polo work shirts GoodBoy Clothing ‘pioneering an industry’ with downtown Flint shop
FLINT, MI The music was thumping and clothes neatly arranged on shelves hanging from walls lined with photos in the showroom at GoodBoy Clothing in downtown Flint.
In the back section of the approximately 2,000 square foot space where sewing machines are put to use to fill orders and ideas etched onto paper hanging from the walls is where founder and CEO Oaklin Mixon was found on a rainy afternoon.
The 34 year old is ready to open the doors to the community and show them what’s been taking place to make his goal of designing a clothing line with a message of positivity.
“I think it’s important because we don’t have a lot like this in Flint,” said Mixon, of the new retail clothing shop set to open in a second floor space above Buckham Alley.
A grand opening for GoodBoy Clothing’s multipurpose space at 522 S. Saginaw St. Friday, Nov. 17. The public is invited to attend.
“I’m a creative, so I need my space to create, I want to produce, I want to test things,” commented Mixon, with a green baseball cap emblazoned with the brand’s logo on front in black atop his head.
A $20,000 second place prize in a national business contest by AT Agility allowed for an expansion in the building and forming a team including operations manager Mark Chatman.
Flint’s GoodBoy Clothing wins $20K in national competition
In developing the location, Mixon said, “It gives us control and it makes us more efficient to have space like this. We’re pioneering an industry, so that’s the uniqueness about it in regards to Flint.”
Clothing by GoodBoy is inspired by street culture and hip hop culture, Mixon said, while also carrying a message of trying to be an agent for the good in a city that has fallen hard times in recent years.
“I think it’s just been eclipsed not just the water crisis, it’s been eclipsed economically. You have the poverty, you have the crime, the lists goes on and on,” he said. “With GoodBoy,
as far as the line, the brand name and the messaging and core values that we have, I wanted to create something that can shift people’s perspective and not only their perspective about Flint but just have a genuine inside look at the people of Flint.”
In spite of the issues faced by Flint residents, Mixon commented, “There’s still good people here. There’s still people here working through that, building businesses, creating art, and investing in the city, and just trying to mend that social fabric.”
The messages in GoodBoy’s clothing lines with a tagline of “Tailored For Your Good” includes good parenting integrated into children’s items and overcoming those “Dream Killers” in life, such as fear and self doubt.
As a minority business owner in an impoverished area, Mixon was optimistic his story may offer a “spur of hope” to others striving for success.
“I think it’s changing people’s minds to say, ‘I can do something, I have ideas, I have the ability to actually go and build a business.’ There’s resources available,” he said. “I’m hoping GoodBoy is a blueprint for people that look like me to jump into entrepreneurship and make something out of that.”
He sees Flint as having the possibility to become a leader in diversity in business which, in turn, “gives people choices and decisions and new experiences” and fosters a collaborative environment for ideas.
Mixon admitted he’s a little scared about the opening, but it’s not out of a lack of support from his family whom he’s made a part of the business in terms of educating his children and his wife coming up with ideas such as a beard oil line and the Flint community.
“Flint has been overly supportive,” he said, from other business owners to community members asking about the store during Buckham Alley Fest, or those purchasing the clothing. “I just want to definitely salute the city of Flint.
“We feel that heartbeat and I feel that Flint is ready for something like this and they’ve been asking for it and we’re going to give it to them,
” said Mixon. “It’s our gift.”