It all began with a bored lawyer.
"I was doing corporate law, so contracts, due diligence, pretty exciting stuff," said 31-year-old Evan Mendelsohn, looking far from enthused. "You can tell how excited I am talking about it."
To break the boredom, Mendelsohn started researching search engine optimization (SEO) as "a secondary hobby" (which may be the first time someone has referred to SEO as a hobby). SEO allowed him to see what people were searching for online, and he hoped to find a business opportunity there. In 2011, he noticed a spike in searches for ugly Christmas sweaters. "It just was like that light bulb moment," he said. "It was, 'Wow, there's a ton of search for this, and no one is selling them right now.'"
He decided to start selling them.
Mendelsohn wanted a partner, though. "I always wanted to start a business, but I never really envisioned it being something I was doing on my own."
There was only one person to call: Root canal specialist, Nick Morton, DDS, his former roommate and best buddy from their days at the University of California, San Diego. "He has a calm demeanor, and he also has good intuition," said Mendelsohn. "He would be a good business partner."