Making a living off MAGA merchandise in New Hampshire

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  • Phil Colwell sells Trump merchandise tent off at the Epsom traffice circle on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Colwell says sales are brisk and he sold $800 worth of merchandise to one man on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • One of the banners for sale at Phil Colwell's Trump merchandise tent off at the Epsom traffice circle on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Colwell says sales are brisk and he sold $800 worth of merchandise to one man on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • One of the banners for sale at Phil Colwell's Trump merchandise tent off at the Epsom traffice circle on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Colwell says sales are brisk and he sold $800 worth of merchandise to one man on Tuesday. This flag was the last one he had as it was his biggest seller this week. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • One of the banners for sale at Phil Colwell's Trump merchandise tent off at the Epsom traffice circle on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Colwell says sales are brisk and he sold $800 worth of merchandise to one man on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • One of the items for sale at Phil Colwell's Trump merchandise tent off at the Epsom traffice circle on Wednesday, August 14, 2019. Colwell says sales are brisk and he sold $800 worth of merchandise to one man on Tuesday. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The Trump hats come from China but the embroidery comes from America. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 8/14/2019 2:47:05 PM

Phil Colwell knows a good business opportunity when he sees one.

The man from Tennessee with a faded red hat featuring a very famous phrase travels around the country in advance of Donald Trump rallies to sell shirts, hats, banners and knick-knacks with a distinct “Make America Great Again” vibe. He’s currently got five roadside stands set up in the Concord and Manchester area – including one near the Epsom traffic circle – in advance of Trump’s visit to the SNHU center Thursday night. 

Colwell and his crew have been here for four days and got all the necessary permits, he said. Once Trump is gone, Colwell and his crew will be off to the next rally.

“We go to all his rallies,” Colwell said.

“How’s business?,” you might ask.

“Phenomenal. Better than good,” he said.

Down South, business is booming, including in El Paso, Texas, Colwell said, and it’s good in New Hampshire, too.

“We thought when we came here, which voted Democrat, he lost this state, it would be enemy territory,” Colwell said. “But come to find out this is Trump country. No one wants to hear that, but this is a very good response.”

Some passing motorists honk and give Colwell a thumbs up. Others honk and flash the bird. Lots stop and drive away with a new red hat.

“Some people who are against Trump, they stop and talk with us and we have a very good chat, and then we have people like that who don’t have no class,” Colwell said about a motorist who shouted “F--- Trump!” 

Ironically most of the shirts and hats are made in China, but at least the printing and embroidery is done in the United States, he said.

“We can’t find it in the USA. We can’t find it,” Colwell said. “We buy anything we can that’s made in the USA. For the last 10-12 year, the companies have been disappearing.”

For those hoping a Democrat will dethrone Trump, Colwell said he isn’t buying it based on the support he sees for the president.

“We were in Cincinnati, Ohio, last week. We were in Greenville, North Carolina, the week before. We see it. We see these people,” he said. “We see how they react, what they buy. Times are good. It’s hard to beat a strong economy and a safe country. Those two things are hard to beat and Donald Trump has that.”

He also gave a tip of the cap to Ray Buckley, who Colwell said is doing a great job energizing New Hampshire Democrats, even if his efforts are futile.  

“People are supporting him,” Colwell said of the president. “People are living in a dream world if they watch all these new cars, these new trucks and boats, Life is good in New Hampshire and it didn’t come by accident, you know.”




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