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Teen starts ugly Christmas sweater business

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WAUWATOSA, WI (KCTV) -

A Wisconsin teen is cashing in on an ugly holiday tradition - Christmas sweaters.

When teenage boys take to the basement for hours at a time, moms start to worry. Unless you are the mother of 18-year-old Jack McCarthy. His obsession in his parents' Wauwatosa basement revolves around Christmas sweaters so tacky some people find them beautiful.

Since selling his first one three years ago, Jack McCarthy has made a ton of money.

"We sold it on EBay and it went for about $50 and we were surprised that sweaters would have that kind of market," he said.

Inspired by that revelation, Jack McCarthy built his stockpile at every flea market, thrift store and yard sale across six different states.

The result is a website, ultimateuglychristmas.com, where his finds sell for $20 to $50 a piece.

"The more colorful, the more action, the more eye-popping things - that's our definition of ugly," Jack McCarthy said.

While he's now shipping out sweaters at a pace of 40 a day, there was a time no one was sure this would pay off.

"There were moments, though, I suppose where I was concerned there was more stock than we would get rid of and I would never get my basement back," mother Cathy McCarthy said.

And she may not. Jack McCarthy graduates from Marquette University High School in a few months and it would be hard to conduct his sort of business from a dorm room.

Click here to view some of the ultimate ugly Christmas sweaters Jack McCarthy has for sale.

Courtesy: Steve Chamraz/CNN

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