Sask. mitten maker sees a lot of interest due to Bernie Sanders meme

·1 min read
Sask. mitten maker sees a lot of interest due to Bernie Sanders meme

A photo of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders from Wednesday's U.S. presidential inauguration has been not just a huge internet hit, but also a form of advertisement for a Saskatchewan businesswoman.

Memes featuring a masked, cross-armed and mitten-wearing Sanders have been floating around social media sites, showing Sanders Photoshopped into a wide range of settings — ice fishing, sitting with the Golden Girls, and also spending time with Karen Boldt from Hepburn, Sask.

She makes felted wool mittens from recycled sweaters, and Sanders's distinctive mittens have created a big interest in her business, Something from Nothing Mittens.

"I have been getting messages pretty much non-stop since then," Boldt said in an interview with CBC Saskatchewan's The Afternoon Edition.

While she is not the creator of Sanders's famous mittens, she and her assistant have designed similar-looking pairs.

"One particular pair I actually happened to make last week," said Boldt.

"I posted them and I think within 30 minutes they sold, and I had orders for other ones with that same fabric."

The Saskatchewan businesswoman has been making mittens from thrifted wool sweaters since 2009. Usually she and her assistant create between 500 and 600 pairs per year, Boldt said.

LISTEN | As It Happens finds out how Bernie Sanders got his now-famous mittens:

Since the Bernie Sanders meme went viral, Boldt has received orders from inside and outside the province, including Michigan, Maryland and Calgary.

The current spike in interest is special for Boldt, with business usually slowing down for her after Christmas.

"I credit that to Bernie," she said, who has "brought the spotlight on" mitten makers.