In collaboration with the student arts collective Creative State, Woah Company opened its long-awaited pop-up location on Thursday, Feb. 13 on Montezuma road next to EC Tattoo. The owners have just one word to describe their brand: motivation.
“Our intent with everything is to motivate people around us, creatively specifically,” founder and co-owner Nicco Birdsong said. “We have everything from tops all the way down to bottoms and even socks, beanies and accessories … Don’t forget the skateboards.”
The opening came with a bang, featuring walls decked with student art, live music and racks upon racks of vintage clothing.
But due to an upcoming housing development, Wotown @ SDSU will only be open for the next six months. The strip mall and neighboring McDonalds will be demolished in the coming months to make room for the project.
Despite this, the organization was enthusiastic about their new space.
Birdsong said he was drawn to vintage wear by his love for Nike.
“I used to work for them, actually,” he said. “So I was just fascinated with all the old stuff they were doing and how early their innovations actually were.”
Nostalgia is key to curating a great vintage catalog, and it’s something Wotown is definitely familiar with. Their San Diego State location has a wall full of vintage Aztec merchandise.
“We’ve had men and women come in, who are probably in their 50s or 60s, see an old tee from their era and flip out and buy it,” co-owner Harley Hoyt said. “We don’t discriminate against anybody. I treat everybody the same as they come in our store.”
Co-owner Naone Hasenstab said, “Anyone can work on their hill.”
In addition to their vintage catalog, Birdsong said he wants this new location to be a creative outlet for everyone, especially students.
“SDSU doesn’t have a creative area,” he said. “I want this side of the store for kids to come and create things outside of school, whether it’s making a shirt or designing a logo. They can look forward to a place where they can hang out and have basically everything they need to make whatever they want.”
Canvasses and paint, a four-color silkscreen and a heat press are among the equipment students can experiment with in the studio side of Wotown. Birdsong said they’re planning to add an embroidery machine too.
Right now, the walls are covered with student art from members of Creative State, and the owners said they plan to continue showcasing student creativity. Some student-made jewelry and beadwork were also available for purchase.
“Our brand is about getting together with different people and motivating each other,” co-owner Vinny Panzarella said. “To help everyone continuously work on their hill.”
Hoyt said students can expect wicked clothes, cool vibes, a friendly environment, free wifi and a place for them to come feel safe and respected at this new location.
“We want this place to be boundless,” Hoyt said. “There’s no limit to what can be done in this store.”
You can find them on Instagram at @wotownsd or @workingonahill and online at woah.company.
“We’re very excited to be here,” Hoyt said.
Wotown @ SDSU is open from noon to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Their downtown location is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays.