Fans of Bernie Sanders would never call the aspiring presidential candidate a stuffed shirt. But the Vermont Senator is a stuffed doll now, courtesy of a crafty fan who now can't make her creations fast enough to satisfy demand.
Months ago, Massachusetts native Emily Engel posted her adorable, hand-sewn "Lil' Bernie" doll, complete with flyaway white hair and black button eyes, as a lark onto her Facebook and Instagram accounts. Then the orders started pouring in, swamping her Etsy store, Engel told the Boston Globe. (Engel, who owns a tailoring and alterations business in Ludlow, Mass., now sells the dolls on LilBernie.com, where they're currently sold out.)
Engel told the Globe she looking into mass-producing the dolls, but she couldn't figure out how to do so while keeping manufacturing in the United States. So for now, she's just sewing away herself, averaging between 10 and 15 a week. Each Lil' Bernie costs $50 a pop plus $7 shipping, but that doesn't seem to deter fans.
Engel did give away one of the dolls, though — to Sanders himself at a campaign event in Springfield — and she has donated $2,700 of the proceeds she's earned so far selling "Lil' Bernie" to Sanders' campaign.
For the time being, a message at LilBernie.com says that the dolls are--as you probably guessed--sold out. But you can sign up to be notified via email when orders will start being accepted again. Given Sanders' strong performance in this week's primaries in New Hampshire, demand for Bernie--the doll and the real guy--may be high for some time to come.