Q&A: The Story Behind “Upstate & Chill™"

Since the early days of our business, Upstate & Chill has been part of the Hamilton & Adams story. The phrase has become our calling card, and it’s been the source of many customer questions over the years. So for this week’s blog, we wanted to give you some answers.

How did you come up with “Upstate & Chill”?

It’s a simple fact that many of our best ideas happen in the shower. (There’s a scientific basis for that, by the way.) One day back in 2017, Andrew was gazing out the window while he was in the shower and he was reflecting on what it’s like to live in Upstate, NY. 

As his mind wandered, he kept coming back to the word “chill”—and it occurred to him that “chill” encapsulates so much of what we love about this part of the world. From there, it wasn’t much of a leap to add “Upstate”...and the Upstate & Chill brand was born.       

Where is Upstate New York, anyway? 

We get this one all the time. And to tell you the truth, there’s no simple answer. If you ask 10 people what “upstate” means, you’ll get 10 different definitions. (Do you mean the Hudson Valley or the Catskills? Finger Lakes or the Adirondacks? Is the North Country somehow more upstate than the Southern Tier? Or how about “all of the above”?) 

That’s why we’ve come to believe that “upstate” isn’t really a placeit’s a feeling and sense of place.

Years ago, when we first started exploring this area, our idea of “upstate” was an escape from the craziness of the citya place to slow down and unwind. Then it slowly dawned on us that it didn’t just have to be an escape. It could actually be our homebase. “Chill” could be our default. And eventually, like so many before us, we made upstate our permanent home: not just a place to visit, but a place to be. (this was a return for Andrew having been born and raised in Western New York)

The Upstate & Chill brand is our attempt to capture all of those feelings and associations. It seems to appeal to everyone from locals to daytrippers to homesick Californians. It even appeals to people who’ve never visited here, but who yearn for a different pace of life. 

What are your plans for the Upstate & Chill brand? 

We’re still a little surprised by how much the Upstate & Chill message seems to resonate with people, and the different ways people interpret it and make it their own. But that’s what we love about it.     

So one thing seems pretty clear: our Upstate & Chill brand isn’t going anywhere. We keep expanding the line all the time, and many of these new styles become some of our biggest hits.

As of this writing, we’ve got all kinds of new offerings, including: 

If you have questions or suggestions about Upstate & Chill, we’re all ears. And whatever “upstate” means to you, we promise to do what we can to help you find a happy place of your very own.

Chillfully yours,

Andrew + Clark

Missed our last //blog about Denim?  Read it here


  • Bill Oderkirk

    Your store is great place to shop !

  • Cathy Chaine

    Pets would love upstate and chill 🐶🦊🐰🐭🤗

  • Robert Gaston

    Nice 👍

  • Kevin Fennessy

    Growing up in New Jersey, people felt anything above NYC was “upstate” ….which is crazy 😜….with relatives in Utica and Oswego….that is definitely upstate…while attending Oswego State ran into people from all corners of The Empire State!

    Love ❤️ your stuff!

    Thanks for listening


  • Isabel cotarelo

    What a great story!! Upstate, to me, it’s a state of mind.
    I think the world should have “The Shower Epiphany Day,” the universe only knows how many of my life’s changes occurred there!!!
    Keep your wonderful work!! Happy weekend.

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