DOUGLAS — Flags waving in the breeze adorning the name “Trump” is nothing new in Douglas. With that, Vaughn Smith’s pop-up shop dedicated to all things Donald has definitely caught a great deal of attention in the Jackalope City throughout the past week. In fact, business has been so good that he turned what was supposed to be a one week stay into a two week visit.
It’s not beyond the stretch of the imagination to believe that Smith’s pop-up shop has the widest selection of Donald Trump-related merchandise around. In fact, he admitted his store features even more than his website, thetrumpshop.com, has considering he just came from the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, where he stockpiled merchandise for hundreds of thousands of attendees.
From there, he was directed by folks he spoke to at the rally to visit Gillette, where he planned to stay two days and wound up staying two weeks.
By the end of it, his stay in Douglas will last around 14 days as well.
“If everything goes according to plan, I will be here through next Sunday (Sept. 22),” Smith said Sept. 14. “There is a lot of support around here.”
To say Smith is an avid Trump supporter himself is an understatement.
“Everyone calls me Vaughn Trump,” he said with a smile as he folded a t-shirt reading Trump 2020.
“I’ve been to 39 of his rallies,” Smith said. “They’re pretty powerful.”
From Douglas, his plan is to head north to Montana and then Utah before arriving in Arizona for another motorcycle rally coming up around Halloween.
“I’ve been staying west of the Mississippi lately, but I was in 44 states last year,” he said.
From keychains to stress balls featuring Trump’s face to bobble heads, f lags and more - the shop has just about anything you could imagine.
Smith said visiting with Douglas residents has been a pleasure and he appreciates the kindness he’s experienced.
“I’ve met a lot of nice folks and we’ve been steady,” he said. He and a handful of others have mobile stores scattered around the country. The business has been an ongoing venture dating back to roughly a year and a half before Trump was elected in 2016.
In addition, a percentage of proceeds raised both online and at the stores go toward Trump’s 2020 campaign.
Smith wasn’t always so supportive of Trump, he admits, noting that before the president began his initial campaign, he thought differently of the man.
“I always thought he was a New York big mouth,” Smith said. “But he looked better as the debates went on.”
Now in office, Smith attributes the strong economy to what Trump has been able to accomplish in office. He says Trump’s work is all the more noticeable out west, where coal, natural gas, oil and lumber are massive industries.
“Everyone is happy with a few extra bucks in their pocket,” he said. “Western Montana has sawmills running that haven’t run in 20 years.”