Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Holiday week events July4th

This week we have some sweet things happening in house!  Check it out:

(I love the video's default shot.   I'm all, "You wanna hear about some sweet promos, or what?")

Monday, June 29, 2015

Photoshoot Spring 2015

Ashley Rostad created these amazing photos with Ashley Thompson modeling. It features a baby pug, Blue.  Yes, a pug.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

HUGE summer event! June 25th

We are so extremely pumped to announce this week's event (ahem...complimentary wine and craft beer)!  Joins us Thursday, June 25th from 6-9pm to view featured art and meet the artists and mingle with our staff. This event is FREE and open to the public.

We're partnering with Gallery 99 (go to their link to check out their amazing mission).  Five of their artists will be (re)creating multi-media art inspired by the fashion trends of UpShift.  It's a collaboration of artists and our fashion merchandiser to create eye-candy that is textured and oh-so amazing!

Joins us Thursday, June 25th from 6-9pm
Complimentary wine and specialty beer crafted just for this event! (Redesigned Pale Ale).

Juneberry Marketplace located at 702 East Johnson Street (just a block toward the capitol) is hosting in house artists for their Upcycle Week which feature art that has been recycled.  The marketplace is a boutique that has art, jewelry, and housewares for sale (inexpensive and CUTE).

Here's our official flyer followed by the trends that will be revealed (we cannot wait to see what the artist do to create art inspired by our trends!!!)

Here are the trends that the artists will be using as inspiration to create multi-media art pieces to be featured at Upshift!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Meet the photographer we love so much! Ashley Rostad

I can't say enough about this week's blog feature, Ashley Rostad.  She is a very dear friend (I was her matron of honor in her wedding last year), an amazing photographer and hairstylist as well as personal consultant when it comes to running the boutique.  I met her 6 years ago and could not have made Upshift happen without her support and incredible talents; all of our photography has been shot and styled by her.  On top of all of this she is absolutely the most stylish person I know.  She takes risk (shirt as a dress...or no pants at all) and she always looks so amazing! She's the best!  Here is Ashley's profile:

 Full name: Ashley Rostad

Reason for working/volunteering at UpShift: I love the idea behind the business.  I'm all about sustainability, while still being able to stay on trend, or even dress to your own tastes and styles, all without breaking the bank.  It's my way of offering support to this most excellent cause!

Favorite thing about UpShift: Wine.  Actually, I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I love that it's offered.  Everything about the shop, the people, Lindsay, it's super personal, personable and inviting.  It's the better version of getting together at a friends to swap clothes.  You get more variety and awesome company.

Favorite memory of UpShift:  Any photoshoot we've ever done.  Each one, I feel, keeps getting better and better!  Not to mention I've been a follower/loyal fan from the get-go, so I also love reminiscing about back in the basement days..for nostalgia's sake!

Favorite item from UpShift: 
Everything I've ever gotten?  I have had way too many good finds from here!  I especially get a good little kick out of finding my old clothes and being able to take them back home again, even if just for a little while...an instant extended closet!

Your personal style is: Pretty eclectic, sometimes bold.  I'm all over the place, though I'm much more tame and boring than I used to be these days.  I love going against the rules, making my own.  I'm a firm believer in if you think something looks good, wear it.  ROCK it.  So long as it's appropriate for where you're headed, do your thing.  I love mixing trends, styles, etc, but lately...summer really brings out my inner hippie.  Anyone watch Season 3 of American Horror Story:  Coven?  Yes.  All of that!

Your style icon is: It fluctuates an awful lot, and I don't know that I often have one...I like to draw different things from different people depending on how I'm feeling, but lately I've had a mildly unhealthy fascination with Stevie Nicks back in the day.  And anyone rockin that super boho!

Something the UpShift world may not know about you: Oh gosh.  I LOVE to sing, but don't ever plan on hearing me.  And, if given the chance and financial stability (and if my husband would ever allow it haha), I'd up and be a missionary - so many things about this world break my heart...

Your favorite song or band: A gazillion different ones!  I love southern sounds, southern rock, bluegrass, etc.  needtobreathe probably tops the list, but I also love The Wild Feathers, AFI will always have a place in my heart...I could go on and on...

Drink of choice: Vodka Soda, lemon juice if available, always with a lemon.

Ideal vacation or favorite place you've traveled: Haiti times 1,000.  I vacationed in St. Thomas for my honeymoon and it was a dream come true, I would do that again in a second, but I hold Haiti near and dear because of the work that's being done there through an organization that I love.  Ideally, however, I'd love to see as much of this amazing incredible world as I can!  My travel bucket list is never ending...

Where else do you work or volunteer:  Currently work at my family's business (Real Estate and Appraisals), and I'm a stylist at William Jon Salon.  I recently volunteered for the Fashion Show for All Needs and it was one of the best things I've done in my life.  I also love volunteering at merch tables for shows, specifically, Mocha Club artist shows, another organization that I adore.

Favorite places to hang out in Madison: Mickey's, my parents have a dream come true place out on Lake Mendota.  Those are pretty much my top two.  For me it's more about the company.

If you could share one piece of fashion advice it would be:  Be true to you, and have fun with it.  Wear what makes YOU feel good, what makes you feel confident.  Don't let other people dictate how you dress.  Be wild, be funky, or be classic, clean and simple.  Just do YOU.  And always remember it's always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed! "

Need an amazing photographer?  Email us at upshiftgear@gmail.com and we'll connect you!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe 101

So a very dear friend from high school texted and asked how to best build a capsule wardrobe. In this text message she reiterated that she's a mama of 2 little ones and prefers to revamp her wardrobe using second hand or eco-friendly garments. I told her I'd think about this and get back to her and asked if I could blog about it.  Here it is, my friend...finally.

I had heard this term capsule wardrobe, but to be totally honest I had to google it to make sure my understanding was in alignment with what she was hoping to achieve. Once I read a few blogs about it I realized that my entire life is capsuled, but most specifically my wardrobe.  This happened slowly over the years and started several years ago when I traveled for my job.  I'd pack and only bring items in one color story and one lifestyle (business casual) so I could mix and match.  As time wore on and I became a business owner and teacher I knew that my life needed to be streamlined.  I'm notorious for wearing the same outfit days in a row and wearing the same 3 outfits over and over again.  I also rotate the same garments throughout seasons.  So, that's the basic description of a capsule wardrobe and the most basic way to wear it.  I once read in Vanity Fair that President Obama wears only one color of suit and rotates ties that are in red, white, or blue.  He is the boss of capsule wardrobing.

According to Freedictionary.com a capsule wardrobe is a collection of clothes and accessories that include only items considered essential. I've read some information out there on the interwebs machine and feel like it gives some good advice about building a wardrobe of essentials, however I feel like even they expanded waaaayyyy beyond essential and basically give advice on ways to redo your closet to refill it with more crap.

I decided to pair down the description of a capsule wardrobe to include the absolute essentials and I'm going to feature my own closet (instead of the usual myriad of pictures of items from the boutique).  This way it proves that someone can actually create and sustain on a capsule wardrobe.  You'll get to see my wardrobe and the closet space I've created.

Now for a little back story......

Dustin and I moved to Madison in 2009 and left behind a 1300 square foot home with roughly the same amount of unfinished storage space as well as a garage.  We "temporarily" moved into a 750 square foot space here in Madison with the intentions of moving within a year to a larger space.  Prior to moving to Madison we sold and threw out about 50% of our stuff (oooooh, it felt so good).  We packed up the Uhaul and sailed off to Badgerland and inevitable bliss.  He went to work the next day while I was supposed to unpack. About an hour after he left I called my sister in near hysterics because the boxes literally filled the entire house, leaving  a little path to our bedroom and the bathroom.  My cats were in HEAVEN.  I was in complete hell.  So, I took her advice and opened a bottle of wine.  This lead to a brilliant idea (I'm not being cheeky) that I should order a dumpster.  I opened the boxes and threw out (or donated) anything that we absolutely didn't need.  We had 2 wooden spoons, one got tossed.  We had 2 sets of red plates, I tossed all of them except a set of 4. We had 12 wine glasses, I tossed 0.  It's very simple math.

I systematically went through every box (and that bottle of wine) and cleared out our lives.  This included my precious, and meticulously curated collection of clothes.  It felt so good to clear out the clutter of life that I didn't even care.  Dustin came home and was kind of taken off guard, but after explaining he totally agreed that it's all we really could do.  I never did show him all the kitchen gadgets that didn't make the cut.  He even jumped in and helped* get rid of anything unnecessary. By the end of the day the pile of boxes were gone and our house was livable.  In fact it became so livable we are still happily living in this space 6 years later and it's still clutter free.

*he threw out an old canvas bag without looking inside.  My wedding dress was in it.  I rescued it.

So, what can you do to build a capsule wardrobe?  Here are a few guidelines:

Focus on your main wardrobe; pajamas, workout clothes, and undergarments are not included. Although, you should pair that down.  It's all about simplifying!

Pour a glass of wine or beverage of choice.  Some people get anxious tossing items, this should be enjoyable and I promise you will feel so great after you're done.

1. Focus on one season at a time.
2. Pull everything out of your closet (or in my mom's case, closets, as in 3)
3. Start a pile of everything that is your absolute favorite (meaning, you wear over and over again)
4. Add to that pile anything that fits really well.
5. That other pile needs to go.  Donate or have a swap party.

Didn't that feel good to get rid of shit?!

Alright, you are ready to build your capsule. Look over your pile of clothes, is there a theme?  Most people like certain colors or fabrics and certainly have a specific lifestyle.  Mine is business casual for teaching and working in retail.  Categories include:

  • Casual (weekend at the farmer's market)
  • Business casual (bank teller)
  • Business (CEO)

It's best to keep everything in a similar lifestyle and color story.  Note that black, navy, and brown play well together, It's an old fashion rule that says you can't mix black with brown or black with navy.  Screw those old rules.  In fact, I'm wearing white jeans and we are still weeks away from Memorial Day.  I basically do whatever I want though so it's your choice if you want to live on the edge with me.

Capsule video:

Anyways, here's the meat of this novel-of-a-post:

Must-haves in your capsule (click here for a check list for printing)


  • LBD (should fit well and can be worn to a wedding, office party, or the opera...versatile)
  • Crisp white dress shirt (buttons all the way up and is plain, no frills)
  • Blazer (trust me on this, it can be worn dressy and casual)
  • Skinny black trousers
  • Legging (not crappy ones from Wally World, quality ones that won't show undie lines)
  • Straight leg jeans (medium wash; again casual and dressy all in one)
  • White tee shirt (fitted)
  • Long sleeve tee (black and brown)
  • Jean jacket (or easy layering piece that can be worn all day in or out)
  • Cardigan (this doesn't necessarily mean classic, it can be any layering sweater)
  • Pencil skirt (mid calf or right above knee, no shorter)
  • Casual dress pants (this could mean khakis or lightweight seersucker)
  • Trench coat


  • Sleeveless dress top (chiffon is easy to wear and travels well)
  • Long sleeve dress top (chiffon or silk)
  • Sweater (a style that can be worn dressy or casual)


  • Scarves (I rotate between 3 of my faves)
  • Tall boots
  • Flats (ballet or pointy)
  • Black purse
  • Brown purse 
  • Sunglasses (one brown, one black)

Jewelry (choose either a gold or silver story and stick to it)*

  • Hoop earrings (about the size of a golf ball)
  • Diamond Studs (pea size or smaller)
  • Costume ring (one big fun ring)
  • Simple band (simple is really fashionable right now)
  • Chunky necklace
  • Strand necklace
  • Wedding rings (mine are silver, and I still wear gold with them.  No rules, remember?)

*You really can't have enough of jewelry or accessories.  This is a good way to jazz up your simplified wardrobe, however I find I wear the same few items repeatedly.

Ok, let's talk seasons.  Yes, most people change out their wardrobe for each season.  I don't think this is totally necessary.  The above items are a basis for any wardrobe, any season.  Of course you're going to layer more for winter and bare more skin in summer.  Here's the kicker, summer is all about stripping down (literally and figuratively).  I have the above wardrobe, and for summer I have a small little basket in my closet that has my favorite items for summer:

  • Khaki shorts
  • Denim shorts
  • Strapless maxi
  • Beach cover up
  • Strapless tanks ( two; black and neon yellow)
  • Cotton skirt
  • Flip flops in black
  • Leather flips that are dressier

THAT'S IT!!!  You can do it.  Go forth and start cleaning out your closet and your life!  Build a new wardrobe with the checklist.  Here are ideas for shopping on a budget or by being eco-conscious

  • Upshift Swap Shop (or host a swap at home)
  • Second hand stores
  • Rummage sales
  • Curb shop (Yes, some of my favorite items were free from a curb. Feel free to judge.)
  • Estate sales
  • Vintage
  • Small boutiques
  • Craigslist, etsy, or ebay, etc. 
  • Amazon.com


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Newest Items 6.17.15

Check out our newest (totally amazing) items!

Capsule Check List

UpShift Swap Shop – Build a Capsule Wardrobe

ð        LBD* (should fit well and can be worn to a wedding, office party, or the opera...versatile)
ð        Crisp white dress shirt (buttons all the way up and is plain, no frills)
ð        Blazer (trust me on this, it can be worn dress and casual)
ð        Skinny black trousers
ð        Legging (not crappy ones from Wally World, quality ones that won't show undie lines)
ð        Straight leg jeans (medium wash; again casual and dressy all in one)
ð        White tee shirt (fitted)
ð        Long sleeve tee (black and brown)
ð        Jean jacket (or easy layering piece that can be worn all day in or out)
ð        Cardigan (this doesn't necessarily mean classic, it can be any layering sweater)
ð        Pencil skirt (mid calf or right above knee, no shorter)
ð        Casual dress pants (this could mean khakis or lightweight seersucker)
ð        Trench coat

ð        Sleeveless dress top (chiffon is easy to wear and travels well)
ð        Long sleeve dress top (chiffon or silk)
ð        Sweater (a style that can be worn dressy or casual)

ð        Scarves (I rotate between 3 of my faves)
ð        Tall boots
ð        Flats (ballet or pointy)
ð        Black purse
ð        Brown purse 
ð        Sunglasses (one brown, one black)

Jewelry (choose either a gold or silver story and stick to it)**
ð        Hoop earrings (about the size of a golf ball)
ð        Diamond Studs (pea size or smaller)
ð        Costume ring (one big fun ring)
ð        Simple band (simple is really fashionable right now)
ð        Chunky necklace
ð        Strand necklace
ð        Wedding rings (mine are silver, and I still wear gold with them.  No rules, remember?)

ð        Khaki shorts
ð        Denim shorts
ð        Strapless maxi
ð        Beach cover up
ð        Strapless tanks ( two; black and neon yellow)
ð        Cotton skirt
ð        Flip flops in black
ð        Leather flips that are dressier
LBD =Little Black Dress
**You really can't have enough of jewelry or accessories.  This is a good way to jazz up your simplified wardrobe, however I find I wear the same few items repeatedly.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

East Johnson Street

I passed out fliers today for our upcoming event, Redesigned: A Fashionable Art Show.  The event is where art and fashion come together on June 25th from 6-9pm.  While handing out fliers today it was great to get out and visit all our neighbors.  As a business owner it's easy to get caught up in running the day-to-day business, but this allowed me to get out and meet new neighbors!  One highlight was meeting the owner of Juneberry!  Juneberry is this amazing shop on East Johnson and Blount.  They are in a beautiful space that features over 50 artists and their amazing items such as jewelry, housewares, gift items, and other totally stellar custom-made items.  The owner and I were able to visit and catch up on how great our little neighborhood is, They will be doing an upcycle week next week that coincides with our art event.  Please check out their event on Facebook.

I also got to hear about a new cocktail lounge that will be coming into our neighborhood (Hello, they already have a regular customer!)  and most importantly I got to promote our Redesigned event that is going to be one of our best events since opening 18 months ago.  We are featuring 5 artists from Gallery 99.  The art will coincide with our merchandised product (all new trends starting next week). We will have complimentary wine, champagne, and custom made craft beer. Enough said. See you Thursday, June 25th from 6-9pm.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

June Digital Newsletter

The theme of this one is Baby Blues!  Check it out:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015

Custom Picked for Customer

The video below is a sneak peek of specific items that were chosen for a specific customer based on her lifestyle, career, and fashion sense.  We offer this service in-house at Upshift.  If you need help fine-tuning your wardrobe ask one of our staff and they will gladly help you create theeee perfect wardrobe.

My sister-in-law, Alyson, contacted me a couple weeks ago and asked if I'd choose new items for her closet.  I asked a couple simple questions such as size, items needed, etc.  I also know her lifestyle because she's been married to my brother for over 7 years.  I know she is very fashion forward because she has a fashion background (it runs in the family), she has 2 very energetic little boys (Berkely, 2 1/2 and Winston, 1), she is very involved in the community with her job in the Chamber of Commerce of Cloquet, Mn and she's married to a professional that is also very active in the community.  So, she likes to look fashionable (and her style is funky, but pulled together) and needs to feel comfortable all while looking pulled together and professional.

I set to work to gather the perfect items for her and will bring them to her this week.  She'll give me her cast offs and voile, she has a brand new wardrobe!

Check out the items that I pulled for her:

Friday, June 5, 2015

New June 2015 Trends

Check out our newest trends:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Baby Blues - 2fer

Newest trend this week; Baby Blues.  It's all about denim on denim or blue on blue with a base of creamy neutrals.  I put together a few outfits featuring this key trend that's happening not only at Upshift but in the fashion world and on the streets.

Here's a clip featuring a few outfit ideas...and how timely with our 2 for 1 coming up tomorrow, June 4th 12-8pm.  Bring a friend and she swaps for FREE!

June 2015 Blog Article

Orginally printed in Nature's Pathways - June 2014

Clothes Minded Donating

by Lindsay Leno

Donating clothes is the perfect way to discard old or unwanted items, however the process of how and who to donate to has an impact that reaches further than the average do-gooder thinks.  Donating unwanted garments and accessories is a great way to help charities while keeping used goods out of our landfills.  Sometimes people are unaware that donating to charities that are large and reach global status can have a lasting, negative impact on developing countries as well as resources that are used to ship the goods long distances.  To prevent any negative impact all it takes is just a little bit of research to keep items local so that the effect plays a positive role in your local community.

Sending garments and accessories to developing nations seems like a good deed, at first glance.  Despite the fact that these countries lag behind in many respects it is a little known fact that developing nations actually depend upon their thriving textile business to support their growing infrastructure.  The textile industry includes the farmers that provide the cotton, the weavers that created fabrics, the dyers that individualize the fabrics, the markets and merchants that sell the fabric, as well as the patron that purchases and uses the fabric.  Here in the states we only use 15-20% of used clothing to resell in thrift stores. The remaining used garments are redistributed with 30% repurposed into industrial rags, 25% become recycled fibers, and 45% are shipped overseas as garments for reuse. (De Jesus and Kay, 2012).  Sending and shipping thousands of pounds of textile goods to developing nations directly impacts their textile industry as well as the individuals that rely on it as their sole livelihood.  It plays off the heartstrings to see a child wearing clothing that has an American sport logo on it because we believe we’re doing our part to provide for that child’s basic needs.  However, the impact on the nation’s industry is much more detrimental than we can understand.  We could point fingers at how this has played out, but it is a complex issue and there are no easy answers.  Luckily, there are a few easy steps we can take on a local level to ensure we are doing our part both in our community and to help those in need in developing nations.

Donating at a local level by doing a little bit of research ensures that items are redistributed within the community for people in need.  This helps people within the local community and prevents negatively impacting the textile industry in developing countries all while keeping the environmental impact to a minimum that would otherwise be compromised due to shipping mass amounts of garments overseas.  Research small, local thrift stores that take donations as well as local churches and schools that have clothing banks for those in need.  Most schools and churches have a system in place to help their congregants and students.  Beyond finding ways to donate goods locally it may create a dilemma on ways to than best help people in developing countries to have basic needs such as clothing.  It’s far better to purchase products from their local economy and donate through an organization within their country than to send our used goods.  Purchasing items that are certified Fair Trade also help people thrive by focusing on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicraftscoffee, and cocoa to name a few.

One recommendation for a local organization in Madison and Janesville is Agrace Thrift Store where their mission is to partner with several area businesses and organizations to help ensure that saleable donated merchandise gets back into the community to be used again, rather than ending up in a landfill. In addition to making sense for the environment, these partnerships also help support the local economy, making the quality merchandise available at very thrifty prices.
Also research local churches and schools within your community to ensure a local effort at helping those in need.

Understanding where our second hand clothing ultimately is donated to helps us control the outcome.  Giving used goods to a local charity or church will directly help the local community and economy.  Donating clothes to large charities, despite knowing that a portion is refurbished or recycled, can create a negative impact on developing nation’s local economies.  By doing a little research we can best make a positive impact in our local community while understanding that making conscious donations in other nations will ultimately help those in need in other nations.

And always swap at Upshift to keep it totally local (to Madison) and totally sustainable.

De Jesus, J. and Kay, T. (2012). Ethical Style: Where Do My Used Clothes Go? Retrieved from http://magazine.good.is/articles/ethical-style-where-do-my-used-clothes-go

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

2 for 1 Event

Every single month we do a 2 for 1 and the next one is Thursday, June 4th from 12-8pm.  Bring a friend and she swaps for FREE (or you each pay $10).  You get to upgrade your entire wardrobe for summer!

Vino as always!