Thursday, September 18, 2014

One Year Anniversary! Agenda:

It has been such a whirlwind since opening the doors of Madison's only Swap Shop at 836 East Johnson Street on October 17th, 2013.  We (meaning my husband and I, and our only staffer) were hopeful that the community would understand the importance of sustainability through swapping.  It was equally important that our customer captured the festive nature of what happened behind our doors.

We will be doing a full weekend of events beginning October 17th, 2014 to celebrate our customers and the success of reaching this milestone!

Friday, October 17th - Exclusive Party (for anyone and everyone)!

It's exclusive because we'll be opening both locations (plus and regular sizing) for swapping.  We're charging only $10.  Complimentary wine as always!

Evening event 4-8pm

Saturday, October 18th - Huge Partaaay!

We'll be featuring a specialized music playlist chosen by you, our customer!
Drawings for prizes:  Free swaps, free private party, free merchandise and swag bags
Menu: Customized beer made specifically for UpShift, specialized cupcakes made by a local baker (and one of our favorite customer and bff) from Daisy Cupcakery!

All day event 10-4pm

Sunday, October 19th - Hangover Party!

We'll be featuring new fall product!
Drawings for prizes:  Free swaps, free private party, free merchandise and swag bags
Menu: Customized beer made specifically for UpShift, Baked goods for absorbing all that booze; Bloody Mary's and Mimosas!

All day event 12-6pm

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stylist Event (Clothing Swap and Wine!!!)

Stylist Event!
Third Sunday of every month
Sunday, September 21st 2-4pm

Swap, sip wine, socialize..get professional stylist advice!

UpShift Swap Shop Website

836 East Johnson Street, Madison

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

UpShift Merchandiser Part III

This little fashionista has almost hit her 1 yr anniversary with UpShift!  She started 4 days before we opened and has kept the store running...and totally fashionable ever since! As a merchandiser she's in charge of driving all trends and making the product look amazing!

This week her projects included redoing our floor set by bringing out all new trends.  She's really pumped to dig into all our fall product that is in back stock (TBA in October).

New trends available this week!

We're doing a floorset change and featuring all new trend combinations this week.  It's really important that UpShift shows the latest and greatest ways to wear fashion - even if that fashion is second-hand.  It's a really fun (albeit, slightly exhausting) process that ensures our customer gets to see the trendiest of trends at our little swap shop.

What goes into this process you ask?  Here ya go, in 10 easy steps:
1. Pour glass of wine (get the creative juices flowing)
2. Pull out the magical binder of tear-sheets (a.k.a., magazine tear outs)
3. Dig through this season's latest and greatest for inspiration
4. Pour another glass of wine
5. Pair it down to tear-sheets that reflects our inventory (this season; lots of plaid, floral, denim, menswear, and tweed)
6. Pin the sheets up in the specified area of the store (you've all seen them under the shelves)
7. Organize, organize, organize all of our garments (thank you to our fabulous merchandiser for her hard work on this one!)*
8. Create outfits and pairings that reflect the tear-sheets.
9. Celebrate with high-fives and customers shopping our new trends
10. Pour glass of wine to help with relaxing

*The entire process of floorset takes our merchandiser about 3-4 days of hard work!  She's the best!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

BTS 2014

I teach at Madison College in the Fashion Marketing program and met the students yesterday on our first day together.  I honored my 100% UpShift commitment and wore an entire outfit from the boutique:
  • BCBG navy pencil skirt
  • Gucci flats
  • B Jewel trapeze top
  • Metal twist ring and grey tote

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

This Month's Newsletter

September 2014 - UpShift Swap Shop

What goes into creating our newsletter?  We scramble around to pick out garments that speak to the season and to our customer.  We find items that are trendy but still wearable. The images are shot in our boutique against a white background then uploaded to photoshop where they are cleaned up.  I choose to use the same format each month for consistency purposes.

Franzia - also saving the world through sustainable practices!

Franzia is not only the world's most popular wine (true), but it is the world's most cost and carbon effective wine (also true)!  The perfect fit for UpShift!

  • Boxed wine is lighter than heavy glass bottles so their carbon foot print is significantly smaller (we all love a good bottle of think about buying local). 
  • Box wine has 85% less landfill waste than bottle wine (also, be sure to recycle all the plastic, cardboard, and of course glass). 
  • Box wine requires fewer trucks to transport more wine than glass resulting in less emissions, less pollution, and less greenhouse gases.
Bottom line -  WE LOVE FRANZIA!

Plus Size

We offer Plus Size at our underground location at 2315 Superior Street

We currently are available for Private Parties!  Call or email to set up a date!

Host shops for FREE and each guest swaps for only $10

We always have wine out for guests, but the host is welcome to bring in additional offerings as needed (we had a host bring in champagne and apps).

We take appointments Monday - Friday 5-9pm or for special occasions we will consider weekends.  Just call us!


Our underground location is in a residential neighborhood so don't be thrown off by the location.  Just follow the signs to our best kept secret!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

100% UpShift, !00% of the Time

My wardrobe has slowly (but surely) shifted to become all UpShift, all the time.  It's taken a while to part with old items I loved so very much...but also I've been able to custom build my ideal wardrobe with items from the boutique and it has finally come to light!

Without any effort or thought I wore 100% UpShift today for work (yeah, I teach during the day and had to go with a professional look today).  I laid out my clothes this morning, got dressed and realized that everything was from the boutique; black pencil skirt, dotted peplum top, vintage strappy ballets, and silver twisted ring.

On that note our intern came up with an idea....if our customer shoots a pic on any social media wearing all UpShift they can show it to us or post on our FB and that customer gets $5 off next visit within that week! Love the idea...let's roll with it!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

BTS trends

Back-to-School is here.  Regardless if you're indeed going back to school or not this season is mega important in the fashion and retail world.  Why?  Because we each get to start new with our fashion image (just like back in elementary school we got to start with a new teacher and a new trapper keeper...mine was blue with a rainbow).  Below are the top three trends we're calling out at UpShift and the fashion world in general.

Preppy: Chaps cardigan (tags still on $ cost next to nothing at UpShift) with denim dress.

Casual: Retro Bill Blass overalls with nordic print tee.  Bibs are back (again),  how can you resist retro?

Ballet: Pretty in pink with a chiffon top and lace champagne skirt...and flats of course!

Must have accessory: Canvas and leather tote!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Plus Size 8.20.14

Today's outfit brought to you by UpShift's Plus Size Underground Store that officially opens 8/21/14.

We hosted a VIP party and the response in regards to trend selection was all positive.  Many gals have been asking how to become a VIP member at UpShift. us and we'll add you to our list (and no you won't receive a bunch of random emails).  You'll be notified about special promotions and events!

Eddie Bauer cable knit sweater in size 18 with brown denim in size 18 with strappy leather pumps

Inspiration for our trends come from tear sheets from the trendiest and most recent magazines    

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Introducing our next concept - Plus Size 8.21.14

It's been quite the journey opening UpShift to the public.  We started out as invite-only, but quickly realized that swapping clothes is a retail model that does indeed work.  We opened up once a week in an "underground" location in a residential neighborhood at 2315 Superior Street in July of 2011. Word spread and our little swap shop gained a following.  We finally had the revenue (barely) to open up full-time to the public at our current (and totally amazing) location on East Johnson.  Our goal is to open 5 stores in 5 years with 5 different concepts (womens, kids, plus, mens, maternity).  Our aim was to open up our Kids location second, however a lot (and I mean A LOT) of people came forward wondering when we'd open Plus.  Honestly, back when we first opened up to the public I wasn't sure when or how we'd open a second location...but we knew that the right correlation of events would make it happen at the appropriate time.  Whelp, wouldn't you know it several of our customers (most notably Theresa F.) came in asking if they could bring in plus items to swap up for smaller sizes that we carry in our E. Johnson location.  Of course!  Many of our customers have lost weight but didn't have clothing that fit...and had a bunch of old clothes in plus sizes.  Sure, we'll take if off your hands and help you find clothing that fits!  Slowly over the year our Plus size inventory grew.  We now have enough to open up our old "underground" location one day per week so that our swap model is available to gals that fit in plus sizing. We'll be doing our first swap Thursday, August 21 from 5-8pm.  Below is a smattering of styles.  The pictures don't even begin to tell the story of how cute the items are!  

Beneath the pics are a few of my personal thoughts and comments on our inventory, if you care to read on scroll through and read.  Leave comments as needed, or get on FB and message us.
Tribal tee in XL
Size 16 print dress - tags still on!
Straight leg classic Levis - size unknown, approx 16 or 18
Amazing cocktail dress - size 20
Knee length red shorts - size 18
Tribal chiffon top - XXL
Chiffon teal top - XXL
Tribal tank - size 22
Tweed printed skirt - size 16

Additional comments: Alright ladies, I worked with plus sizing when I was a designer at Maurices, Inc and they did their sizing as 1, 2, 3 for tops and 16-22 for bottoms.  Now that I've gotten the opportunity to compile inventory for our Plus Concept I now realize how crazy sizing is for Plus clothing.  Is it just me or is it all over the board?!  I seriously don't even know how to begin communicating the sizing of certain items (the sizes affiliated with the above pics are accurate if there was a tag otherwise I had to guess based on styling). I don't know how a plus size gal can shop and find appropriate sizes and fit.  Ok, enough with that rant.  On to the style of plus size.  

We really weeded out the items that looked old, tattered, or even too matron-like (this is the exact same process we use at our other location).  We ended up with some seriously cute items!!!  One observation is that plus size has a ton of print.  Is this something that people like or hate?  I think the items are amazingly cute but have noticed a lot of print.  Very few solid items, and we're hoping through the swap process we end up with more variety in this area. We also ended up with a ton of denim, really really cute styles!  Again, through the swap process we hope to add variety to our bottoms selection.

That's it for now, hope to see you August 21st 5-8pm at our "underground" location.  It's open to everyone and anyone so don't be thrown off when it's in a residential area.  Just follow the signs and know you're in for a treat!  It may be a smaller location, but it's packed with awesome clothes just waiting to go home with you!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Friday, 4th of July

Got plans?  Yeah, most of us have plans at night watching fireworks or hanging with friends at a BBQ with cocktail in hand.  How about during the day?  It's supposed to be amazingly gorgeous weather.....and here's UpShift's best kept secret (ready for this): the day after any of our events guarantees access to amazing new inventory.  Guess what?!  July 3rd is our 2 for 1 event and it's always a busy one so you can access completely new inventory on Friday.

There you have it.  I've told you so now you can break the news to family and friends that you have plans 4th of July morning.  But you'll surely join them with a brand new outfit at night.

Go forth and be fabulous this fourth!

This outfit brought to you by red, white, and blue...'Merika!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Definition of UpShift (noun not verb)

People often ask what UpShift means.  Upcycle (humble opinion about to be thrown around) is overused by the eco-conscious community to invoke recycling in a trendy way.  We took a fresh spin on it.  Upshifting in a car means going into a higher gear...gear is also slang for clothing.  "Let's switch gears", people say for wanting to change topics. My favorite topic is clothing.  Switch it up.

Mind ready to be blown? Shift is another word for a loose fitting dress.  It all makes perfect sense. UpShifting means changing up your gear for better duds.  Simple.

That still doesn't answer how UpShift works, right?  Well check out our webpage FAQ's to answer all your burning questions.

Go forth and be fabulous.