Oaklin Mixon believes everybody is chasing something.
“It can be personal success, wholesome relationships, anything,” says the founder and creative director of GoodBoy Clothing.
He also stresses that when you start to run after anything there will be challenges that have to be encountered, and ultimately endured, in order to get to the finish line.
How does Mixon know this? From his personal experience of being a small business trailblazer in downtown Flint’s resurgence.
“We started with a vision and we’re currently running to attain our goal of pioneering an industry here in the city,” Mixon says.
In pursuit of his dream, Mixon has not only dealt with obstacles, but has also enjoyed remarkable success. Case in point: this is his second year collaborating with the Crim Festival of Races to offer athletic race-wear.
“We’ve gotten to know the staff better and are developing a deeper connection,” he says. “Learning the history behind the Crim and what it means has been amazing.”
There is certainly a feeling of mutuality from his business associates at Crim. “It’s a just good fit. As a Flint native, Oaklin gets the city and he gets the Crim,” says Andy Younger, Crim Race Director. “The spirit of the Crim and Flint are inextricably linked, and we feel like GoodBoy captures that spirit in their graphics, their statements, and the garments they’ve selected.”
Through a series of talks, GoodBoy and Crim landed on “Chase What’s Ahead” as this year’s theme.
“We felt the city was in a place of pursuit, as we see all of the great things happening around us. We wanted to encourage people to stay the course,” Mixon says.
The inspirational motto is emblazoned on the clothes in the collection – and is also one of their current social media hash-tags. Social media influencers have been partners, of sorts, in building the GoodBoy brand from the get-go and they are continuing to add momentum to the narrative.
“I believe we have a very unique story and direction with the brand that people really trust,” says Mixon. “It’s more than clothing. It’s a lifestyle that’s deeply rooted in doing good for society. I think people love to see and hear things like that.”
Mixon also thinks that his success with Crim enables other local small business owners to witness the benefits of collaboration and partnerships. He points out that teaming up with Crim allowed him to see and then unlock the potential to take design to another level. GoodBoy’s network, clientele and services have also expanded as a result.
“Businesses and organizations coming together is beautiful. It shows that we all move as a unit to see the city thrive,” Mixon says. He adds, “at the end of the day, aside from business, it’s about being a community partner. When cities can create a healthy, strong and sustainable ecosystem, the success of that city, as a whole, is much more attainable.”
Younger echoes Mixon’s sentiment. He says that Crim loves the idea of “coopetition,” where different businesses and organizations find ways to work together and complement each others’ offerings.
“None of us exist in a vacuum, and we’re dependent on each other for success. When Flint is active and vibrant with occupied buildings and open shops, it benefits the Crim because racers feel welcome and part of a good thing,” he says. “At the same time, the Crim brings in 50,000 people to Flint, giving local businesses a chance to make a good first impression on potential customers.”
The idea of collaboration within community is something that Mixon is excited to further explore and share. He’s launched a sister company, GoodCreative, that specializes in branding and design for corporate or personal entities.
“The design for our Crim partnership is an example of what we can do from a merchandise perspective,” he says.
Furthermore, Mixon is confident that what GoodBoy and GoodCreative do has the potential not only to uplift Flint, but also impact those beyond the city’s borders.
“Our story and brand is about culture-making. People are everywhere, so culture is everywhere. We use clothing as the vehicle to send our message around the world,” he says. “That message is: We all have a responsibility to our cities to make them better through the life we lead. Make Good Culture is our mantra and what better place to begin doing so. Salute to Flint, Michigan.”
Editor’s Note: Crim-GoodBoyclothing is available for pre-order and pick-up during The Crim expo and race day (August 22-24). For more purchasing information visit www.goodboyclothes.com.