Tipsy Elves Stumbles Out of Ugly Sweater Niche

ugly sweater

In the past few years, the ‘ugly Christmas sweater’ trend has been growing. Ugly sweaters have begun to pop up at popular stores like Target and Forever 21, and several sites now cater specifically to your holiday sweater needs; including Tipsy Elves.

Created in 2011 by Evan Mendelsohn and Nick Morton, Tipsy Elves was the result of a lack of new, interesting Christmas sweaters for a more youthful crowd. The company merges classic designs with modern trends, and even slide in some crude humor.

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In this interview with about the company’s beginnings, Morton muses:

“… neither of us could find any fun, new Christmas sweaters to wear to ugly Christmas sweater parties. We realized there was a huge void in the market for this product and set out to create it. We knew literally nothing about manufacturing apparel, making a website, social media marketing or anything related to starting a business. What we did have was a commitment to figuring it out.”

The ‘ugly sweater’ trend is not new. Christmas sweaters even have their own, separate holiday now. And there have been examples of entrepreneurs who have ‘struck gold’ with the ugly Christmas sweater niche before. But Tipsy Elves has gone one better expanding out of that niche in order to provide humorous and unique apparel for all occasions.

Users can find sweaters, T-shirts, scarves, socks, and even fanny packs for Christmas, Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day and even a patriotic collection for the Fourth of July.

Sweaters run around $65 each and the site often offers discounts for first-time customers. They come in a range of styles and sizes for both men and women, and even include kids’ sizes.

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Rather than going to second-hand stores and collecting unique sweaters to upscale and sell on eBay, like Anne Marie Blackman and her store My Ugly Christmas Sweater, this site designs each of their sweaters from the ground up.

This offers a more modern twist on the classic, working in a few jokes that would make your grandmother blush. It also allows the company to take a bit of liberty in bringing those classic designs, and the humor, into the rest of the year.

Tipsy Elves also offers a selection of officially licensed college sweaters so fans can show off their pride with a festive twist. They combine classic Christmas patterns with college logos and bright, bold colors, and offer both men’s and women’s styles and cuts.

Thanks to an expansion, the business has been able to expand out of the Holiday season niche and branch into other products, giving the company a year-round reach. Rather than keeping themselves in a box like grandma’s sweaters, Mendelsohn and Morton have been able to move into a bigger market with more opportunities.

Image: Tipsy Elves Comment ▼

Aubrielle Billig Aubrielle Billig is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers business as it is impacted by pop culture, entrepreneurs in the arts, and other topics affecting creative businesses. She has a background as an illustrator and her design page can be found at AubrielleBillustrations.

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