Since Bernie Sanders and his inauguration day wardrobe went viral last week, companies have started promoting their hand-warming products as being similar to the mittens donned by the Vermont Senator. But they’re not the real deal.
Only a limited number of former customers at craft fairs and recipients of gifts actually have a pair of the mittens authentically made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction who wove those worn by Sanders during his presidential campaign and then again last Wednesday in D.C.
Following a photo of Sanders hitting the internet and being widely shared through memes, Ellis has received countless requests for a pair of her unique stylings -- each one having its own look as she repurposes clothing to make them. However, since the pandemic started, she has not been in the business of selling mittens lately.
But Ellis recently came up with an idea that will get three pairs into and onto the hands of a few who want them while raising money for charity and her daughter’s college fund.
She announced on MSNBC Sunday morning that she’s auctioning off three sets of mittens this week, newly made in just the past few days, through eBay and CharityAuctionsToday.
One auction will help raise money for her daughter’s college tuition while the other two will support Passion 4 Paws -- a dog rescue based in Shelburne -- and Outright Vermont -- a non-profit organization that works to build a Vermont where all LGBTQ+ youth have hope, equity, and power.
Bidding is set to end Friday. As of 1:30 p.m. Sunday, bids ranged from $830 to $1,741.
“I am so flattered that people want my mittens, and I wish I could make them for everyone,” says the posting on one of Ellis’ auctions.