West Seattle resident Nate Eddings always wanted to start his own business. He envisioned a tour company to complement his love of the outdoors. Instead,>"/>
West Seattle resident Nate Eddings always wanted to start his own business. He envisioned a tour company to complement his love of the outdoors. Instead, Eddings, 29, a busser at Purple in downtown Seattle, had an inspiration last spring while watching Fox News: bullshit goggles.
"I think I just got upset and realized we need these to see through the BS. It's so thick," Eddings says.
The bullshit goggles, as it turns out, were just the beginning. Eddings created a line of election wares sold as Nathaniel Swift's Political Novelties and Oddities. There's anti-brainwashing serum, an emergency bill of rights, dirty politics hand sanitizer, bleeding-heart bandages and democromatches, which stay lit "no matter how dim the administration." The goodies are sold separately or together as the "Recovering Republican Survival Kit" for about $18.
Eddings debuted his products and alter ego "Nathaniel Swift"— a hybrid of his name and that of 17th century political satirist Jonathan Swift— at the Democratic National Convention in August. He says he can't keep the kits in stock. "There's a little Nathaniel Swift in everyone. He’s a rapscallion," Eddings says. "There were other products in Denver, but we blew them away."
While at the convention, Eddings says he bumped into Gov. Chris Gregoire and Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and gave them a pair of the goggles. "I told Gregoire that every time I watch Dino Rossi, I put them on and see right through his Bullshit," Eddings says. "She laughed and put a pair in her coat pocket."
Nathanial Swift's Political Novelties and Oddities showed up in The Denver Post and on an MTV blog. In addition to the Web site, they're also being sold at Not a Number, a whimsical gift shop in Wallingford. Store owner Kara Ceriello says Eddings' stuff is great. "I like the old-time look of his products and himself." She says she's been selling a lot of the dirty politics hand sanitizer; not so much of the Republican-targeted anti-brainwashing serum.
But Eddings isn't the only Seattle entrepreneur trying to cash in on the interest in this year's election. Ceriello says there's Wallingford-based father and son duo, Sal and Rafa Celis, that make "I Can See Russia from my House" buttons and Julie Charles, who came up with the popular "Old White Woman for Obama" buttons.
Also selling well, says Ceriello, are "Rock Out With Your Barack Out" and “Obama '08, Hope Kicks Fear's Ass" T-shirts. (The latter has Obama and wife, Michelle, portrayed Wonder-Twin-like in full fist bump.)
Eddings, though cashing in on the election craze, is not closing up shop come Nov. 5. "I want to add more merchandise," he says, "figure out a way to keep it profitable. Now is the time that everyone is interested in this stuff. But someone's always upset about something in politics."