Jeremy Turner's Made A Business Out Of Collecting The Ugliest Christmas Sweaters Around.
Jeremy Turner greets all of his customers at The Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop the same way.
“Are you ready to get ugly?” he gleefully asks all who enter his seasonal, pop-up space.
We mention this because it's a catchphrase that might take you aback if you're not prepared — or if you haven't yet seen Turner's collection. Now in its second year at its location at 6333 East Mockingbird Lane, the walls of The Ugly Christmas Sweater Shop are truly lined with some of the ugliest Christmas sweaters imaginable.
And, says Turner, they're all sourced “from the North Pole itself.”
Just go with it, OK?
The shop, which Turner opens just before Thanksgiving each year, will close either after Christmas or when his stock runs out — whichever comes first. This year, Turner says the latter will likely be the case.
And you've got to admire that. For starters, owning and operating a seasonal vintage sweater store takes some serious commitment — not to mention a serious love of sweaters. Turner had some hints that the idea was completely, nuts, though. He'd seen how well his holiday sweater stock sold on his Vintagemobile venture
“Ugly Christmas sweaters are hard for people to find,” he says. “I figured out how to get a lot, so I solved everyone's problem. It's really cool to have all of this in one location. Everyone's used to having to hunt to these kind of [sweaters], even if they're not usual thrifters. But there's such a limited number in those stores. So I thought it'd be awesome to create a place where people can find it all.”
The process of acquiring all of this stock isn't really that simple. There are steps Turner has enacted in order to ensure quality in not only the ugliness, but also in the knitting itself. First, he looks for how potential new additions to his stock are made — like whether they're made in the USA or if they're hand-knitted. Then he tries to spot any sort of character or holiday symbol that sparks the eye. Finally, he checks for special effects — things like bells and 3D add-ons, or qualities that he says make sweaters “especially ugly.”
The search is an ongoing one, too. By next winter, Turner hopes to have amassed 40,000 more sweaters in his collection. But he's careful not to reveal exactly where he plans on getting all those sweaters. Regardless of the inevitable stresses of amassing so many secondhand sweaters, Turner remains steadfast in his resolve that his shop will never stray from boasting an entirely vintage collection. As such, he says he'll never outsource stock from China to fill his shop with “fake” Christmas sweaters. His shop, after all, is meant to provide a unique shopping experience — something people can't get from simply running out to stores like Target and picking up a characterless, purposely ugly Christmas sweater made by manufacturers capitalizing on the recent trend.
At his shop, ugly has never looked so good — or been so easy to find, for that matter. To that end, check out some of the ugliest pieces in Turner's collection below.