Charlotte Guice ’09 was on a visit to Raleigh when she fell in love with tailgating at NC State. She was in high school and had come with her parents to visit her oldest brother on a parents weekend. “It was in the great days of Philip Rivers and all those great guys,” she says. “Just the energy, the football, the weather. That’s when it really started. And red is my favorite color.”
A couple of years later she again found herself on NC State’s campus again, helping her parents move in her other brother to his dorm. She sat at a desk and looked up a Wolfpack sticker he had on the wall. She then did a simple drawing of Mr. Wuf.
That rendering serves as the basis for a merchandise line the College of Design graduate rolled out in 2009, celebrating the tailgating tradition in the South. Olly Oxen features clothing, college apparel and furniture with that same design of Mr. Wuf. She first placed the design on a vintage skirt and wore it to her initial 2005 interview with the College of Design. Then she wore it to NC State tailgates for home football games. “People would kind of stare,” she says, “and some would have the nerve to ask where I got it.”
Guice now sells that same skirt design at tailgates. They will be modeled and available for sale at this week’s home opener against Liberty. She also sells caps and visors. “The great thing is that it looks great on any age or anybody,” she says. “It’s simple, which is really important to me. You can wear it and go tailgating in the mud or go to an event at the Alumni Center.”
Eventually Guice says she would like to add more ACC and even SEC schools into her line. She’s already designed a UNC skirt but offers one caveat. “I can make one vow to myself and the business. I will happily model any school if I have to, but I’ll never model a Carolina product.”