Donald Trump’s debate comments are turning into a “yuge” business opportunity for a local businesswoman.
While watching the final presidential debate on Wednesday, Oct. 19, Erin Boyd of Red Boots Design heard Trump call Hillary Clinton “such a nasty woman.” Boyd thought she could turn the quote into an empowering slogan, so she quickly put together a T-shirt design for her screen-printing business. By 11 p.m., she had uploaded the design to her Etsy page. As she was heading to bed, she heard a ding on her smartphone, alerting her she had made her first sale. At that point she wasn’t sure what would happen.
When she woke up Thursday morning, Boyd realized it was turning into a big deal.
At 7:30 a.m. she found herself on the phone being interviewed by The New York Times for an article about Wednesday night’s debate. During that interview, her phone was dinging constantly as people were putting in orders. She soon discovered that she had sold out of the shirts overnight, so she reposted it to the Etsy website. Her phone kept dinging as word spread about the shirt: During the first 10 minutes of an interview for this story on Thursday afternoon, her phone dinged 10 more times.
I think the ‘Such a nasty woman’ comment really speaks to America.
Erin Boyd, owner of Red Boots Design
“I think the ‘Such a nasty woman’ comment really speaks to America,” Boyd said, adding that this and other inconsiderate comments about women have become rallying cries for many voters.
Other companies picked up on the slogan, including one that remade Trump’s trademark red baseball hat with the slogan “Make America Nasty Again.”
Boyd started her business 11 years ago, focusing on local commercial contracts and selling her designs online. Her print shop at 2120 Grant St. has grown steadily over the years, with many of her designs seen at the Bellingham Farmers Market.
She didn’t do many political designs until the 2016 presidential race. When an 11-year-old video surfaced indicating Trump had made lewd comments, including a reference to grabbing a part of the female anatomy, Boyd decided to take that slang term and turn it into an empowering slogan, “This P---y Votes” with the image of a cat. Those shirts have been popular, but she thinks she will sell more “Such a Nasty Woman” shirts.
“It (the ‘nasty woman’ slogan) has more of a PG appeal. It’s a little more mainstream,” Boyd said.
The shirts with the “nasty woman” slogan will be on sale locally, too. On Friday, Oct. 21, Boyd plans to drop off a couple of dozen shirts at The Bureau of Historical Investigation at 217 W. Holly St.
Sara Holodnick, co-owner of The Bureau, said they are excited to get the latest batch of shirts. Holodnick works with several local vendors to supply its gift shop, focusing mostly on items that have Bellingham ties. They are flexible enough to bring in products that give customers a laugh, and Holodnick said this makes sense because they often talk about women’s history on their tours.
“It’s exciting for us to see Erin’s work. She is able to turn around unique designs quickly,” Holodnick said. “We see it as an act of empowerment. People can exert some control that I didn’t know you could get from a shirt.”
Given the viral nature of politics, Boyd realizes that her moment of fame will be short-lived, possibly being done by Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8. She’s hoping this shines a spotlight on female success, as well as driving more potential customers to her website to look at her nonpolitical work, such as her bike and chicken designs.