What do you do when your local business is thrust into the spotlight as the improbable stage for a political campaign’s news conference challenging the outcome of the presidential election?
Sell T-shirts, of course.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping, a family-operated business in Philadelphia, found itself the subject of merciless mocking on Saturday after President Trump tweeted, “Lawyers News Conference Four Seasons, Philadelphia, 11 a.m..” He later deleted the post and tweeted again, revising the location to a similarly named venue, Four Seasons Total Landscaping.
The landscaping company, which was started in 1992 and offers a variety of services like mulching and 24/7 snow removal, got more attention when the Four Seasons luxury hotel in the heart of Philadelphia tweeted: “To clarify, President Trump’s news conference will NOT be held at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. It will be held at Four Seasons Total Landscaping — no relation with the hotel.”
On Monday morning the landscaping business was selling patriotic-themed merchandise on its website, including a $5 sticker with the catchphrases “Make America Rake Again” and “Lawn and Order!”
The choice of location — the parking lot of a landscaping business next door to an adult bookshop and a crematory — was ridiculed on social media. Some people started selling T-shirts, mugs and other items featuring the name of the business.
Four Seasons Total Landscaping issued a statement on its Facebook page on Sunday morning, saying it was “honored” to host the news conference and was saddened by the “harsh judgment” it received from the public.
“Our team at Four Seasons would have proudly hosted any presidential candidate’s campaign at our business,” the statement read. “We strongly believe in America and in democracy. We hope that our fellow Americans can join together and support all local small businesses during this time.”
Four Seasons Total Landscaping also pledged to offer other merchandise on its website. In addition to the sticker, the company is now selling a sweatshirt for $50 and T-shirts for $25, some bearing American flags.
At the Saturday news conference, Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, said Mr. Trump did not plan to concede that he had lost the election to Joseph R. Biden Jr. About the same time, major news organizations started reporting that Mr. Biden had won enough Electoral College votes to be declared president-elect.
The moment was not lost on political pundits. “Look, the founders were very clear on this,” the MSNBC host Chris Hayes tweeted. “If there’s *any* doubt whatsoever, the head of Four Seasons Landscaping Services in Philly, PA flips a coin, and Kanye calls it.”
Four Seasons Total Landscaping, which did not respond to a request for comment, reported on Twitter Monday that its merchandise business was booming.