Where Have you Been Part 3: Christmisc.

by Tabitha Kidwell

Probably the most exciting thing I have been doing recently is opening Christmisc., an ugly sweater pop-up shop. Actually, let me revise that. It’s probably the most exciting thing I have ever done. That’s saying a lot – If you’ve read the rest of this blog, you’ve seen how many exciting things I’ve done!

This all started with a conversation my friend Nate and I had back in August. Nate owns Pursuit, a men’s clothing store that specializes in selling slim-fit suits to college kids and young professionals. Nate is the best spotter of trends and opportunities I know, and he saw that young guys were going to Macy’s and Men’s Warehouse to buy the same poor-fitting, low-quality suits their dads and grandfathers buy. Pursuit filled that gap, and it is doing great in its third year. Having also noticed how hard it is to find ugly sweaters in thrift stores this time of year, Nate would stock up on trips home to Wisconsin in the summer. He sold them out of Pursuit the past two Christmases, and could barely keep them in stock!

So, last summer, Nate mentioned to me how he was too busy doing his actual job to get sweaters for this Christmas. I pointed out that I was unemployed and a great funny-clothing enthusiast, and a brilliant idea was born. I spent most of the autumn buying sweaters at thrift stores all over the place. Nate told the boss what’s what (not all that hard when you are self-employed) and got out quite a bit himself, too. Even by October it was getting hard to find sweaters in stores; there are lots of other dealers looking for them to sell in vintage stores and online, where they can go for as much as $100!

We spent two hectic weeks in November setting up the store in the vacant storefront next to Pursuit. The landlords love Nate, who is the only local tenant, and realized that the store would bring in a lot of traffic, so they gave us a steal on the rent! After hours of painting, building, sorting, tagging, cleaning, decorating, wassailing and decking the halls, the store was ready to go for its soft opening on November 20! Okay, maybe not quite ready to go – we had a few kinks to work out before our grand opening on November 22:

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Since then, it’s been a jolly whirlwind. We knew people would love the store, but we were unprepared for how MUCH they would love the store. Some people literally freak out when they walk in. I’ve heard “This is the best store ever” so many times I don’t even care any more. Ha! Just kidding, I still love it! It’s so fun watching people getting excited over all the sweaters and Christmas apparel we lovingly selected. Nate compared it to an adoption agency – we brought these sweaters out of desperation to get them to people who will love them as much as we do!

So, if you’re in the market for an ugly sweater, you’d better get in to the South Campus Gateway soon! They are going faster than we ever imagined! We’ve been featured in Columbus Underground, Business First, UWeekly, the Columbus Dispatch, and Good Day Columbus. We were on Channel 4 with Monica Day this morning, too, so the sweaters will be disappearing faster than Frosty on a warm day!

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