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Cover of the spring 2003 SFSU magazine. Geography Professor Max Kirkeberg and students tour of San Francisco's Western Addition.


SFSU Magazine Online, Spring/Summer 2003, Volume 3, Number 2.
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Alumni and FriendsAlumna Rebecca Wolfe smiles as she holds two Celebriduck rubber duckies, one is the Florida Gator mascot. The other is Moses holding a stone tablet of commandments. Below at her elbows sit two more Celebriducks: Dr. Frankenfurter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Houston Rockets basketball player Yao Ming. Photo by Stephen Dorian Miner


Celebriducks Make a Splash

It was the weird kind of "what-if" most people would never stop to ponder: What if you took a standard rubber duckie and made it look like a celebrity?

When a family friend threw out the idea, Rebecca Wolfe (B.A., Industrial Design, '99) and her father, Craig, decided to take it seriously. He called manufacturers. Rebecca, then a sophomore at State, grabbed her sketch pad and went to work on the design.

Betty Boop, the first Celebriduck, flew off shelves in Bay Area boutiques. Rebecca followed with duck versions of William Shakespeare and Groucho Marx. Two years ago, when the Philadelphia 76ers asked for Celebriducks of star guard Allen Iverson for a game give-away, orders followed from the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees.

Rebecca, now a full-time Celebriducks employee, works her tail feathers off at her father's company headquarters in San Rafael. After sketching a duck from every angle, she approves each prototype before it hits the assembly line.

"We'll sculpt and re-sculpt until we feel it looks just like the person." That is, with the addition of a duck body and beak.

The father-daughter duo claim a jump in gross sales from $300,000 in 2001 to $3 million in 2002.

How does Rebecca explain the success? "These ducks are so cute," she says. "How could people not like them?"

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