40 % of all American retail jobs.

Small Business Stats from Other Sources

  • Small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to non-profits and community causes (Source: Seattle Good Business Network).
  • If you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy. If you spend the same are a large business, only $43 stays in the local economy (Source: Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan).

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Must-Have Fall Footwear

It's finally getting chilly so the fall footwear has got to come out of your closet (along with chunky socks, sweaters, and scarves).  Here are our top must-haves for 2016.

Polished sneakers

Mary-janes, but flat and strappy

Ahhh, the 'ol librarian shoe - but totally chic

All the nudes

Stacked, chunky heels - bonus if the heel is printed

High top stiletto

Knee high boot, duh!

And finally, we're throwing it back to the cowboy boot

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fall Outfits for Chilly Weather

Each week our merchandiser pulls 4 outfits together, this week's outfits are for chillier weather. Enjoy!

1. All white with a touch of sparkle
Layer up all white pieces over a hint of sparkle and open toe shoes

2. Retro/vintage with dots and tweed
Polka dots and tweed with fur-trimmed gloves are perfect for that fall chill

3. Prim and polished with a hint of edge
Choker collar mid-riff top with a mid length skirt and a blazer

4.  90's inspired but totally current
Pointy shoes with skinny jeans and a leather trimmed top paired with wafarers