PHILADELPHIA, July 18, 2016 – Donkey charms, donkey ceramics, donkey scarves, donkey soaps, donkey everything and anything: These are just some of the Philly-designed finds for sale around town during the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Year round, visitors to the city stock up on tricorn hats, feather quill pens and miniature Rocky statues, but July 25 through 28 will be the time to scoop up memorabilia to mark a milestone in U.S. history.
Here are some Philly stores selling souvenirs worthy of delegates’ suitcase space:
Official DNC Merchandise:
- Two types of pop-up shops dot the city and region during the DNC. Both sets of stores offer official, made-in-the-U.S.A. merchandise, but there are distinct differences between them.
- Three Center City stores specialize in designed-by-Philadelphians convention gear—at the Comcast Center, 30th Street Station and Pennsylvania Convention Center. These pop-ups vend T-shirts and lapel pins by two-time Project Runway winner Dom Streater; preppy baseball caps, shot glasses and shirts by Sean Olubodun of Duke & Winston; donkey-logo lip balm, travel cups and pens from Nicole Miller shop-owner Mary Dougherty; “See. Vote. Eat.” key chains and more by Lisa Beth Weber of Cause Pins; playing cards, easels, T-shirts and compacts by muralist Brett Bender; and LOVE buttons, mugs and more by Philly Word Art genius Dan Duffy. Open through August 5, Comcast Center, 1701 John F. Kennedy Boulevard; open July 22-24, 30th Street Station, 30th & Market Streets; open July 22-27, Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1201 Arch Street, phldncshop.com
- Nine more stores sell official DNC and Hillary Clinton merchandise. The first to open is 1717 Chestnut Street, near Rittenhouse Square. During the convention, more locations will pop up in the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Broad Street entrance), Valley Forge Casino Resort, the Philadelphia Airport Marriott, four Center City hotels and the Wells Fargo Center. Each spot will stock political buttons, bumper stickers, “Yo Hillary,” “A Woman’s Place Is In the White House” and more T-shirts, bibs, lapel pins, mugs, Bernie items and loads of other made-in-the-U.S.A. memorabilia. demconvention.com
More Fun Finds:
- Customers better act fast if they want in on Duross & Langel’s limited edition run of unscented donkey soaps. Owner Steve Duross is making only 100 such sudsy souvenirs, which sell for $8 a pop. The Midtown Village shop always stocks natural soaps, hair and skin-care products, Philly-themed soy candles, a rubber ducky soap collection—even natural care products for dogs. 117 S. 13th Street, (215) 592-7627, durossandlangel.com
- With a framed “Woman Card” in its front window, East Passyunk’s Frame Fatale shows its DNC pride. Woman cards are not for sale, but there are plenty of Philly-made DNC prints available that are priced at $20 or less. Artists Jack Wilcox painted a donkey chomping a soft pretzel; Cee Heard honored the neighborhood’s DNC street festival—Passeggiata, taking place on July 27—with a sketch of Hillary Clinton. Marilyn MacGregor highlighted local history with From the State House to the White House. Clever Hillary versus the Donald paper doll dioramas are made in-house—and everything is available for framing. 1813 E. Passyunk Avenue, (215) 755-0904, framefatale.com
- No need to leave one’s heart in Philadelphia after the DNC: the Lagos Heart of Philadelphia charm lets visitors bring Philly home. The locally based jewelry designer incorporated architectural details from four city landmarks—City Hall, Independence Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts—into a must-have sterling silver heart that’s available on a necklace or bracelet. Just in time for the DNC, Lagos added a donkey charm to the Rare Wonders collection (also new: an elephant). 1735 Walnut Street, (215) 567-0770, lagos.com
- Philadelphia—and Democratic—pride are runway-ready with designer Nicole Miller’s collection of scarves, neckties, boxers and bowties, all in silk and all bearing logos and images of Philly icons, landmarks and institutions. Just for the DNC, boutique owner Mary Dougherty has commissioned limited-edition runs of T-shirts, water bottles and more bearing tiny donkeys wearing American flags. Miller’s trademark bright colors on a dark background make the items fashionable keepsakes. Hyatt at The Bellevue, 200 S. Broad Street, (215) 546-5007; 4249 Main Street, (215) 930-0307, nicolemiller.com
- On a cobblestone side street in the shadow of historic Christ Church, Old City T-Shirts and Souvenirs offers serious bargains on custom screen-printed T-shirts and active apparel. The shop’s one-day turnaround on custom printing makes it the perfect spot for last-minute jobs—both protestors and politicos have already taken advantage. Guests choose from a variety of styles and then pay a mere $5 more to have Rocky, the Liberty Bell, a Philly team, favorite presidential nominee—or the shop's latest design riff on Philly's iconic LOVE statue, with a red, white and blue donkey inside—emblazoned on it. 233 Church Street, (215) 925-7860, oldcitytshirts.com
- Also on always-buzzing 13th Street, Open House scores big in the cool souvenirs department. The shop’s signatureWe Heart Philly line includes framed graphic prints of area neighborhoods, pint glasses adorned with local landmarks, “I (Pretzel) Philly” baby onesies, LOVE sculpture necklaces, Liberty Bell ornaments and Philly dish towels, mugs, bottle openers, pillowcases, flasks and totes. In honor of the 2016 presidential race, Open House stocked up on bobbleheads of the Clintons, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Shoppers looking to take Hillary Clinton home can do so in the form of action figures, Bleacher Creatures (designed in Philadelphia), presidential play sets and even toilet paper. Both Senator Sanders and Secretary Clinton are emblazoned on socks, and the duo is joined by Trump on cat and dog toys. Italian marble coasters bear party themes, as do ceramics by Fish’s Eddy. The shop’s signature He Said, She Said nameplates sport the slogans “Democrats Do It Better” and “Republicans Do It Better.”
107 S. 13th Street, (215) 922-1415, openhouseliving.com
- Old City’s Philadelphia Independents combines the compellingly collectible, absolutely functional works of dozens of Philly ceramicists, silkscreeners, illustrators, metalsmiths, stationers and other modern makers so emblematic of the city’s rising artisan community. During the DNC, this means absolutely essential donkey ceramics bearing the slogan “Be an ass” by West Philadelphia’s Stanley Chester & Albert; Pressed Good’s silkscreened “Vote tote” and Hog Island Press’ illustration of Ben Franklin voting along with the message, “This machine kills fascists” on a T-shirt. 35 N. 3rd Street, (267) 773-7316, philadelphiaindependents.com
- Historic Philadelphia’s turn-of-the-century-inspired Shane Confectionery makes its own signature buttercreams, caramels and old-fashioned clear toy candies. Right now, those clear toys, made with antique molds in the store’s upstairs factory, are available as freestanding candy sculpture and as lollipops in red, white, blue and gold—in the shapes of Taft, Roosevelt, donkeys and elephants for $4-$18 apiece. 110 Market Street, (215) 922-1048, shanecandies.com
- Best known for its exclusive, vintage-inspired Philly sports attire, Shibe Vintage Sports gets into the political game with new T-shirt designs. For sale: a silkscreen paying homage to Democratic theme song “Happy Days Are Here Again,” inspired by FDR’s 1932 anti-Prohibition platform and referencing Philadelphia’s rich beer history. The shop is also selling a tee featuring the cover of the 1936 DNC official program, when the convention was held in Philadelphia and President Roosevelt won reelection in a landslide. 137 S. 13th Street, (215) 566-2511, shibevintagesports.com
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