Melania Trump is getting a lot of heat for promoting her jewelry line on a government site.
But is Melania the first First Lady to cash in on her husband’s name?
Rutherford B. Hayes wife Lucy, an advocate of temperance popularly known as Lemonade Lucy sure didn’t take the opportunity promote her own brand of citrusy products and Jackie Kennedy wouldn’t have dreamt of selling a millinery line of pill-box hats.
However when it came to hawking products did Dolley Madison trump Melania?
Melania may be selling her fashion jewelry on QVC but another First Lady preferred to sell her wares on the aisles of A&P.
What baby boomer doesn’t remember Dolly Madison ice cream packaged in its container bearing a colonial style silhouette of her likeness? Sure it cost a little more, but it was endorsed by a First Lady, for chris sake. And an Aladdin lunch box packed with Dolly Madison cup cakes just wasn’t complete with out it.
Sure Dolley was the hostess with the mostess, but it would be nearly a century and a half for the chilly strawberry confection bearing her name, the very ice cream that she served at the White House to be served up in suburban rumpus rooms across the country.
Clearly, Dolley’s dainty hand had little to do with this.
Let Them Eat Cake
A historically popular First Lady, by mid-century the name Dolly Madison was used to brand hats, shoes, luggage and of course, ice cream and baked goods.
James Madison’s better half may have served baked goods to the likes of Thomas Jefferson but the brand bearing her name ( sans the e) Dolly Madison Bakery was formed in 1937. The company created snacks including the famous cupcakes “fit for a socialite like Madison yet affordable for everyone.”
Though that motto might work for Melania’s line of low-cost costume jewelry, the same can’t be said for First Daughter Ivanka who is also cashing in on her soon to be Presidential Pop . This bone fide socialite’s jewelry sold at astronomically high prices are least affordable for those “little people” who voted her dad in to office.
What would Dolley Madison think?
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.