Melania Trump has been at odds with her hometown since her husband has become President-elect of the United States. Many products from Slovenian entrepreneurs have carried Melania’s name and image without her consent. Melania, 46, who was then known as Melanija Knavs, grew up in the tiny town of Sevnica that sits on the banks of the River Sava and is surrounded by lush forest-covered hills. According to Reuters, local products include honey, wine, shoes, and lingerie. Now, the town has been cashing in on Melania’s fame.
In this tiny town, a cottage industry is selling a variety of Melania Trump-associated products from Slovenian honey to baked pastries, according to ABC News.
As of 2006, Melania officially became an American citizen. Melania is still very is proud of her roots, and by the looks of it, her hometown is proud of her also.
Many involved in the tourist trade is putting her First Lady title on various items including a First Lady salami to a tipple of First Lady wine. It seems this plan to attract tourists to the small town of Sevnica seems to be working as the number of American visitors to Slovenia jumped by 11 percent to 80,000 between January and October of 2016. These stats come from the Slovenian Tourism Board and are compared to the same period in 2015.
A pocket-guide to Sevnica spotlights Melania Trump.
“…it would be easy to write off Sevnica as a single-faceted destination, one that makes headlines only for its status as Melania Trump’s hometown… However, while there are not many other classic sights in the town centre, the municipality is full of worthwhile things to see and do – especially for those interested in wine tasting.”
From the First Lady wine being sold in the town’s 900-year-old castle to the local bakery selling the Melania cake from December of 2016 (now at a cheap price of $3 a slice), Melania’s town is openly proud of her. Sevnica’s mayor, Srečko Ocvirk, spoke to the press following Trump’s victory last year.
“Every American election is important, but this is very special for us… [The election] created a sense of excitement for us in Sevnica and we have been following developments with interest.”
And Mirjana Jelančič, Melania’s childhood friend, had wonderful things to say about Melania despite all of the controversial headlines.
“… That is not the Melania I know because she was a very good girl, wonderful friend, excellent human being and always well intended.”
However, Melania previously employed a law firm in Slovenia, Pirc Musar & Partnerji, to warn others from profiting from her name and image, according to ABC News. Musar discussed a billboard advertisement standing in the small town of Sevnica featuring the future first lady.
Products like honey jars claiming they were made “from Melania’s home garden” and pancakes with golden dust and a special breakfast with strawberries are a few things that have been for sale since Trump’s White House win last month, according to ABC News.
A pizzeria owner named Bruno Lojze Vedmar was the first to produce a first lady-themed breakfast dessert. The delicious looking dessert is made of yogurt, strawberries, mascarpone, cream, cookie base, and silver or gold sugar pearls. The Sevnica entrepreneur called it Melanija. He told ABC News the item is a favorite amongst customers.
“It is a best-seller at my place, and since I don’t use a picture of Melania, I am not worried about copyright infringement.”
Krasovec is a Slovenian pancake master who invented a Melania Trump-themed pancake, according to ABC News. He’s not too worried about copyright infringement either.
“I don’t really know what copyright infringement is so I shall not worry about it.”
For decades Krasovec had 20 different varieties of pancakes on the menu. His pancakes are so popular that people from all over Europe have come to his restaurant just to taste them.
“Only now that the White House is so close to Sevnica, I invented a 21st pancake with the finest ingredients: wild blueberries picked around the cottage, the finest bourbon vanilla filling and ice cream with edible gold dust to spice it up.”
Pirc Musar said that it’s items using Melania’s photo or last name that concern her. She reasoned that the giant Christmas tree in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana called “Melania” is not a problem.
“[It’s] not a problem. No photo or last name is attached to it.”
As for Vedmar’s breakfast dessert, Pirc Musar added, “We personally tasted it and it’s very good.”
Trump wasn’t left out either. The pizzeria also offered a burger called Trump, which is renowned in the small town for the spicy pepperoni, according to Reuters.
The public warning from a lawyer representing Melania who said that using her name and photo without her consent is not allowed has prompted the owner to change the name of the spicy burger to Presidential Burger.
The names Trump, Melania, and Melania Trump are protected by trademarks, Natasa Pirc Musara told ABC News.
“We just want to draw public attention to the fact that the words Trump, Melania and Melania Trump are protected trademarks on one hand and that use of Mrs. Trump’s image, name and characteristic features used for commercial purposes may amount to her personality rights infringements on the other… We issued a press release and sent it to all Slovenian media. Now we count on people’s prudence to stop the practice.”
The director of the law firm added that it is not Melania Trump’s intention to sue anyone.
“Of course, my client does not want any legal proceedings, no lawsuits. At the moment, that’s out of the question… We are closely monitoring the situation and I am in contact with my client on a weekly basis.”
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]