Tipsy Elves is a holiday-themed apparel company. It sells holiday sweaters and other holiday-themed items through its website and other online vendors, and donates part of each sale to charity. In December 2013 the company owners appeared on the US television show Shark Tank, and received $100,000 in funding to help the company move into the retail market.


  • 1 Company history
  • 2 Television
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links

Company history[edit]

Tipsy Elves was founded in early 2011 by Evan Mendelsohn, a lawyer working for Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton with a JD and MBA from the University of Southern California,[2][3] and Nick Morton, an endodontist who graduated from the University of the Pacific in 2008.[4]

Their first line of designs were debuted during the Christmas season of that year, featuring Ugly Christmas sweaters with a humorous twist.[5] The company produces holiday-themed sweaters and other apparel, designed to put an alternative spin on traditional Christmas motifs.[6] Their buck-toothed reindeer sweater design and others were described by People Magazine as “sly, sneaky and cheeky”.[7] The buck-toothed reindeer sweater was also worn by the anchors of the Today Show in their ugly Christmas sweater competition of December 2011.[8][9]

The Tipsy Elves brand is split between a “naughty” line with more extreme examples of humor, and a “nice” line that features tamer comical designs,[5] however the naughty line sells the best. In the first year of sales the company sold over one thousand sweaters reaching about $370,000 in total web sales, and in the following year it reached nearly $1 million in sales.[10][11] Tipsy Elves also runs the charity Sweaters 4 Sweaters, which donates sweaters to children in need using a portion of all the company’s profits.[12] In 2013 the company partnered with Stand Up to Cancer, and donated $2 from every sweater to the charity.[13] The company has pledged between $25,000 and $100,000.[14]

In 2014, the company’s revenues had been projected as $12 million.[15]


The Tipsy Elves owners appeared on the December 13, 2013 episode of Shark Tank, in which it received $100,000 in funding from investor Robert Herjavec. After showing they had made over $1 million in their first two years, the company stated it intended to move into the retail market. According to, “O’Leary made an offer, $100,000 for a royalty of $2 per sweater until the money was paid back and then $1 in perpetuity – but no equity. Herjavec offered $100,000 for 10%. John thought about making an offer, but couldn’t pull the trigger. They accepted Herjavec’s offer.”[16] Herjavec has stated that Tipsy Elves has been the best performing investment he has made since joining the cast of Shark Tank.[15] Tipsy Elves was also on the premiere episode of Beyond the Tank, in which the development of the company since Herjavec’s investment was discussed.[17] The investment was the most successful that Herjavec has made on the show.[18]


  • ^ “Wilmington’s Ugly Outfitters helping kitsch find niche”. Delaware Online. December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  • ^ John Tishler and Evan Mendelsohn (July 27, 2011). “United States: D.C. Circuit Invalidates SEC’s Proxy Access Rules”. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  • ^ “About Me”. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  • ^ “Nick Morton Awarded Delta Dental Scholarship”. May 16, 2008. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  • ^ a b “Tipsy Elves launches Christmas sweaters & apparel range”. Fibre2Fibre. October 25, 2011.  Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  • ^ Symonne Torpy (December 22, 2012). “Tipsy Elves Puts a Twist on the Christmas Sweater”. Young Hollywood. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  • ^ “DEAL OF THE DAY: 20% Off of Tipsy Elves”. People Magazine. November 18, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  • ^ “Anchors don ugly Christmas sweaters: Whose was the worst?”. Today Show. December 14, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  • ^ “Knit wit! The craze behind ugly Christmas sweaters”. Today Show. December 14, 2011. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  • ^ Guy Trebay (December 16, 2012). “Bad Taste, All in Fun”. New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  • ^ Bill Briggs (July 10, 2013). “Small but mighty”. Internet Retailer. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  • ^ Dave Rice (November 14, 2011). “Local Company Specializes in “Ugly Christmas Sweaters””. San Diego Reader. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  • ^ Linda Miller (December 13, 2013). “Ugly Christmas sweater retailer on “Shark Tank””. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  • ^ “Two entrepreneurs wrap up wacky holiday trend”. San Diego Union-Tribune. December 4, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  • ^ a b Eugune Kim (October 15, 2014). “‘Shark Tank’ Investor Talks About Hating Mark Cuban, His Best Deal So Far, And The Key To Success For Any Startup”. Business Insider. Retrieved October 27, 2014. 
  • ^ Michael Griffin (December 14, 2013). “‘SHARK TANK’ RECAP: JINGLE ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK”. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
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  • External links[edit]

    • Official website