Incubator project duo creates “New Skool” brand


Lily Stroup

Junior Makayla Stewart dons her “New Skool” hoodie during school.

Incubator students are challenged each year to develop and perfect a product or event to release to the general public and present to peers. The ideas are continuous and can be anything as long as approved by the administration and teachers, with students sprouting ideas like movies on the football field, a skincare education session, and countless more ideas.

Senior incubator students Grace Harte and Sahithi Nalamalpu took the idea of school spirit and Principal Nicole Carter’s infamous catchphrase to create new school spirit wear for students. “New Skool” is the brand the two created as their Incubator individual project.

The idea started with the famous slogan that can be heard echoing throughout the school from Principal Nicole Carter. The catchphrase that ends any of her emails, intercom announcements, or speeches. 

Carter’s “It’s a great day to be a Novi Wildcat,” was the phrase “New Skool” wanted to use on the backs of hoodies and shirts, but they shortened it to be “It’s a great day.”

“A lot of spirit wear has the purpose for athletic events or for events in the school. We wanted to create something that was a little bit more on-trend with what people are wearing, even after students graduate,” Harte said.

Nalamalpu and Harte said they listened to a lot of student voices for feedback in terms of what students were looking for to wear to represent the school.

“We looked at the current spirit wear in the Cat Rack and we heard from many teachers and students how expensive it was and didn’t really match with anything. Most of the stuff was very intensely Novi,” Nalamalpu said.

Harte added that supply chain costs are expensive right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the two of them had to find a supplier who could produce their design in the sizes and colors they were searching for while staying within the budget.

“A goal we had was to make it affordable for the general student body and make sure as many people would be able to purchase it. So if people do not want to spend $26 on a hoodie, they can purchase a t-shirt with the same design for $15,”  Nalamalpu said.

Harte was the one who worked on and created the design for the hoodies and t-shirts. Before this project, she said she had no past experience with design programs, and figuring out how to manipulate the text in the way they wanted was one of the very first struggles to overcome. 

The hoodies and shirts come in a range of colors, as well as unisex sizing from S to 2XL. Students interested in purchasing their spirit wear can visit the company’s website when it is in its live period for new orders at, and pick up the merchandise at all lunches when orders arrive, which is announced on the “New Skool” Instagram.

Any profits the company makes go back into the Incubator class, and once expenses are covered from the first round of purchases, the duo can use any money earned to create new products to continue and expand “New Skool”.

“We’re looking to donate part of our profits to United Watch, which is where all the profit from the class project ‘Flix on the Field’ is going. So we’re working on that for the future of our brand,” Nalamalpu said.

April 20, 2022 Update : Due to unforeseen circumstances, “New Skool” is no longer donating to United Watch, and is headed with their brand in a different direction.