It all started with a crazy idea for these two entrepreneurs.
Uptown Cheapskate owner Maggie Mereand approached her former co-worker and close friend Jessica Johnson about a potential business venture by saying, “So I have this crazy idea.” Jessica responded excitedly with, “I’m all about crazy!”
The two teamed up in October 2017 and began their adventure together by flying out to Utah for two weeks of training at BaseCamp Franchising, the parent company of Uptown Cheapskate.
“We learned a lot about each other during those two weeks in Utah. It helped us get used to each other’s quirks and habits,” Maggie says. “It was beneficial for us in the end because spending so much time together, we have figured out when and how to respond to each other. Sometimes we don’t even have to speak. We can just look at each other and know what the other is thinking,” Jessica added.
The idea for the store started after Maggie had a glowing experience at the Uptown location in Short Pump. She researched more about BaseCamp Franchising and location opportunities and soon found herself in Utah to further explore the idea.
“They presented a great business model, and we soon began scouting locations in Midlothian,” Maggie says.
Maggie and Jessica met four years ago while working in the same department at the CarMax corporate office.
“Maggie and I had very similar experiences growing up, moving around to different places. We connected right away and have been friends ever since,” Jessica says.
As single parents with comfortable 9-to-5 jobs, they understood there would be challenges ahead. Yet, the endless opportunities outweighed the risks, and they both foresaw their sacrifices leading them to success.
Jessica’s background includes banking and retail management, while Maggie spent the majority of her management career at Starbucks after graduating college.
Why shopping at Uptown Cheapskate will benefit you and our Midlothian community.
The Uptown Midlothian store offers locals the chance to recycle as well as refresh their wardrobe.
“Sell us the items you no longer want and walk out with the latest fashions for a fraction of mall prices,” Maggie says. “Trends change so quickly, it’s difficult to remain stylish on a budget, but Uptown provides that opportunity.”
They also focus on giving back in meaningful ways, both locally and globally.
“BaseCamp Franchising encourages their owners to get involved in the community and provides philanthropic opportunities from the start. On a local level, we look forward to supporting our neighboring schools with their fundraising needs as the upcoming school year begins. We already have a partnership with a local nonprofit called The Thrifty Quaker, who collects all of our donated clothing to sell in their store; their monthly proceeds support a variety of local organizations. Additionally, we implement the bagless and fill-a-bag programs. Both send proceeds to support the building of schools in third-world countries, and the company just finished building their eighth school,” Maggie says.
Why they made the leap to live their dream.
They love to welcome new patrons and seize every chance to create lasting relationships. Not to mention, they love fashion. Each day brings new excitement for these entrepreneurs.
“Clothes are an expression of your personality and should make you feel comfortable being you, whether you’re wearing your favorite pair of jeans or trying a new look,” Maggie says.
All in all, these two amazing women are thrilled to make an impact on their community.
“We hear regular feedback on the excitement of having an Uptown location on the Southside. I’m a graduate of James River, and Jessica is from Thomas Dale, so supporting us is providing some local gals with the chance to live their dream!”
Uptown Cheapskate, 1403 Huguenot Road, Midlothian, Virginia, 804.378.3608, UptownCheapskate.com/Midlothian