The teacher behind Bernie Sanders' mittens teams up with a teddy bear factory to make them for the masses

一月 20 was supposed to be about President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris就职典礼, but all eyes were on Jen Ellis’ 连指手套.

brown-and-white patterned mittens 它的. Bernie Sanders wore on Inauguration Day were instantly iconicso much so that they’re going to be produced for the masses.
埃利斯, the second-grade teacher from Vermont who gave Sanders the mittens on a campaign stop years ago, has partnered with Vermont Teddy Bear to sellBernie mittens.An undisclosed portion of the proceeds will benefit Make-A-WIsh Vermont, which shares an office space with the Shelburne teddy bear business.
She won’t be sewing them herself anymoreshe’s got her hands full with teachingbut she taught the company’s designers how to replicate her patterns to the T. She’s thrilled, 她说, that the mittens she sewed for Sanders have proven so memorable.
    I did one thing years ago and forgot about it, and it has come back around in the most joyful way,” Ellis told CNN during her brief lunch break.

    She couldn’t meet demand on her own

    埃利斯’ life changed on Inauguration Day, when a reporter identified her as the designer of Sanderscozy mittens.
    If I’m going to be instantly famous in a second for something, thank God it’s this,” 她说.
    Vermont Teddy Bear will take up the production of Ellis' mittens this year.

    She was immediately inundated with requests to buy up more of her mittens, and as a self-professedpeople pleaser,” she found it difficult to turn her new fans down. She knew, 虽然, that she couldn’t meet the outrageous demand herself.
    Vermont Teddy Bear reached out to Ellis, who excitedly accepted the local company’s offer for a partnership. She wanted to pair with a company that would donate some of the mitten proceeds to a charitable cause.
    I just think it’s important to share the wealth,” she told CNN during her brief lunch break.
    埃利斯, who humbly says she’snot a very accomplished seamstress,” made Sandersmittens out of a repurposed wool sweater and fleece made from recycled plastic bottles.
    The partnership with Vermont Teddy Bear accomplishes almost everything she could’ve hoped forit satisfies customers, donates to a charitable cause and keeps production local and sustainable (Vermont Teddy Bear uses recycled materials in its stuffing, 太).
    Hayes McCarthy, vice president of product innovation, 除其他事项外, at Vermont Teddy Bear, told CNN that the teddy bear team will replicate all the details that made Ellismittens a viral hit.
    It’ll be the exact same thing I made for Bernie, and it’s going to be great,” 她说.
    As for when they’ll be available, Ellis said patience is keyshe hinted they’d make good holiday gifts. As of this week, they’re not available for purchase, but those interested can submit their email addresses to be notified when they’re available.

    The mittens have raised almost $ 2 百万

    Make-A-Wish Vermont President Jamie Hathaway told CNN that Ellis, Vermont Teddy Bear and his organization were a natural fitEllis is partly responsible for a meme that even apolitical people took joy in; Vermont Teddy Bear makes kid-aimed goods sustainably and locally and Make-A-Wish benefits local children.
    It’s a phenomenal gift to usnot just in the financial contribution, but to be a part of this really fun thing,” Hathaway told CNN.
    In the less than two weeks since they became a meme, 埃利斯’ mittens have already benefited local charities. She gave a pair of mittens to Outright Vermont, an organization for LGBTQ young people in the state, 至 auction off for a fundraiser. 至今, Outright has raised nearly $ 20,000.
    And Sanders, whose team created sweatshirts and tees with an image of the senator looking nonplussed on Inauguration Day, raised nearly $ 2 百万 for Meals on Wheels Vermont, among other local nonprofits.
    Though Ellis wasn’t directly involved with Sanders’ 筹款活动, she’s touched by his decision to donate to Meals on Wheels. She said the group regularly sent meals to her late grandmother, who lived in isolated rural Vermont.
    It all comes back around,” 她说. “She’s been gone for 12 年份, and I’ve never forgotten their kindness.
    Ellis could only speak for a few minutes before she needed to pick up her students from lunch. In the days since President Joe Biden was inaugurated, her life has changed dramatically, and now she fields calls while her students are in the cafeteria, 她说.
    Before she departed to pick up her students from lunch, she told CNN how surprised and thrilled she was to be a part of Inauguration Day lore and a now-ubiquitous meme. It’s especially important now, 她说, to find something to laugh about, like a pair of unassuming mittens.
      When you give of yourselfif you give of your kindness or your timethat comes back to you as joy,” 她说.
      She’s glad to play a small part in sharing that joyeven if it interferes with her lunch break.