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Hawk Tuah Girl Has Already Sold at Least $65,000 Worth of Merch

Rolling Stone talked to the man behind the brand, Jason Poteete of Fathead Threads, about the extremely graphic oral sex meme heard ’round the world

Hawk Tuah girl

Courtesy of Fathead Threads

When you call Fathead Threads, a Tennessee-based embroidery and apparel brand, a deep South-inflected twang is on the voicemail: “If you’re looking for Hawk Tuah hats, head to Facebook,” the voice says. The owner of the voice is Jason Poteete, who is currently in the bizarre position of serving as a brand manager for one of the most famous women in the country right now: a young, folksy blonde woman advocating for expectoration during oral sex.

The now-immortal phrase “Hawk Tuah” was coined by Hailey Welch, a young woman who on June 11 made internet history during a woman-on-the-street interview with the content creators Tim & Dee TV. In the clip, Welch is asked such R-rated questions about her preferred sexual positions, as well as a “move in bed [that] makes a man go crazy every time.” When asked that final question, she proffers the following: “You gotta give ’em that ‘hawk tuah’ and spit on that thang.”

Over the past week, the clip has gone massively viral, and has been referenced by everyone from Joe Rogan to Howard Stern to the Phillies’ Bryce Harper. And though there is plenty of Hawk Tuah-themed merch circulating on the internet — including from the shop for Tim & Dee itself — there is only one officially Hawk Tuah Girl-licensed Hawk Tuah merch vendor: Fathead Threads, a family-owned business based in Marshall County, Tennessee.

The brand is run by Poteete, a Marshall County native who has known Welch for years. He tells Rolling Stone that a day or two after the video started going viral, he reached out to a stunned Welch to figure out a way to monetize her brand.

“Of course she hasn’t gotten a dime from the first viral video that went out,” Poteete says. “Nobody was asking permission for her to do nothing, neither. I just wanted her to get some profit off of this deal.” Poteete declined to share exactly what percentage of the proceeds Welch is receiving, but says he suggested she trademark the phrase and she has been in touch with a lawyer about it. He also says she is currently represented by an agent, though rumors that she had signed with Hollywood powerhouse UTA turned out to be unfounded.

Poteete says Welch, who did not respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for interview, is “overwhelmed” by the attention, and has requested that he not share any personal details about her or feature her face on the merchandise. “There are some crazy people in the world who’ve reached out to her,” he says. “She’s probably one of the most well-known people in the world at this point. But I don’t know if she’s embraced it.”

So far, Poteete says, Fathead Threads is exclusively selling “Hawk Tuah ’24” hats, which are currently available in 14 colors and are selling for $32.78 each. (A $50 signed version with a leather patch is currently sold out.) He’s received interest from everyone from large-scale media networks to the WWE. Poteete estimates that the shop has so far sold a little more than 2,000 hats; though he declined to share exactly how much the company has grossed on her merch, he says it’s “pretty easy to do the math.” (For what it’s worth, considering the cheapest hat is $32.78, that comes out to, at the very least, $65,000.)

“Our largest orders are usually 100 hats, maybe 150-250 shirts. This is way out of the normal for us,” he says. “This is a small family-owned shop. We’re all-hands-on-deck right now.”

Despite Welch’s current discomfort with the level of attention she’s been receiving, Poteete is hopeful that she’ll settle into her new level of viral fame in the end. “It could be a blessing or a curse,” he says. “She may be in the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time. [But] I think she’ll do fine in the end.”

Poteete adds that she’s exactly like how she’s depicted in the video. “She has a bubbly personality. She can be somewhat risque. You never know what she’s gonna say,” he says. “I just think the world needed a laugh, and she provided that.”

From Rolling Stone US