‘Shark Tank’ Investor Sees Ugly Christmas Sweater Company As Its Best Investment

For Robert Herjavec, a “Shark Tank” investor, Tipsy Elves is his favorite investment. The holiday apparel company got $100,000 in investment and a 10% equity for Herjavec in 2013.

Business partners Nick Morton and Evan Mendelsohn’s evolving friendship with Herjavec helped. According to Herjavec, he wants to invest in deeply passionate people like the two friends who commit to being there 24/7.

Herjavec even made his investment back just after a few months. He said that it has been the most financially rewarding endeavor in the show. Tipsy Elves has been making profit since its 2011 launch. Morton expects the company sales to increase yearly.

Prior to Tipsy Elves

Morton was a dental surgeon while Mendelsohn a lawyer, and they have 6 degrees between them.

Mendelsohn, in 2011, observed a trend of ugly sweaters worn by young adults to holiday parties. He figured that he wanted to open a company for this market. He called his friend Morton from his undergraduate years at University of California, San Diego to ask if he wanted to join the project.

Tipsy Elves business venture

Despite their lack of knowledge in the venture, they used their $140,000 money to start the business while seeking advice from their business school friends. They also used Morton’s familial ties in China for a supplier.

They create sweaters designs and favoring silly designs over tacky ones. They use high quality materials too. They also became partners with Save the children to donate a portion of their profits to underprivileged American children needing winter clothing.

The two friends sold $380,000 sweaters during their first year and $900,000 by the next. Mendelsohn committed full time in 2012 and Morton in 2014.

The business becoming year-round

Herjavec told the founders that although the Ugly Christmas Sweater trend is interesting, Tipsy Elves has to be a year-round business.

Tipsy Elves has been offering apparel and accessories for Valentine’s Day, Hanukkah, July Fourth, Halloween, Christmas, and so much more. It also expanded into selling ski gear.

It also helped that the company secured a deal for The Night Before holiday comedy movie from Sony Pictures.

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