Rebecca Vineyard
August 05, 2016 1:23 pm
Saul Lobe/Getty Images

Sometimes foreign dignitaries go all out on state visits, showing up in their finest duds to intimidate and impress. Other times, they’re refreshingly relatable and suddenly we’re wondering what other things we have in common with foreign heads of state and their families.

The latter was surely the case this week, when Ho Ching, the wife of Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, carried a blue denim pouch printed with dinosaurs to the White House. Oh, also, the bag retails for about $11.00 U.S. dollars.

Saul Lobe/Getty Images
Saul Lobe/Getty Images

In one fell swoop, Ho Ching became our new favorite person AND managed to make the pouch go viral. According to The Huffington Post, typically the bag’s retailer, The Art Faculty, sells 200 pouches in four months; due to the pouch’s instant popularity, though, they sold 200 in a day- and now there’s a waitlist.

The Art Faculty

Now, even though an $11 dinosaur pouch being carried by a foreign PM’s wife at the White House is pretty awesome, that’s not even the best part about the story. The best part is that the bag was created by a student at Pathlight, a school in Singapore for children with autism.

Pathlight has an artist development program, and sells wares created by students through their retail arm, The Art Faculty. Student creators get royalties from the sale of their goods, so buying the pouch (or other products on the site) helps support these young artists.

The creator of Ho Ching’s dino bag is Seetoh Sheng Jie, a 19-year-old who has been “obsessed” with dinosaurs since he was a child. According to The Art Faculty site, his knowledge of dinosaurs is truly impressive:

“Sheng Jie is extremely pedantic about dinosaurs – the spelling of their full paleontological names, their detailed expressions captured in the miniature replicas he creates – everything must be done just right. No reference books are used. All his illustrations and figurines are produced from his personal knowledge!”

Ho Ching is apparently an advisor to Singapore’s Autism Resource Center, the organization that helped found the Pathlight school; it’s no surprise, then, that she’s a patron of The Art Faculty. However, we still think she’s pretty cool for taking the pouch to the White House — now if you’ll excuse us, there’s a dino pouch waitlist calling.

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