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It’s been almost seven years since The Blind Side stole America’s hearts. The hit movie based on a true story catapulted the Tuohy family into the national spotlight and they’ve been so busy ever since that it has been hard to keep up! Like many of you, we fell in love with the Tuohy family’s story and were lucky enough to catch up with Collins Tuohy Smith and talk with her about the Super Bowl, Panthers football, her cookie business and her newest venture, Collins’ Closets. Welcome today’s FACE of Charlotte, Collins Tuohy Smith. 

Collins Tuohy and Micheal Oher

Collins Tuohy Smith with her big brother, Michael Oher | Image: The Tuohy family

Since it’s football season, we’ll jump right in with sports talk. How was it going to the Super Bowl last year cheering on the Panthers?

The Super Bowl is an unbelievably magical experience. I don’t think people really understand just how hard it is to actually make it to the Super Bowl. We definitely didn’t take it for granted. We went out on Tuesday and made sure to soak the entire experience in. Watching your brother, who works his butt off, run through that smoke onto the field at the Super Bowl … it brought me to tears. We were very proud of every member of the Panthers organization!

Now that Michael has signed a three-year extension with the Panthers, are you looking forward to more time in the Queen City this season?

We could not be more thrilled! Charlotte has been so good to my family and we love the Panthers! We are really looking forward to spending more time in Charlotte this fall!

Leigh Anne, SJ, Sean and Collins Tuohy

The Tuohy family at Bank of America Stadium | Image: The Tuohy family

We’ve seen several pictures of Panthers players with your Whimsy Cookie Company. Are there Whimsy cookies in the locker room every game or just special occasions?

My older brother is one of my biggest fans. He started ordering our cookies just to be supportive of Whimsy. He had them delivered to the locker room and would put the box out for everyone to get them as they pleased.

Any superstitions tied to it? As sports fans, we love our superstitions!

Last year’s winning streak might have played a part in the repeat orders. When you are winning, as we were, you keep doing everything exactly the same and Whimsy became one of those things that was part of the weekly routine. It started out as every few weeks and then once a week. We now have a standing order for cookies to be delivered twice a week during the season. We like to think that Whimsy was a small part of the magic that is the Panthers!

We heard a little rumor that the players may even fight over the cookies. Is that true? We giggle just thinking about it.

I don’t think there have been any punches thrown but certain players definitely have flavors that they want. One player told me how he hid a few cookies in his bag to save for later but while he was doing a post-game media interview, his locker mate went in his bag and ate his cookies! Needless to say, he wasn’t very happy when he found out!

And Cam gets his own box?

I’m not sure how Michael breaks them down every week but Cam has definitely been a big supporter of Whimsy! We even made him congratulatory Superman cookies as a surprise when they went to the playoffs!

Does Michael have a favorite cookie?

He likes the Red Velvet Gooey cookies.

Do the guys ever have special requests?

Oh yes! After the games as the guys are leaving, there are always a few of them that will casually give me their requests on the way out of the stadium. We don’t ship our oatmeal cream pies because they get messy but those are Ed Dickson’s favorite so we put some in there just for him. The staple ones are our Strawberry, Butter and Birthday Gooeys.

Can fans in Charlotte order Whimsy cookies for their next tailgate or party?

Absolutely! We would love that! They can email [email protected] and we can ship them right to your door step.

Collins Tuohy

Celebrating the Panthers incredible season | Image: The Tuohy family

You’ve been in quite a few football towns. Have you noticed anything different about Charlotte and Panthers fans?

The Panthers have some of the best fans in the country. It’s so fun to see the support Charlotte shows the team. There is genuine love and excitement for the guys on the field.

We know you love to bedazzle your sports gear. Where do you normally like to shop for cute game day outfits?

I must confess that I am a closet bedazzler. I love to bling up a good game-day t-shirt. I shop everywhere for game-day gear. I am always keeping my eyes out for my teams’ colors and mascots. I have found stuff everywhere from Etsy to nice boutiques. My friends and family know me well when it comes to my love of game-day attire. My husband gave me a blue fur coat last year for Christmas because he said I could wear it to Ole Miss, Memphis, Grizzlies and Panthers games, which of course I did!

Collins Tuohy

Collins is ready for football season, y’all. Image: The Tuohy family

Speaking of clothes, you recently started Collins’ Closets, where you consign clothes on Instagram and 30% of the proceeds go to the Making It Happen Foundation that your family started in 2009. Love the idea! Tell us a little about it and how you came up with the idea.

Thank you! I’m pretty excited about this new project in my life. I was taking my clothing items to this adorable consignment store in Memphis and my stuff was selling. The break down was they kept a percent and gave me a percent. I have people every now and then that will ask me what I’m wearing on my Instagram. I decided to put the two together and create an Instagram consignment store. I donate 30% of all proceeds to my family’s foundation, the Making It Happen Foundation. We are dedicated to improving the standard of living and quality of life for all the children fighting to survive in the invisible cracks of society.

Collins' Closests

Love Collins’ style? Check out her new venture, Collins’ Closets. Image: Mary Kate Steele

Is there anything else you’d like for people to know about?

In conjunction with my new Instagram consignment store, I have also launched a new lifestyle blog, also called Collins’ Closets. On my Instagram feed, I received a good bit of questions about where my accessories or other pieces I had on in pictures were from, so I started my lifestyle blog. Being a small-business owner myself and knowing the value that lies within the people behind a brand, I would really like to focus on brands with amazing stories and quality people behind them. I want people to know when they see something on my blog that they were good people behind that brand or making that product.

Collins Tuohy

Image: The Tuohy family

If I’ve learned anything since this crazy journey my family has been on post-The Blind Side, it is this: The world is a small place, filled with valuable people who, for some reason or other, have never had value placed upon them. We just pass by them every day not thinking twice about their potential. I want to highlight some of these amazing people and try to put a spotlight (even if it’s a small one) on what they love and what they are about! Therefore, Collins’ Closets will be a small window into my life and those amazing people I meet on my journey.

Thank you to Collins Tuohy Smith for taking the time to chat with us. We hope you and your family enjoy this season in Charlotte. Keep Pounding!


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