Jen Ellis is a full-time elementary school teacher in Vermont’s Essex-Westford School District.
And the woman behind the mittens that launched a thousand memes.
There were plenty of stars and highlights at the inauguration of Joe Biden on November 20th, 2021. But it was Jen Ellis’ handmade mittens that stole the show. First grade teacher Jen Ellis made the mittens for Vermont Senator and former Presidential candidate after he lost the 2016 primary.
As it turns out Bernie Sanders daughter-in-law ran Ellis’ daughter’s daycare.
“I sent them to him via her, with a note that said like something like, ‘I hope you run again, I believe in you, I like you, I’ve always voted for you,’ something like that,” Ellis told WCAX via CNN Newsource.
It didn’t take long for the mittens to gain traction on the internet. They even have their own Instagram account(s) now.
Ellis takes great pride in the upcycled nature of the mittens. She believes it speaks to the nature of Vermont’s citizens. In a statement on NECN, Ellis said, “The fact that these mittens, which were made from recycled and repurposed materials, made it to the national stage is really a shoutout to Vermont. I’m really proud that he took them to D.C. and that he was there for this historic moment.”
But, if you’re looking to get a pair yourself, you’re out of luck. Jen Ellis retired her knitting needles for the time being. And is encouraging people to check out other crafters mittens on sites like etsy.
Kaeley is a contemporary artist and cultural organizer who loves good espresso and a cold Coke Zero.