By Tristan Baurick Kitsap Sun, Bremerton, Wash.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A woman in Washington State is doing steady busy creating Donald Trump Voodoo dolls. Each flame-haired "Trumpy" comes plastic-wrapped with a selection of colorful pins and a list of suggested "voodoo spells" to cast while poking the little guy full of holes. It retails for $9.95.
When a triumphant Donald Trump steps to the podium at the Republican National Convention in July, he might suddenly feel hundreds -- perhaps thousands -- of sharp, stabbing pains all over his body.
That would be thanks to a Bainbridge Island artist and the Trump voodoo dolls she can't seem to make fast enough.
"At first, I made a whole bunch of political figures, but Trump became the front-running doll really fast," Sally Noedel said in her backyard workshop near Rolling Bay. "This is the one most people most want to stick pins into."
Each flame-haired "Trumpy" comes plastic-wrapped with a selection of colorful pins and a list of suggested "voodoo spells" to cast while poking the little guy full of holes. It retails for $9.95.
"If you hear Donald Trump say something about minority groups or women or any of the things he says that offend so many people, this is a harmless way to respond," she said. "You can take out your pent-up feelings."
Noedel used to spend most of her time making custom piñatas. In recent weeks, keeping up with the demand for Trump dolls has taken over her schedule.
"It's just about all I have time for," she said.
Noedel has sold about 600 dolls. Most of the sales streamed in over the past month.
Interest spiked when Fireworks, a chain of Seattle-area gift shops, began stocking the Trump dolls. She got another boost after she set up a table at a Saturday's regional Democratic Party caucus meeting in Suquamish.
"This week seems to be the turning point," she said. "There's been such a jump (in sales) and for orders of multiple dolls. I just had a woman order a bunch for all her co-workers."
They're also sold on Noedel's website, donaldtrumpvoodoo.com, as well as eBay and Amazon.
A few Trump fans have expressed their dislike.
"Someone said, 'Why not be fair and make a Hillary doll?'" Noedel said.
A Hillary Clinton doll was considered, but Noedel doubted sales would come close to Trump's.
And besides, Trump supporters might enjoy having one of her little Trumpies.
"They don't have to stick it with pins," she said. "They could just cuddle it. Maybe cast happy spells on it."
Noedel's workshop was a one-woman operation until a few weeks ago. She now contracts with a company in Arizona to silk-screen her Trump design on muslin fabric and do some of the initial sewing. Her retired dad is now helping with packaging and shipping. More help might be needed if sales continue to climb.
Noedel gets wistful about the days, not so long ago, when she spent her work hours building colorful piñatas for birthday parties and bar mitzvahs. Piñatas are much more fun to make, but her biggest sellers -- ferries, salmon and dreidels -- don't come close to voodoo doll Trumps.
"I think this will continue at least to the (Republican) convention in July and probably on to November," Noedel said. "If Donald Trump becomes president, that'd really boost sales. I might become a millionaire."