Wednesday, October 28, 2015

9 Fall Must Haves 2015

It seemed like forever for that crisp air to hit (at least here in Madison), but thankfully this week we had orange leaves and a chill in the air as well as some drizzle.  Fall is finally here and that means lots of layers, textured fabrics, and loads of accessories (ahem, chunky scarves)!  Well, here you have it...our 9 must haves for the best season of them all.

1. Chunky sweater with a tribal inspired print

2. Midcalf boot

3. Tweed

4. Scarves, scarves, and more scarves

5. Flowy top (for under that sweater)

6. Noggin warmer

7. Fur

8. Wide leg jean

9. Blazer

Friday, October 23, 2015

Top 10 must haves BTS edition

It's that time of year...AGAIN.  Where does time go?  That's right, it's post Labor Day and that means a change of season.  For most folks in retail we refer to this time as BTS (Back-to-School) even though most of us may or may not be headed back to school, but we are headed to a change of season and thus a change of wardrobe.  Here's what our top 10 looks like for this changing of the guard.

Leather satchel, not too big nor too small. Just right.

Leather boots, but with a twist.  Not your average riding boot.  Better.

Statement necklace.  Big, bright, and center of attention.

Leather detailed belt.  Preppy and retro all at once.

Scarves are essential in a northern climate.  Animal print is a bonus.

A timepiece in pink undertones.

Dress shoes with a twist.  Think sultry librarian.

Crop top.  Yes, a crop top....under a blazer is ageless.

Seafoam with greys  and black.  

Florals.  That is all.

Fall at Upshift

Fall is our favorite season at Upshift for so many reasons, and it has officially hit our store!  Why is it our favorite time of year?  It's when we bring in beautiful, chunky sweaters to update your wardrobe when that chill in the air hits.  It's also the time of year when inventory turn over is high thanks to more people swapping up their wardrobe and we get in hundreds of new items daily.

Also, this is when we gear up for a full store change over, where we donate every single thing in the store to Agrace Hospice care so that we bring in all new items from storage.  Literally, every single item will be new to you!  Why Agrace?  They are a local thrift store with a wonderful mission and vow to keep items local which cuts down on the carbon footprint of our inventory and additionally helps our community with their used goods.  Shop their location to continue the efforts we put forth at our store.  We bring in all new items the first full week of October!

And let's not forget this is the time of year we celebrate our anniversary with a huge weekend-long partaaaay!  October 16-18th we will have special promos, beer, wine, and swag along with in-store events.  Mark your calendar!

Here's a quick recap of events coming up:

  • New fall product daily beginning 9/23
  • October BOGO 10/1 from 12-8pm, bring a friend and she swaps FREE
  • Fall store turnover - first week of October beginning 10/5
  • Anniversary party - 10/16-10/18
  • Gear up for Jam on Johnson (our street fair!) November 13th
Fall product daily beginning September 23rd

BOGO October 1st 12-8pm

All new store beginning October 5th

Anniversary soiree October 16-18th

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Upshift's Newest Addition - Our Intern for Fall 2015

Full name: Amy Patricia Johnson

Reason for working/volunteering at UpShift
I wanted to get some retail experience in a laid back environment, and I believe in Upshifts vision to reuse and share our style with others. I’m also hoping an internship with Upshift will give me the experience to start my own business.

Favorite thing about UpShift
That’s a tough questions because there are so many things I like about Upshift. I love the way first time customers get excited about the idea of the store. I love the conversations I have with customers about trying new clothing they would have never thought to try on. I think most of all I love the fact that fashion can be reused through each other’s personal style.
Favorite memory of UpShift
One of my favorite memories was when I was talking with a customers and she said that Upshift makes her try clothing that she never would have thought of, and makes her takes more risk with her wardrobe.

Favorite item from UpShift (pic?)
I found this green, acrylic cardigan that is so cozy and comfortable. I like it because it can be dressed up or down, but I still am comfortable.

Your personal style is
My personal style is mostly Romantic and Classic. I like classic silhouettes and romantic styles. I also like bright colors and fun patterns. I’m not afraid to be bold, but I normally stick with the classics.
Your style icon is
Rachel Zoe. I like how she started out as a stylist for celebrities during award shows and now she has expanded her brand into so much more!
Your favorite song or band?
My Favorite band is Motion City Soundtrack.
Drink of choice?
My favorite drink is Snapple Tea.
Ideal vacation or favorite place you've traveled?
My sister got married in Jamaica and it was an amazing experience to be in a different country.
Where else do you work or volunteer?
Currently I am a full time student. I have currently started my internship at Upshift for this fall and couldn’t be more excited!
Favorite places to hang out in Madison?
I like to go on runs and one of my favorite places to run is through Tenney Park and to the peninsula that looks out on Lake Mendota.

If you could share one piece of fashion advice it would be....

Never be afraid to try something new and different. Never say that “ I don’t like that color” or “that won’t look good on me”. Sometimes you can surprise yourself with a new style or garment. We are always reinventing your style. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Accessories at Upshift

We love accessories just as much as the next gal.  That's why I'm here to tell you that when you swap you can take anything from the boutique as part of your swap, even accessories!  This is the number 1 question we get asked during a visit and yes, you can take them even if you didn't bring accessories as part of your swap.

On that note, it's a good reminder to be sure to dig through your accessories at home to get rid of anything you don't use anymore; shoes, handbags, jewelry, watches, sunglasses, and scarves to name a few.

Check out this short video to see what items we've gotten in and good examples of items we accept!

Field of Screams Costuming

I was involved in creating the costumes for an amazing movie shot here in Madison, Field of Screams.  The cast and crew were amazing and absolutely a blast!  The movie shot through the weekend in the middle of the night and we had the wrap party last night, October 20th.  We got a sneak peek of some of the rough cuts and it looks phenomenal!  I took pictures while I was at the shoot on Friday and Saturday night.  Below are some of the shots of the actors in costume.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Weekend Anniversary Party

It's here!  Our anniversary party, join us for a weekend of amazing fashion, booze, food, and swag!

Friday, October 16th
Open 12-8pm
$5 off 4-8pm
Complimentary wine; red and white

Saturday, October 17th
Our 2 year anniversary
Open 10-4pm
Party 12-4pm
Custom brew beer, wine, and food
Swag bags

Sunday, October 18th
Hangover party
Open 12-6pm
Complimentary bloody marys and mimosas

Thursday, October 15, 2015

2 Years Strong

Time is such a tricky little bitch, on one hand it feels like we opened the doors of Upshift just yesterday, but on the other hand (and according to my newly sprouted gray hairs and under eye wrinkles) it was eons ago.  2 years ago today I was drinking wine and setting all the trends at Upshift while holding back a cacophony of emotions; excitement, nervousness, anticipation...well, you name I was feeling it.  Fast forward to October 17th and we unlocked the doors at 10am.  We had a great first day with a ton of curious visitors from the neighborhood and a handful of customers, mostly loyal customers that wanted to shop our new digs.

It's been one foot in front of the other day-by-day since that Thursday 2 years ago.  I've learned so much and realized that opening a business that isn't modeled after any other type of small business...anywhere, ever is an incredible journey. The success of Upshift has been possible because of Dustin's limitless support and hard work.  He is, hands down, the most incredibly supportive husband; he dresses mannequins and offers support to a whole bunch of female staff and customers all while working his ass off at his full time job.

Beyond support from the world's greatest beer brewing husband I have to send out so much love and hugs to all my friends and staff.  My dream was to open Upshift by August of 2009, yes, you read that right.  I wrote the business plan the day Obama was inaugurated in January of 2009 and reached out to many, many banks that all shouted a resounding no. It was heartbreaking, but hindsight also being a tricky little bitch, I now know the reason for this very long delay; I was meant to meet all the key players that would be a part of the foundation of Upshift, these people are some of the most wonderful, loving, kind, silly, outrageous people in the world and wouldn't you know it Dustin and I found them right here in Madison.  Too many to list, but you all know who you are (if you've gulped wine or beer with us you're on the list).  My staff, volunteers and interns are on that list as well because of their dedication and complete understanding of all we do at Upshift.  Behind the scenes we have a whole team of people that support all we do as well; a photographer, models, and stylists.

Bottom line, we are incredibly blessed to be where we are at in Madison surrounded by (in my humble opinion) some of the most beautiful people, both inside and out. Our foundation here in Madison wouldn't have been possible without all the support of family and friends that live in other beautiful places near and far.   2 years later, and 6 years after conceiving the idea for Upshift I can hardly begin to fathom where the future will take us. I send love and many thanks to all the people that have supported Upshift.

Join us in celebrating beginning Friday, October 16th. Get $5 off your swap from 4-8pm.

First day with keys to the building

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Costumer for Field of Screams

There's a gem of a movie being shot here in Madison called Field of Screams, and it's the brainchild and passion project of Natalie Pohorski.  Her journey in making this movie struck a cord with me and I knew I had to help out by pulling together the costumes.  Her journey, like all creative endeavors, echoed my journey in creating Upshift.  It combined meticulous planning (knowing that it will likely stray from the plan) with a huge amount of faith that all the right people and resources will come together to make it all happen.  Here we are 3 days before shooting starts and it looks as though it's all going to happen.  Ironically, the shooting of this film is happening the same weekend as our 2 year anniversary at Upshift. It's perfect timing for a thriller to be shot, fall is ideal for shooting a baseball, zombie flick.  Without giving too much away let's talk about the costumes...

I agreed to help out the first weekend in August, which for personal reasons was a very difficult weekend (Dustin and I had a family funeral and also lost a beloved pet all while trying to rebound from the robbery at Upshift).  Meeting with Natalie and discussing my involvement was a much needed distraction and October 16th seemed eons away.  Well here it is and the costumes are finally coming together.

Wardrobing is a hurry-up-and-wait game.  It all depends on casting along with last minute script changes.  Everything solidified last week, so it was go-time for tracking down costumes that would make the cast come to life for this movie.  I had to take the vision of the director/producer and combine that with my own ideas of garments that would tell a story while supporting the cast in becoming the actual part they are playing.

I shopped a lot, and committed to mostly used clothing.  I wanted the garments to look worn in, realistic.  The cast includes a lead lady, man, two young boys, and eight baseball players (and possibly an ump).  The trickiest items to pull were the 8 identical baseball uniforms.  Try as I might I couldn't track down vintage baseball uniforms so we settled on ordering new ones from Amazon.  Below are images of each costume.  I'll update the blog to show images of the cast in the costumes once we start shooting, which takes place at night between 5pm and 2am.  Each night as we wrap up shooting I plan to snooze a bit and then party on down for our anniversary party at Upshift.
Lead female - Kay
Lead male - Max
Boy - Flynn

Boy - Casey
Baseball Ghouls

Monday, October 12, 2015

2nd Anniversary

We turn 2 this week!  We've been at our current location since October 17th, 2013 and owe this successful milestone to our loyal customers and dedicated volunteers!

Join us in celebrating during our weekend long partayy!

Friday, October 16th
$5 off 4-8pm

Saturday, October 17th
Craft beer especially for our anniversary
Swag bags

Sunday, October 18th
Hangover party
Bloodys and Mimosas