Ann Marie Blackman owns a Vermont company called My Ugly Christmas Sweater. She collects, repurposes and then sells extraordinarily ugly holiday sweaters, cardigans, and dresses. Ann says, "There's actually a sweater I didn't sell because I love how ugly it is. It's a 1980s padded shoulder with children's toys, a giant Raggedy Ann, a toy box. To me it's like a scary clown. I was going to wear it to a party but I want to add lights to it."
Ann says she started her company because she was becoming an empty nester. "A few years ago, my kids were finishing up high school, getting ready to go to college. So I was looking for something to sell during the holiday season. I had never heard of those ugly sweater parties, but I thought I could make sweaters uglier than those on the market. I knew I was onto something. People primarily buy them for themselves. Some buy them for their boss for work. There are some really, really ugly fringes that I can get off old fabrics. I buy the scraps that real quilters don't want."