This election has gone to the dogs.
It started when the local entrepreneur noticed his dog, Cody, barking every time the Republican presidential candidate came on TV.
An idea was formed: How about a Donald Trump chew toy?
“We’re just trying to make pets great again,” Josh Morse quipped.
The recent San Diego State University graduate created a design and ordered his first batch of 1,000 Trump toys earlier this fall.
They sold out in a few weeks.
With no formal marketing plan, Morse took the toys to events around San Diego, like the Pride Parade and the Ocean Beach Street Fair. Dog owners loved them, and not just because of their political persuasion.
Their pups loved them, too.
“Once people see them, they go crazy for them. They laugh,” he said. “I’ve had Republicans. I’ve had conservatives and people across the political spectrum by them.”
Today, Morse, in his first year of law school, has 10,000 toys stacked up in a shop in Ocean Beach. He has a website, Chompachump.com (his name for the parody dog toy business), where you can order your own one for $10.
His one-man business is still informal. He ships them all himself, all over the world. One of his orders came from Orsay, France.
“What I do is I pack them up, grab my skateboard and skate down to the post office and drop them off,” he said.
It’s an unconventional approach for a guy with a unique story. During part of his childhood, Morse lived homeless. But he valued education, so he attended Point Loma High School, enrolled at San Diego State and became the university’s student president in 2013.
Now, he’s using the Chompa Chump business to help pay for law school.
For every Trump toy sold, he will donate one to an animal shelter. So be prepared to see a lot of squeaky, miniature Trumps around town.
And if you think it’s a politically biased business, Morse said he’s developing a Hillary Clinton dog toy. So there’s plenty of politically charged gnawing to go around.
“My hope is if this takes off, I’ll be excited. I’m not going to say no,” he said. “Other people have made their fortune off of even crazier stuff. Why can’t I make it off a Donald Trump parody dog chew toy?”