Published on December 23rd, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
Tipsy Elves Co-Founder Evan Mendelsohn On The Company’s Successful Past, Present & Future
Founded in 2011 by Evan Mendelsohn and Nick Morton, 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. Expect year-round holiday sweaters, onesies, dressing, leggings, patriotic gear and other topical fashion items. In other words, there is always plenty of time to order yourself the best possible “ugly Christmas sweater.”
Within its first year of sales, Tipsy Elves sold over 1,000 sweaters, reaching about $370,000 in total web sales, and in the following year it reached nearly $1 million in sales. In 2014, the company’s revenues had been projected as $12 million. Just a few years later in 2018, the website had reportedly done over $70 million in sales and sold over two million products since its launch. Ultimately its exposure via the Shark Tank program led to generating more than $100 million in sales.
How would you describe Tipsy Elves to someone that hasn’t yet checked out the site? How does it compare to other online clothes retailers?
Evan Mendelsohn: We make the world’s most outrageous apparel to transform life’s greatest moments into unforgettable memories. At other retailers, you might find something you can wear everyday without anyone noticing, but our clothes are meant to be noticed. If you buy something from Tipsy Elves, you’ll stand out from the crowd and you’ll turn an ordinary day into a celebration.
Tell me about your 2019 Christmas and other holiday season apparel. What’s new from Tipsy Elves?
Evan Mendelsohn: In addition to our original designs, we’re really excited to offer official sweaters from The Office for the first time. We also partnered with André Champagne, Poo~Pourri and the saxophonist Kenny G for custom sweaters, too. There is something for everyone.
How far ahead do you plan your holiday season apparel?
Evan Mendelsohn: We always start designing about 1 year before the selling season for each holiday. For example, we are working on designing our 2020 holiday collection right now. Usually we design about 3 to 4 times the number of designs that we actually end up selling. We narrow things down by choosing our team’s favorite styles as well as surveying loyal customers of the company. It’s a fun process to be thinking about Christmas all year long.
Do you have a favorite item sold by Tipsy Elves?
Evan Mendelsohn: Our ski suits are my personal favorite. They are a lot of fun to wear on the slopes, and I’m an avid snowboarder so I get lots of good opportunities to wear them each year. I also really like our white elephant gift section on our site. It’s really fun to see us expanding outside of clothing and into the gifting space.
What is coming up for the brand in 2020? Anything you can tell me about the brand’s upcoming plans?
Evan Mendelsohn: In 2020, we’re putting a bigger emphasis on our retail strategy when it comes to pop-up shops. Our customers love being able to find Tipsy Elves in store. I’m also excited to share that we are expanding our t-shirt collection so that we have fun graphic tees for year around — not just for specific holidays.
Is there a Tipsy Elves accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Evan Mendelsohn: I Breaking the $100 million sales milestone was huge for us, but I think my favorite accomplishment was seeing Tipsy Elves as a Jeopardy question — it just happened the other day. It was so cool to see our brand incorporated into a part of this classic, universally-known show.
When not busy with Tipsy Elves, how do you like to spend your free time?
Evan Mendelsohn: I love playing ice hockey. I’m on 2 hockey teams and 1 of them is called “Tipsy Elves” and is sponsored by our company.
What was the last concert you attended for fun?
Evan Mendelsohn: The KAABOO Festival in San Diego!
Finally, Evan, any last words for the kids?
Evan Mendelsohn: Find a career that interests you. You aren’t going to be living your life to the fullest if you are working a job you are not passionate about, so don’t be afraid to just go for it. Always follow your passions.