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!