News and Events

Class of 2008 Alum’s Side Job: Ugly Holiday Sweaters

December  15, 2011

Many alumni of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry go into private practice or specialties. But some of them manage to make time for outside endeavors as well. Such is the case of one dental school alumnus, Nick Morton '08, who recently launched an online store selling ugly holiday sweaters.

Morton's primary job is as an endodontist at an east Bay Area practice, EndoCareGroup. He also teaches part time at the Dugoni School of Dentistry on Thursday evenings. But in March 2011, Morton and his friend Evan Mendelsohn came up with a decidedly non-dental idea: a website to sell ugly holiday sweaters. They put in long hours to launch in time for the 2011 holiday season. Tipsy Elves sells ugly holiday sweaters and accessories, both of which have been in high demand as "ugly sweater parties" have seen an increase in popularity.

"Ugly Christmas sweater parties are a big trend these days, and there wasn't a place to buy brand new ones, so we started Tipsy Elves," said Morton. "We designed, manufactured and sold 12 styles of what we think are hilarious and trendy sweaters as well as 12 accessories."

Dr. Nick Morton hands out sweaters at a Children of Shelters event on Dec. 3

Dr. Nick Morton hands out sweaters at a Children of Shelters event on Dec. 3

Morton and Mendelsohn have also made a point to donate some of the funds generated by Tipsy Elves to worthy causes. Part of each sale goes to help clothe needy children. On Dec. 3, Tipsy Elves partnered with Children of Shelters, a San Francisco nonprofit organization that provides support and education for children living in or being served by the homeless shelter system. Tipsy Elves attended a Christmas party hosted by the organization and donated hundreds of sweaters to families and children at the event.

The sweaters sold on Tipsy Elves have been featured on ABC's show Wipeout, The Rosie O'Donnell Show and the 49ers' holiday card and video. On Dec. 14 the sweaters and website were featured on NBC's The Today Show segment about ugly holiday sweaters.

"Amazingly the website took off," added Morton. "We were selling 300-400 sweaters a day until we sold out." 

Watch The Today Show clip >> 

Category Type: Alumni

Contact:  Office of Marketing and Communications, 415.929.6434,