Turns out, business is booming here — lots of it, and many are cashing in off the Obama image.
I think they were all in D.C.’s Union Station last night.
There were Obama figurines, shirts, pins, cds, books, dolls….Just about anything you can think up, it was being sold, and people were definitely buying.
It was like a great big Obama Festival.
A lot of the Obama memorabilia was copied stuff…not all that original, mass produced and sold through a vendor who was not the creator of the item.
That wasn’t the case with Delia Paine’s wares.
She’s cashing in too, but it was off a design of a pin I hadn’t seen yet.
I don’t want this article to be an ad for her, but the pins did stand out, because their design was different than a lot of the stuff out there.
Anyway, last year, she was just going along creating her arts and crafts in Bend, Oregon, when she wondered if her button-making technique could work for an Obama button.
They were a bit more elaborate than the buttons that were out there, and more costly to make.
But her initial batches sold well — they were the top-selling item at the Deschutes County Democratic campaign headquarters. But from there, they were a hit at the Democratic convention in Denver, and ultimately she was getting orders for her pins from all over the world. The pins ultimately became a huge fund-raising tool for Democratic party offices in the western United States.
The success brought Paine and her family to Washington D.C., for the whole month of January.
A year after her initial impulse was that the pins wouldn’t work, a steady crowd of newcomers to D.C. were buying up them up quickly at her Union Station kiosk on Friday night.
And for some, just to buy them was an emotional experience.
“I’ve seen grown men getting choked up,” Paine said.
It wasn’t only about the buttons, but what they symbolized, Paine and her husband Matt said.
“Many people coming in were part of the civil rights struggle in the 1950s and ’60s…for them, this is all a culmination of a long path,” he said.