Teacher Behind Bernie Sanders' Mittens Has Received Thousands of Order Requests
The grade-school teacher says she’s still never met Bernie in person.
If you’re looking to get your own pair of Bernie Sanders’ viral mittens, don’t get your hopes up.
After the Vermont senator went viral over his cozy and practical inauguration attire — and his mittens in particular — it was revealed that Bernie was gifted the knit gloves from a Vermont school teacher named Jen Ellis, a second-grade teacher from Essex Junction.
The brown-and-white mittens — which are made from repurposed wool sweaters and are lined with fleece made from recycled plastic bottles — became so popular that thousands of people across the country wanted to get a pair of their own.
The Sweet Story Behind Bernie Sanders' Viral Mittens at Inauguration
However, on Wednesday evening, Ellis, 42, sadly informed fans that she has “no more” mittens to sell, and, more importantly, that there is “no possible way” she would be able to fulfill the insane demand for her handcrafted mitts.
“Thanks for all the interest in Bernie’s mittens!” Ellis shared on Twitter. “It truly has been an amazing and historic day! I’m so flattered that Bernie wore them to the inauguration. Sadly, I have no more mittens for sale. There are a lot of great crafters on ETSY who make them.”
While speaking with Jewish Insider on Wednesday evening, Ellis — who made the mittens for Bernie five years ago — said the response has been “unexpected,” revealing that she had received approximately 6,000 emails from people asking about a tweet she had shared nearly a year prior in which she had advertised the homemade mittens.
Although Ellis is “flattered” that people are interested in buying the knit gloves — which she calls “swittens” — she said she doesn’t make the mittens very often anymore.
“Honestly, I don’t really do it a lot anymore,” she explained. “There are lots of people on Etsy who sell them and hopefully people will get some business from them. But I’m not going to quit my day job. I am a second grade teacher, and I’m a mom, and all that keeps me really busy.”
“There’s no possible way I could make 6,000 pairs of mittens, and every time I go into my email, another several hundred people have emailed me,” Ellis continued. “I hate to disappoint people, but the mittens, they’re one-of-a-kind and they’re unique and sometimes in this world, you just can’t get everything you want.”
Ellis gifted Bernie a pair of her homemade mittens back in 2016 after he had lost the Democratic presidential nomination. Bernie’s daughter-in-law, Liza Driscoll, was the director of the preschool Ellis’ daughter attended at the time. And Ellis had made the colorful mittens for all the teachers as well as Bernie.
“I was making mittens for holiday gifts for the preschool teachers,” Ellis told Jewish Insider. “And I made an extra pair for Bernie. I gave them to Liza to give to him, just as a thank you.”
Bernie went on to wear the mittens on his 2020 presidential campaign trail in New Hampshire before he wore them again at President Biden’s inauguration this week.
“He must really like them if he chose to wear them,” Ellis said of Bernie, who the teacher said she’s “always voted for.”
While Ellis has yet to meet Bernie — who has served as a senator of Vermont since 2007 — she hopes she will get the chance to meet him in the future.
“Someday, maybe he’ll be walking down Church Street, and maybe I’ll just come up and introduce myself and say hi,” Ellis said. “I want him to keep doing what he’s doing and fighting the good fight.”
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