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MuleKick Brand plans pop-up shop, children’s clothing line after successful first year

KNOXVILLE – A local online apparel company, MuleKick Brand, has wrapped up its first year in business with plans for a pop-up shop and children’s clothing line on the horizon. The South Knoxville-based business specializes in locally inspired clothing, hats and accessories.

  ryan willis
Ryan and Rachael Willlis.

The company was founded by husband and wife team, Ryan and Rachael Willis, who launched the brand with a goal of providing high-quality shirts and hats featuring unique hyper-local designs, at an affordable price.

“We’ve always loved unique local and regional apparel,” says co-founder and CEO, Ryan Willis. “We realize it can sometimes be fairly pricey for the consumer, so we launched MuleKick with the goal of providing high-quality products at reasonable prices.”

Along with the normal challenges associated with starting a new business, the couple added one more to the mix.

“While in the middle of launching MuleKick we added to our family with the birth of our first child,” adds Willis. “It’s obviously been a challenging but exciting year, finding a balance between our full-time jobs, learning to grow a new business and of course, changing diapers.”

With a strong focus on creating apparel aimed at local and community pride, it should come as no surprise there as been a groundswell of local support for the brand.

“We’ve been blown away by the response we’ve received from the local community here in Knoxville, but also around the region and even across the country.”

That support has enabled the company to grow quicker than expected in its first year leading to new ventures planned for the future, including children’s clothing and pop-up shops.

“It will be an extremely busy start to our second year,” says Willis. “We’re currently planning our first-ever pop-up shop, which will be held this spring, while also rolling out our first line of children’s clothing.”

For more information on MuleKick Brand, visit

Published April 6, 2018

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