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'Bernie Mittens Lady' reflects on her meme-worthy mittens, one year later

A collage of memes based on the photo of Sen. Bernie Sanders' outfit and mittens from the 2021 presidential inauguration.
Collage by Matthew Smith / VPR
Teacher Jen Ellis, right, reflects on the year since her mittens first appeared in the much-memed photo of Bernie Sanders (and his mittens) at President Joe Biden's inauguration in January 2021.

Jen Ellis — the "Bernie Mittens Lady" — speaks to Vermont Edition co-host Connor Cyrus about what life has been like a year after Sen. Bernie Sanders became an internet sensation because of her mittens.

She talks about the good and the bad of her notoriety, explains why it was important for her to donate about $2 million (and counting) to Vermont charities through her mitten-related work, and how you can get your hands on a pair. You’ll also hear what's next for Ms. Ellis.

Broadcast on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Connor Cyrus joined VPR as host and senior producer in March 2021. Formerly a reporter at WJAR in Providence, Rhode Island, he's passionate about journalism’s ability to shed light on complex or difficult topics, as well as giving voice to underrepresented communities.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined VPR in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.