WADSWORTH, Ohio — It's been a running joke for a while now that we're all having "wine with DeWine" during daily 2 p.m. COVID-19 press conferences in Ohio, and now you can dress for the occasion.
AweBee Designs owner Amy Jenkins of Wadsworth has created a line to celebrate the leadership of Ohio's Governor Mike DeWine, Department of health Director Dr. Amy Acton and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, that is bringing smiles to the faces of people anxiously awaiting those daily updates with a glass of vino in hand.
3News caught up with Amy over a Zoom, where she explained the motivation behind tweaking her designs in this wild time and how it's truly become a family affair, with a charitable element.
"I’m really excited to say that part of the proceeds from any of the apparel or merchandise that you purchase will be going to the salvation army in Wadsworth," Amy told 3News, while revealing the idea for the merchandise first came to her in a family group chat.
"I’m just like anybody else, we all watch the press briefings and the conferences everyday at 2 p.m., and were tuning in to find out 'going on with the world, and our lives have all been turned upside down, and 2 p.m. every day, that’s like the stable factor for us," Amy said.
Like so many Ohioans who are out of work and staying at home right now, she and her family would joke together about drinking "wine with DeWine" each afternoon.
"I’ve seen comments on Facebook, and my family said to me, 'Hey, you should make us some T-shirts,' and I make T-shirts, so I said, 'That’s a good idea,'" Amy said. "Everybody’s just trying to be positive and a little bit lighthearted so that’s how it started for me."
Before Amy started making the shirts, she had also seen a slow down in custom purchases, going about three weeks without a single order, but she stayed busy making items that are essential right now.
"People [weren't] buying custom items or shirts, because they have to buy groceries or diapers or what have you, and you know that’s more important and I understand that," she said. "So during my slow period I was sewing masks, and I still am."
Now, demand is up for her "wine with DeWine" shirts, and Amy said the messages she's getting about them are just as great as the orders coming in.
"I’ve heard so many stories of people saying, 'Ya know, this is really inspiring me and it’s making me have a positive outlook on things,' and so I just love hearing that," she said.
It's not just wine shirts, either. Amy makes socks with the trio's faces on them, and shirts with quotes from Dr. Acton, who has become a welcome source of calm and hope throughout this ordeal.
To keep up with the orders, Amy said she's keeping late hours and working as fast as she can.
"I’m just trying to get things out as fast as my two little girls will let me, so everyone can wear their shirts," she said, with a laugh.
Amy's husband, and the father of her children, Danny helps out with that.
"He’s already been really supportive of me, and he’ll do whatever I need him to do, from pressing shirts, to going over my orders, especially when I haven’t had a lot of sleep," Amy said. "He keeps me on my toes."
The business, by the way, is named after Amy's daughters, Aubrey and Shelby.
"When I first started [AweBee Designs], at the time I only had one daughter (Aubrey, who is now 5), and her name nickname is Aubi," Amy said. When her second daughter, Shelby, who is now three years old, was born, Amy got creative.
"Now, 'Awe' is for Aubrey and Bee is for Shelby, using the first and the last part of their names," she said.
Those interested in checking out Amy's work can visit her business's website, AweBeeDesigns.com.