Killington resident, Anne Marie Blackman, has created a somewhat
unusual name for herself. Four years ago she founded the business,
My Ugly Christmas Sweater, Inc., crafting and selling ugly
Christmas sweaters online. This somewhat quirky niche has proven
very popular. "My website received 30,000 visits yesterday," she
said, Monday, Dec. 3, adding that traffic in 2012 is generally
running several times higher than last year. She attributes this to
growing demand nationwide for ugly Christmas sweaters. "Ugly
Christmas sweater" was searched twice as much this year compared to
last, Blackman said.
This past Saturday, she co-hosted a theme party with Chris Karr
at The Foundry at Summit Pond in Killington, which was recently
reopened after Karr bought and renovated it.
The theme, of course, was "Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater" and
it was "a full house," she said. "Locals as well as people who own
ski houses and visitor came by, it was a good mix of people here,"
she said. Saturday was also the first night that The Foundry was
open to the public.
"Chris Karr and I had talked about doing an ugly sweater party
last year," she said of the joint effort to host the party. "It was
was a fun group of people... we're talking about perhaps making it
an annual benefit event," she said, adding "There is always a lot
of enthusiasm for theme parties in Killington."
Those that did not come prepared could purchase one from
Blackman at the party. Proceeds from the party benefited the
charities of the Sherburne Women's Club.
The display of tacky holiday apparel was truly impressive, from
sweaters and sweater vests to dresses to holiday hats and
accessories-some were even garnished with lights and other 3-D
objects! "I embellish ugly sweaters to make them worse," Blackman
said describing her craft.
The winners for ugliest sweater were recognized in three
categories: Best Sweater went to Richard Mandel; Most Creative went
to DJ Dave Hoffenberg and Best Couple went to John and Janina
Curtis. Winners were awarded a trophy cloaked in its own ugly
sweater and a copy of the book that Blackman co-authored last year,
"Rock Your Ugly Christmas Sweater," which features over 200
pictures of people and their pets rocking ugly Christmas
"There are loads of Killington residents and neighbors in the
book," she says, many of who were also at The party at the Foundry
on Saturday. They include: Judy Storch, Scott Bigelow, Marty
Mylott, Chris Bianchi, Kim Gaines, Eileen Godfrey, Sally Bridges,
Mark Fiore, Ron Ottino, Nancy Mosher, Robin Leggett, Debbie
Leblond, January Meyer, Kenny Budzyna, Tom Raebeck, Ellen Hawk,
Jeff and Susan Hiers, Poldi and Gerald Pfeifenberger, Ken Keim, Deb
and Bob Burke, Anne Marie, Jim and Colton Blackman, Ken Lee, Red
and Taylor Glaze, Dominic Chiarella, Mary Hegstrom, Kim and Jason
Evans, Steve Nisimblat, Otto Iannantuoni, Mark (Wishbone) Shea,
Anne Mercier and family, Bret Williamson and son, Chad Aston, Carol
Armstrong, Christa Moore, Rick Moore, Helen Krzyczynski, Bob
Sardelli, Alan Wilson, Rick McGarry, The Crompton Family, Bill
Vines, Mary Furlong, Leo Davin and teachers at Killington
Blackman and her ugly sweaters have appeared on The View, Fox
& Friends, Good Morning America, and The ABC World News.
She co-authored the book with Brian Clark Howard, an editor and
producer for National Geographic.
For more information visit
Photo courtesy of Jessica Gabeler, The Foundry
Laura Howson, Katie Archer and Kat Lafferty show off their ugly
sweaters at the Rock Your Ugly Sweater Party held at The Foundry,
Saturday, Dec. 1.