Editor’s Note: As the holidays are fast approaching, the crew over here at My Athens would like to remind you of some of the awesome boutiques around town where you can #shoplocal for everyone on your Christmas list! One of our favorite picks is men’s clothing store, Grinning Mule located at 1738 S. Lumpkin St. Check out our story on the shop from this past spring and get to shopping!
Words & Photos by Steven Patterson.
One of the most charming and magnetic characteristics of Athens is the presence of locally owned, one of a kind clothing stores. Recently, Grinning Mule Clothing Company has jumped into the mix of clothing stores in Athens. Located at 1738 South Lumpkin Street near Five Points, Grinning Mule offers high quality men’s clothing with a exceptional twist. Owned and created by Wade Moore, Grinning Mule brings its own brand of clothing designed by Moore to Athens as well as a variety of other brands such as Zenfari, Cooper Jones, True Grit, Age of Wisdom, and other high quality clothing lines.
Owner Wade Moore is no newcomer to the clothing industry or Athens. While in college, Moore worked at a clothing store that his brother owned and his own former clothing store, Billingston’s, which was previously located in downtown Athens. Moore began designing his own clothing line of shirts and men’s apparel while working for a corporate shirt designing company, and then purchased a clothing manufacturing plant in Macon, Georgia.
It was not until recently that Moore decided to return to the retail market and open Grinning Mule in Athens with the help of his wife Judy and son Walton. His love for music, the arts, and Athens’ strong community of artists and musicians were the reason why Wade was drawn back to Athens to open Grinning Mule. Athens feels like a “home-base” for Moore, and his wife Judy said that the timing was just right to open Grinning Mule in Athens.
When asked to describe the style of Moore’s clothing line, Moore’s wife Judy describes his clothing as exploring the “edgy side of traditional clothing.” With attention to detail and local manufacturing in Macon, Georgia, Grinning Mule brings a new wave of high fashion and high quality men’s clothing to Athens including Georgia manufactured woven shirts with a unique laid-back style.
To incorporate this love for music and the arts, the Grinning Mule team hosts different events such as a “Sunday Funday”, tailgates for UGA football games, and other events serving as a venue to feature local artists. Along with these events, Moore hopes to reach out to the community through projects such as Grinning Mule’s “Mule Packs” which are given out to people in need and can be picked up at Grinning Mule. These tiny packets include essentials such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, snacks, and other essentials.
In the future, Moore hopes to expand on his clothing line even more and expand Grinning Mule to carry a variety of clothing including jeans and other types of clothing to accompany the unique woven shirts. Along with the expansion of its clothing, Moore and wife Judy hope Grinning Mule becomes a place in the Athens community to feature local artists, while also serving as a unique and high quality clothing store.