Our privacy policy has changed. By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Dismiss

Siblings Run Online Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop out of Parents' Basement

Nov. 20, 2011

McCarthy siblings Jack, 17, and Martha, 22, started reselling ugly Christmas sweaters online in 2008 after spotting a niche market opportunity. As competition drove down prices
and demand for unique sweaters grew, they knew that the next step was creating their own website. Jack, who had taken a UWM College for Kids web design course at 14, mocked up a site while Martha managed the writing and marketing. Last year they launched their site, UglyXmasParty.com, on Black Friday and had a busy holiday season, selling 88 sweaters.

While the McCarthys keep their sweater sources a secret (Hint: they search high and low year-round) they have amassed quite the collection this year – over 200 sweaters and growing.

Jack says, “This year we have really ramped up our product offerings – we opened our shop earlier and have lots of momentum built up from last year.” Not all of the sweaters they find are ready to be sold as they are deemed “not ugly enough” and are sent to the ‘uglification’ center. This is the craft table in their parent’s basement, or as they like to call it “Santa’s Workshop.”

When they aren’t out scouting for sweaters or uglifying, they spend their time cataloging their inventory, crafting clever descriptions and finding new avenues to market their products online. Martha, who runs a social media and digital marketing agency called The Social Lights, handles social media, PR, online marketing and advertising. Jack, a junior in high school, is in charge of inventory, shipping and handling.
 

“When we first started our parents thought we were crazy. Our dad wondered why anyone would purposefully buy a used ugly sweater. Once he saw how many we were selling he supported the business and really got into it. He likes to see us working together and following his entrepreneurial footsteps,” says Martha.


UglyXmasParty.com is an online retail shop that exclusively sells unique Ugly Christmas Sweaters. Owners (and siblings) Jack and Martha McCarthy pride themselves on being seriously and satirically dedicated to the Ugly Christmas Sweater. Jack and Martha started the business as teenagers, and still run it out of their parent’s basement in Milwaukee, WI.

Community Watch

» Name revealed of new female giraffe at Milwaukee Co. Zoo 5/26

» Wauwatosa law enforcement honors fallen officers during national bike tour Updated:  5/26

» Tosa Top 5: Five things you need to know about in Wauwatosa this week 5/25

» Wauwatosa West boys finish fourth at Woodland Relays 5/25

» Wauwatosa West girls soccer team wins Woodland Conference championship 5/25

» Wauwatosa East soccer team splits two games, loses Lily Brock to injury 5/25

» Wauwatosa East girls finish seventh at GMC Outdoor Track and Field Meet 5/25

» Wauwatosa East boys fourth at GMC Outdoor Track and Field Meet 5/25

» State Street road work may be the biggest headache this year in Wauwatosa 5/25

» Wauwatosa Sports Notes: May 26, 2016 5/24

» Milwaukee County Chargers defeat Bulldogs in exhibition opener, 20-6 5/24

» Wauwatosa officer rescues seven ducklings trapped in storm sewer 5/24

» Initial Reaction: Talking with star Waukesha soccer players Dani Rhodes, Emily Cervantes Updated:  5/24

» Wauwatosa Police Report: May 15 - 21 5/24

» Wauwatosa West girls track team runs away with Woodland Outdoor title 5/24

» Video: Reporter takes us along the 2016 Run Tosa Run 5/23

» Tosa Top 5: Five things you need to know about in Wauwatosa this week 5/20

» Suspects charged in string of armed robberies through Wauwatosa, Milwaukee Updated:  5/19

» New Mayfair GM announces plans for a Z Gallerie furniture store Updated:  5/18

» Wauwatosa East baseball team will rely on defense, depth in 2016 5/18

» Wauwatosa East softball teams beats West Allis Central in twinbill 5/18

» Campus News: May 19 5/18

» Sports Shorts: May 19, 2016 5/18

» Wauwatosa East girls soccer team crushes West Allis Central, 11-0 5/18

» Wauwatosa West girls soccer team seeks Woodland title 5/18

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Best Summer Ever

 

We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Hidden Tosa

 

"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where our Wauwatosa reporter explores the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.

Advertisement

CONNECT