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Baltimore rat sticker sales soar after President Trump comments about City

Posted at 5:33 PM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 18:18:43-04

BALTIMORE — For the entrepreneur who created the Baltimore rat sticker, it was the president's words recently that made sales rabid.

"I got some texts that morning of the tweets from friends that said, buckle up buddy, and I was like, what's going on now."

What went on was an international headline with Baltimore and Matt Fouse's lovable poke at Charm City as the punch line.

Fouse developed his original rat sticker 10 years ago.

It was a joke at first he says, but came to represent the grit and determination of his adopted city.

It was so successful, he's called himself the rat czar and has merchandised his trademark online.

Then came the tweet...and a week's worth of the president’s rhetoric

"People living in Baltimore are very happy that I am bringing out the fact that it's like living in hell," Trump told reporters on the South Lawn last week.

But with the President’s words came opportunity.

"Ya know I just got the idea to put a wig, like ah, Trump hair with the address of the White House on it," Fouse said.

And the redesigned Baltimore rat sticker was born.

To be clear, Fouse resisted it at first -- he feels the spirit behind his original creation and what the president said are polar opposites.

It is why he is donating all the proceeds made on the sales of the new sticker to a Baltimore nonprofit called, Helping Other People through Empowerment...or H.O.P.E.

And sales are brisk.

“They just came in yesterday,” said Zelda Zen store owner Beth Hawks; asked how many she sold? “Um....50?"

Hawks is one of just a few local shops so far to carry the sticker.

People are snatching it up she says -- in part because of the message behind it.

"There are rats, there is grime and crime but it is up to each and every one of us to help solve the problems," Hawks said.

And it starts with helping, H.O.P.E., while also letting the people of Baltimore express themselves.

"This, these stickers are a perfect symbol of, we're gritty but we're determined,” Fouse said. “We will thrive, we will survive. We will do whatever it takes.