All eyes will be on the Republican National Convention as it opens in Tampa today with a cast of GOP headliners, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan.
Delegates, supporters and throngs of reporters from all over the country will be enjoying the festivities and collecting GOP memorabilia, including a neat assortment of patriotic red-white-and-blue rhinestone pins.
Two Tampa sisters, also known as The Blingers of Tampa, were granted the authority to design and sell handcrafted pins featuring the trademarked Republican elephants.
The 2012 Host Committee Small Business Network granted the rights after the sisters, Laura Lang and Dinah Swickey, pitched their idea to market their decorative pins to delegates and Republican supporters attending the convention.
"We've been working on this project for almost two years since they announced that the RNC was coming to our home town," Lang told the South Tampa Patch. "When we pursued the Republican National Committee to grant us approval to handcraft their trademark elephants into bling, we were thrilled how quickly they agreed."
According to the South Tampa Patch, The Blingers of Tampa have already "pinned" some high-profile attendees, including Congressman Scott Rigell from Virginia Beach, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and Anita Perry, the wife of Texas Governor and former GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry.
The sisters are excited to be in the national spotlight. With approximately 13,000 – 15,000 members of the media in attendance, The 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee boasts that the RNC is the single largest media event in the world except for the Olympic Games.