Merchandising Michelle (Feb. 13)


Every time I see a piece of Marilyn Monroe merchandise for sale, I always think, where is the equivalent as far as a woman of color. Who was as iconic as Marilyn? If you have to think of someone who has passed away and was beautiful then I would think about Dorothy Dandridge. But Dandridge does not have the following that Monroe has. I don’t think the merchandise would do very well.
You can go in so many stores and find a bit of Monroe merchandise. I was in a Five Below recently and there was a Marilyn Monroe calendar for sale. Granted it was two months into the year and I thought it should have been on sale but it wasn’t.
Thanks to President Obama there is now merchandise featuring a beautiful woman of color. Yes I’m talking about Michelle Obama. The availability of the merchandise is not as widespread as Monroe but if you know where to look you can find it. As you know you can Google everything these days and when you Google Michelle Obama merchandise, a lot of results pop up. There are a lot of T-shirts that say Michelle Obama 2020, puzzles, magnets and coffee mugs. There is even an official Michelle Obama online store, it’s called “Becoming.” Of course there are a lot of items that include the title of her recent book “Becoming.” You can also find journals, keychains, candles and baby clothes that say “becoming me.” My niece went to Washington, D.C. last year and brought me back a journal and a magnet that features the portrait of Michelle Obama from the National Portrait Gallery. In Washington you can find a lot of merchandise that is related to the former first family. But if you are looking for merchandise that features beautiful color and black and white pictures of Michelle and Barack you will have to go to a Black-owned store or vendor.
I attend a lot of luncheons and fashion shows because it’s part of what I do for a living and I see a lot of you there as well. There are typically a few vendors at each event and you are sure to find someone selling merchandise that features Michelle and Barack. I recently bought an umbrella from A Woman’s Touch in Penn Hills. I really like umbrellas and especially a sturdy stick umbrella. A stick umbrella is the long traditional umbrella that looks like a walking cane. I have never liked portable umbrellas but for a while that was all you could find. If you want something that features our favorite first family check out A Woman’s Touch. Owner Leah Thomas has a great selection of handbags and just got in the umbrellas which come in color and black and white. These make a great gift for Valentine’s Day or just a good gift in general. I decided to buy a few more to use as gifts for a wedding shower.
If you are looking to buy Black please support the stores that are available.
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