Napoleon Dynamite’s, “Vote for Pedro” inspires one local business to “Vote for Teddy 2020”

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Ashly Willis
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Teddy the dog is now the star of his own t-shirt, with a portion of the proceeds going to the local non-profit organization “Wag-N-Train Terrier Rescue.”

The Gateway does not endorse or advertise any of the businesses or products that are mentioned in this story. 

They say that dogs are a man’s best friend but can dogs really run for president? One local small business owner seems to think so, his new product is paying homage to the “Vote for Pedro” shirts from the 2004 movie Napoleon Dynamite.

The Simple Man, is a relatively new business located off of 8712 Pacific Street is cited as a “one-stop shop for everything affordable, classic and masculine.” There is one particular item in the store that has taken its customers by surprise is the “2020 Teddy” tee. The shirt features the scraggly haired, wise-looking dog named Teddy drawn in the patriotic colors of red, white and blue. Below the dog are the words, “Vote for Teddy 2020.”

This new t-shirt plays off the same idea which made the “Vote for Pedro” shirts a world-wide phenomenon in 2016 when the phrase re-surfaced on t-shirts, according to an ABC News article. 

The Simple Man and Teddy’s owner, Boyd Redinbaugh, said in a recent LinkedIn interview that there are so many positives about this t-shirt that he loves, and he hopes customers will too. 

“The shirt has only been on the racks for a short time as we first displayed it for Father’s Day this year but then my team and I quickly realized that the shirt had become universal for so many reasons,” said Redinbaugh.

The shirt that was created just for Father’s Day has now turned into a fun mediator for the upcoming 2020 presidential elections, a Fourth of July favorite and a gender-neutral fashion statement based on its colors and size options. It is also one way the local business has given back to their community.

“With our nation of being divided into two political parties based on their blue and red representations, or being divided by our sexes and sizes among other things we wanted something that would “paw-sitively” deflect from all the media messages that have been put out  and by putting Teddy’s face on the tee, who is the local shop dog for our store, we thought he would just enhance this message,” said Redinbaugh in a recent LinkedIn interview.  

“Women also love this idea because not only does the shirt appeal to men with its colors of red, cream which are perfect colors to wear for Fourth of July in a few weeks but it also sets the tone for being gender neutral which is another big message that I think needs to be heard at this time,” said Reinbaugh. 

But while there have been multiple uses for this “paw”-pular shirt the main message for the shop owners was to make sure the store item remained gender neutral. 

“Being a gender-neutral focused business is so important in a changing world and we believe that all these messages we are trying to send are just our starting point for changes to our inclusion policy and also emphasize these monumental changes being made around the world,” said Redinbaugh.

Redinbaugh also talked about how the shirt not only appealing because it is gender neutral but that it stands for something bigger.

“[The shirt] also represents freedom, which could be freedom from many things but especially with the fight against racism and even in some cases, women’s oppression, plus having a picture of a dog printed on the front of the shirt would all be things that would appeal to both women and men,” said Redinbaugh. 

The Simple Man wanted this shirt to contain a universal message for what we have been experiencing in the media lately. It’s why they put a picture of Teddy the dog on the front of the shirt, not only make light of certain political ties but also to send a universal message that helps out our community in order to enhance the “paws-itivity” that our world so desperately needs.

With every purchase of the “ 2020 Teddy” tee a portion of the proceeds will go to benefit Wag-N-Train Terrier Rescue, a local Omaha non-profit dog rescue organization dedicated to bettering the lives of every dog. 

“A dog is a man’s best friend and with a portion of the proceeds going to a local terrier rescue it only made sense for us to sell the shirt during Father’s Day weekend and during this difficult time,” said Redinbaugh. “Many people aren’t able to afford many things with their financial burdens on their shoulders so this is just one way we can make sure that any pet who is surrendered or abandon during this time is healthy enough to go to a new home.” 

With all of these universal messages from the local shop being sent around the Omaha community, the shirt has been sold in bulk sizes of up to 75 shirts by the box, said Redinbaugh via LinkedIn.

The Wag-N-Train Rescue shelter has seen an increase in adoptions as well by about 30 percent, said Wag-N-Train Rescue. 

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, shoppers can now get this item either by shopping online, in-store or local delivery. If shoppers choose the local delivery service option from their website, Teddy will also pay you a personal visit to your home.

“We believe this is a hugely important part of our business during this time as of course, dogs are a man’s best friend but also due to the recent  COVID-19 guidelines we believe most people have missed out on some much needed social interaction so by offering them a chance to pet and see a furry friend with our local delivery service is the least we can do as a dog-friendly business,” said Redinbaugh. 

Redinbaugh said his dog Teddy has done wonders for people who need a laugh, brighten their day or just to put themselves in a better mood. It reminds people that he and his staff are there to help whenever their next customer may need that extra boost, even if it does come from something as simple as a t-shirt. 

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