How did Bernie Sanders, sitting cross-armed in a lawn chair sporting mittens, upstage one of the most publicized events in recent history? That's anyone's guess really, but the reality is; he did. And in turn, he's kind of everywhere right now and it's kind of awesome.

It started out as a movement of memes.

Then GIFs started to surface.

I even came across a hoodie and a crochet doll featuring the mittened likeness of the Senator from Vermont in his now notorious pose.

I was tickled when I noticed that a local Maine company was hopping aboard the Bernie Bandwagon.


Fairfield based, Warmhearted Apparel, is now producing Bernie Hand Sanitizer holders and Key Chains.

Owner Lacy Menchen, who just celebrated the first year in her new storefront on Main St. in Fairfield, said she saw all the Bernie Memes come out on Thursday, and was inspired.

"People are just loving Bernie right now. The memes were everywhere, and while I immediately saw the mittens on the day of the inauguration, I was  blown away by how much meme-age there was. I talked to my teenage son and said 'What do you think?' And he said 'Nobody's gonna want anything with Bernie Sanders on it.' And I was like, 'Really? Because I think it's kind of cute and they might.' So I just put it on a hand sanitizer. But then I got messages that people wanted it as a key I did the second one, too."

Facebook, Lacy Menchen, Warmhearted Apparel
Facebook, Lacy Menchen, Warmhearted Apparel

Menchen says she'll start work on her first Bernie batch next week, and appreciates the boost these orders are providing to her small business during this pandemic.

"It's definitely gonna give me a little boost!"

Menchen, who usually does custom apparel, says she's not sure what else she might be able to incorporate Bernie on to, but doesn't rule out the idea of expanding her  merchandise.

"It's a lot of fun to do. It's an interesting way to go about my business that I don't usually do. I don't usually design, just for the heck of it and then put it out there. I usually design for what people are looking for. It's bringing a little joy to the world, which I like."

Now you, too, can own this little piece of political pop-culture, and support a local business in the process.

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