Fred, Mark and Vanessa Hajjar, Detroit-based sibling, run UglyChristmasSweater.com that makes millions of dollars in sales every year. Within a 3-month period, they have received 130,000 orders and they are expecting $6.2 million in revenue this year which is almost double the earnings they generated three years ago.
The siblings have been operating the site for 6 years. Every year, there are new opportunities for growth and expansion. Aside from the popular ugly Christmas sweaters, they are now offering pajamas, leggings and stuffed animals. According to Fred Hajjar, the most rewarding part of their business is being able to literally start from scratch.
When Fred Hajjar was a student at Michigan State University in 2001, he became involved in online retail. He tried but failed to get several shops off the ground until he ended up with TV Store Online that sells t-shirts inspired by popular shows and movies. Fred was pursuing a course in engineering but since he was doing good business he forgot about his aspirations of becoming an engineer.
Over the years, TV Store Online earned enough for expansion and Fred and Mark ventured on costume manufacturing that sells costumes to major retailers like Spirit Halloween and Party City. In 2012, they noticed that ugly Christmas sweaters were being sold on eBay for more than $500. They bought the domain UglyChristmasSweater.com and designed several sweaters suitable for the holidays.
After the siblings launched the website, they received tons of requests from corporate companies like Frito Lay, Twitter, Dropbox , Volkswagen, T-Mobile and Ellen de Generes online store.The create-your-own-sweaters are manufactured in the United States while other sweaters are made in China.
A degree in fashion is not important to start a business around a unique product. Since the business needs continuous growth in the competitive space, the siblings also focus on retail and marketing trends.
Hajjar’s skills at SEO gave UglyChristmasSweater.com a high ranking in the Google search engine results. Mentions on social media have fuelled increased traffic to the site. This year, expect more new sweater designs and the newly developed Christmas pajamas. Their size makes them competitive against bigger corporations because they are more flexible in pushing boundaries.