Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Souvenir Shops Prep for Inauguration

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Souvenir Shops Prep for Inauguration

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - There are Donald Trump-shaped cookie cutters, "Drain the swamp" sweatshirts and candles meant to smell like the new president - a combination of "all of the classiest smells," according to the product's description. Keep searching among the Trump-inspired flasks, paperweights and peppermints and you'll find coffee mugs that say "Build that wall and a penny stamped with "Trump selling for $2.75. Online shops, street vendors and high- end boutiques around town said they spent weeks preparing for Friday's inauguration with equal parts sincerity and snark in hopes of cashing in on fans and foes of the next president.

At Chocolate Moose, a novelty gift shop a half-mile from the White House, shelves were lined with Trump whoopee cushions and chocolate miniatures of the Capitol. The Trump mask, a Halloween favorite, was back in stock.

"Up to now, absolutely, it's been all about the gag stuff, said Michele Cosby, the store's owner.

The best-selling item? Toilet paper emblazoned with Trump's face. "We sold cases upon cases of it, Cosby said. "And at $12 a roll, it wasn't cheap. (But, she added, she stopped selling the popular item once Trump became president-elect: "We didn't want to cross the line.)

At the Great Republic, which had inauguration pop-up shops at the St. Regis and Mandarin Oriental hotels in Washington, revelers could pick up pens made of wood from the White House and hand-painted with portraits of Trump for $1,950 each.

Over in Georgetown, local jeweler Ann Hand had sold nearly 1,000 inaugural pins bearing Trump's name and a slew of pavpav stones. She was also selling inaugural cuff links, charm bracelets and a limited number of mother-of-pearl pins with Swarovski crystals for $250.

"We were astounded by the reaction that we got," Hand said. All these inaugurals seem to take on a life of their ownthere are those who love their candidate and those who dont. …

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