Saturday, December 27, 2014

Nature's Pathways Article - December 2014

We are featured in Nature's Pathways magazine each month with an article and profile.  This month we discuss the importance of giving instead of gifting.  This article holds true for all celebrations and relationships.  At UpShift we totally believe in living life to it's fullest through experiences and connections while enjoying simple things in life.

Check out the full article here:

Nature's Pathways Magazine - Your Path to Healthy Living

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hey, You!

We're reaching out to our beloved customer, you!  Word of mouth has been our most proven advertising and we want to take our swap shop to the next level. 

UpShift in numbers:

5 years ago UpShift became an LLC
11 financial institutions turned us down (recession + new concept = no)
3.5 years ago UpShift officially opened for business (in a basement)
14 months ago UpShift officially opened to the public
6 of the first 12 months we experienced extreme road and sidewalk reconstruction
7 volunteers keep UpShift open and running
2 volunteer stylists, 2 volunteer models, and 1 volunteer photographer additionally help out
3 customers per day pays the bills (believe it or not!)
8 customers per day will allow us to expand to include plus size

Why disclose any of this?  It's important to us that our customer is a part of the experience and honestly without you we wouldn't have been able to make it this far!  We are so unbelievably grateful and thankful for that.  To make it to the next level we need more of that good energy!

Everything we make at the boutique goes right back into it to keep it running, and since we finance it totally on our own we need to make sure it's worth the effort (pssst, we totally think it is! however, sometimes it's a nail-biter each month if you know what I mean?!)

Thank you and much love from the UpShift family.  Go forth and be fabulous (and spread the word while you're at it).

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Madison Startup Feature - UpShift

Madison Startup defines "startup company" as any for-profit business less than three years old.  We are featured on their webpage as a company profile.  Check out this great article written by Danielle Schulz.

Article link

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Jam on Johnson

Friday, November 14th 4-8pm
$5 off swap fee
Next Door Brewing beer for tasting
Complimentary wine while swap
17 other businesses featuring promos
Music lining the street

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Attention Home Business or Small Business Owners

It's no secret that UpShift loves to partner and collaborate with other businesses.  This is the time of year to make that happen!  We host other businesses or feature home business ventures in our store for a 2-4 hour window while we offer a swap promo to our customer to get heavier foot traffic.  This benefits both our featured business as well as our swap shop.

In the past we have featured women that sell makeup, nutritional products, and jewelry as well as women that do nail art, hair styling, clothes mending, and make their own jewelry or art just to name a few.  We've even hosted other businesses and featured their product such as wine, beer, or special services.

Basically the sky is the limit, and the business owner only needs to show up to feature their product to a whole new customer base.

These events are fun and expose both businesses to new customers!  Win-win.

Email us at to set up a date and time or to ask additional questions.

We hope to partner with you!

Also, if we've featured you before and you want to join us again, call or email!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Let's reflect

We hit our 1st anniversary a couple short weeks ago and since then have been quietly anticipating the end of our street construction.  We have known about the construction since we signed the lease way back on October 5th, 2013.

I did a quick shot of vodka, hopped in the passenger seat next to Dustin to drive over and commit to the lease all because we loved the location of the East Johnson Street corridor.  I remember thinking, "What the hell are we doing signing a lease in a location that will have 6 months of immense street construction during our 1st year of business?"  Literally, we decided to open a new concept business with the knowledge that 6 months would cripple our business with crazy street construction that included many, many months of either a torn up street, gutted sidewalks, or gigantic machinery blocking our building.  We forged ahead.

I remember seeing the "No Parking" sign go up on May 1st, 2014 with an end date of November 6th, 2014.  I made a conscious decision to take it one day at a time and that end date would come.  In all honesty, I did take it one day at a time, along with taking a nightcap to soothe my anxious mind.  Each day passed, and customers continued to walk through that door.  They made their way through dusty, one lane roads, sandy sidewalks, and loud machinery.  We stayed afloat and we thrived.

We are now a main staple of the new and improved (one time this phrase is absolutely correct) East Johnson Street corridor.  We are proud to be a part of this amazing neighborhood. We are proud to have served our customers through this crazy 1st year.

Please join us to celebrate a new era on November 14th, 2014 4-8pm at the Jam on Johnson.

Thank you,

Lindsay and Dustin

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jam on Johnson

We are so happy to announce the beginning of a new era for the East Johnson Corridor! Street construction will be coming to end in November and we will be participating in a neighborhood street party to show off the new amenities; more parking, new bike racks, better lighting, wider sidewalks, and a bike friendly lane, just to name a few.

True to the Madison lifestyle the neighborhood businesses are coming together to throw a huge party to celebrate!  Please join us Friday, November 14th 4-8pm for a chance to win prizes and to walk the block to hear Madison based bands play music and participate in a local beer tasting.

UpShift will have complimentary wine along with beer for tasting and our promo includes $5 off swap fee.

We will be featuring Next Door Brewing for beer tasting!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thank you!

A special thank you to everyone that visited the boutique throughout the weekend. Thanks to both new and loyal customers along with friends and family we reached the first year milestone. We look forward to the exciting year to come.

New fall product this week, construction completion next month, followed by holiday season. We look forward to continuing our efforts of offering trendy second-hand clothing that is brought to the community through our very own customers.

Thank you again for everything!

Lindsay and Dustin along with the UpShift family.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fresh Brew

Especially brewed for our 1 year anniversary celebration we had a micro brew created, available October 17th - 19th along with free swag bags, drawings, and complimentary wine.  Swing in and celebrate all weekend!

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

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!