Photo courtesy of That Ugly Christmas Sweater Store

Photo courtesy of That Ugly Christmas Sweater Store

Tis the season to wear ugly sweaters.

The holidays are, perhaps, the only time of year where it is socially acceptable to wear something that looks like an amalgamation of your grandmother’s turtleneck and a preschooler’s art project. Saturated with reindeer cutouts, brightly colored bows and glitter-covered bells, these sweaters typically are abandoned and packed away until winter returns.

Unless you’re Mindi Kahn and Michael Levine, who co-own the Preston Hollow-based That Ugly Christmas Sweater Store and begin collecting sweaters the second the holiday season is over.

“We have pickers — people in major cities across the country — we buy them from and bring them in all year long,” she says. “To acquire 10,000 of them, we start the day after Christmas.”

Perusing thousands of sweaters may seem overwhelming, so they are organized based on how obnoxious they look.

“We have a scale of ugly, uglier, even uglier and ugliest,” Kahn says. “We just have to take it upon ourselves to decide where they stand. The ugliest is usually the most gaudy. It’s the one with the most going on.”

While this is the pop-up store’s second year in existence, it is Kahn’s fourth year in the ugly sweater business. Last year, That Ugly Christmas Sweater Store found a temporary home at Inwood Village and garnered publicity when members of One Direction wore the sweaters as part of a Kidd Kraddick Morning Show interview. While Kahn says she isn’t certain that celebrity sightings are likely this year, she’s not opposed to the idea, either.

“When they actually got them to wear them, that was a good surprise,” she says.

In addition to a toy drive that local high school students help organize, a portion of the shop’s proceeds benefit Texas Scottish Rite Hospital.

“That was really one of the most fun parts of it,” Kahn says.

The store, located in the Preston Oaks Shopping Center, opens this Friday and runs until Dec. 27. Get all the details here.


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