Fort Collins Shop Capitalizes On The Ugly In Christmas Sweaters

FORT COLLINS, COLO. (CBS4) – One of the sweaters is adorned with Christmas tree ornaments. The other sports tinsel at the bottom.

“So this kind of makes it a little uglier than that one.”

At least that’s the thinking of Kenna Wilhelm, an employee at a Fort Collins thrift store that sells just ugly Christmas sweaters.

The store, appropriately and obviously called Ugly Christmas Sweaters, opened in November with 4,000 items.

“You immediately get a laugh because you look at someone’s sweater and you’re like, ‘Wow, that’s actually more hideous than mine,’ ” Wilhelm said.

Owner Nancy Agnew got the idea while running a thrift store and watching old holiday sweaters fly off shelves.

After planning this summer and after lots of washing and hot glue-gunning, Agnew rented the space.

“I like risk,” Agnew said, and thought, “I’m going to do it, and I did it.”

Store owner Nancy Agnew (credit: CBS)

Store owner Nancy Agnew (credit: CBS)

Facebook and word of mouth took care of most of the advertising.

Now Agnew sells up to 150 sweaters a day.

“There’s so many options it’s hard to make up my mind,” one customer said while examining her choice in the store’s mirror. “It’s pretty ugly, though, that’s for sure.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Agnew said she thought about opening her business on eBay, but she shied away from the intense competition. She also thought customers would like to try their choices on.

With sweaters priced from $3 to $43, Agnew figured out a way to capitalize on a growing, if unexpected market.

She said she plans to expand to Boulder and Denver.

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