A French-brand, “Disconnected,” from Paris, is offered in only a few stores in the world, Bita said, including in England and Dubai.
“I was able to convince them to let me sell it here in the U.S., and I’m the only one in the U.S. selling it,” he said. “It’s expensive, but if you want something unique, something you can find nowhere, this is something you can buy.”
While his original fashions are manufactured overseas, Bita hopes to expand his offerings to include more locally produced options.
“We looked to see if we could make it local, but it was just, for the beginning, too expensive,” he said. “Hopefully, maybe later, we can find somebody who can help us to make the clothes, because the idea is for something that’s local.”
Uphold first opened at Omaha’s Oak View Mall, but stayed for only one year, Bita said.
He had the misfortune of launching his enterprise at the start of a year that would be defined by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That mall ended up being bought by somebody else because of COVID. All the stores were not doing well and the owner of the mall sold it to somebody,” he said. “My wife and I were moving here to Grand Island, so I thought there was no point in keeping a store there.”
As one of Nebraska’s largest cities, there is room for Grand Island to embrace such casual, yet exciting, new clothing options, Bita said.