On December 21, 2021 founder of GoodBoy Clothing Oaklin Mixon passed away. As Christians worldwide began to celebrate the birth of the Light of the World, our community began to mourn the loss of one of its brightest lights.
In the days after his passing, a flood of tributes were written and it was a joy to read just how loved Oaklin was and how much of an impact he made on everyone who had the pleasure to meet him. The words of each writer served as a great comfort to me, as I was unable to return home to Michigan for a memorial service. Thank you to everyone who published something in Oak’s honor.
I reached out to Vince and Sherron at My City and offered to write something for Oaklin. This is not an “In Memoriam.” Those have been written for Oaklin, but he was my friend. I would like to eulogize my friend.
I, like many, first met Oaklin when he worked at the Flint Crepe Company. Although we were the same age and had both attended Flint Public Schools, we didn’t know each other. I had just started writing professionally and from time to time would work from the café while Oaklin was on shift. We would shoot the breeze and discuss our future plans, and within a few years we were actively working toward our respective goals. GoodBoy Clothing was getting off the ground and I set off to Paris to pursue my master’s.
Just over a year into my studies, Oaklin dropped me an email. Remembering that I was a writer, he asked me to draft his initial letter to potential business investors. Two years later, he reached out to me again to provide content for the GoodBoy blog, “The Goods.” I was always excited to work with Oaklin. We understood each other on a deep level.
Fast-forward to 2021. I spent three months in Flint determining whether it was time to move back home. Very little was going on, and understandably so, as we all continued to work our way out of the pandemic. Just days before I flew back to Paris, I ran into Oaklin. He asked if I was still writing because he had a book idea. Upon calling him later to discuss his book, he explained that he ultimately had a concept for a publishing company and asked me to partner with him.
I could never say “no” to a chance to work with Oaklin and we got to work on things immediately. We registered the website and social media accounts, and later brought in Flint-based branding consultant Ebonie Gipson to help with marketing. We were on our way.
We planned to publish the website in December, but he let me know he wasn’t feeling well. He kept me updated by text for the next two weeks. On the 19th, I wished him well and he replied that he was eager to get back to work. Two days later, he was gone.
The pain of this loss is immense. I miss him. We all miss him and we have to continue his legacy. This means more than just keeping GoodBoy Clothing open or continuing with the publishing company. It means being kind to each other, engaging our community and making good culture.
I love you, Big O.