Mary Cheadle Speaking On Upcoming Merger

Uptown Dog T-Shirts to Combine with 10 West Clothing Company

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ATHENS, Ohio — Athens residents will notice a change in scenery on West Union Street by the middle of March.

Uptown Dog T-Shirts and 10 West Clothing Co. will be moving in together.

The two stores will operate as one at the 10 West Clothing Co. building and will keep that name. Uptown Dog T-Shirts will now operate as an outlet store until its inventory is depleted.

This means that Uptown Dog T-Shirts will be returning to its original building since a 2014 fire forced owner Mary Cheadle to move the store across the street.

A fire in 2014 forced 10 West Clothing Co to change locations

“After the fire, I realized what it was like for people to help,” Cheadle said. “So that’s what the philosophy of this business is; not only do we sell lower-priced things, but we are able to help people that have lost.”

Cheadle said while the stores are commonly owned, they have different identities. Uptown Dog sells fan-ware, while 10 West Clothing offers more traditional clothing.

Both stores have been successful, but Cheadle said she found she was having trouble getting customers to visit both stores.

“The gap between trends [fan-ware and traditional fashion] is closing; this merger will make it a bit easier for us to tend to both,” she said.

Cheadle said she has a pretty good idea for the market too. She started working for Uptown Dog T-Shirts over 30 years ago when her brotherowned the business and she was still in school. He has since passed the business on to her and the family approach remains.

Cheadle employs two of her sisters, two of her daughters, their boyfriends, and a couple of students who are not part of the family. She said that’s  what worries her most about the merger.

“By combining [the stores] I have to cut back hours of some of my people and I hate to do that,” she said. “My people have been loyal, if we’re not family we’re like family.”

Melissa Kozial, who has worked for Cheadle for over three years, said she was invited to the Cheadle family for Easter this year.

“I’m so excited, I heard grandma is an awesome cook,” Kozial said.

Kozial said she got the job purely on a recommendation. She’d been working at a restaurant before coming to Athens for school, when an elderly couple told her to try Uptown Dog for a job.

“They told me to come uptown and give them their name and I would 100 percent have a job,” Kozial said. “Two weeks later, Mary called and said ‘because you know them, we want you to work here’, and here I am.”

Aside from the worry of cutting employee hours, Cheadle said she’s excited about the merger.

“Part of the fun of this business is seeing people come in and really love what we’ve done,” Cheadle said. “By being in one place, there will be no denying we have the best prices and a fun selection, so I’m excited.”

The merger is expected to be completed by March 16th.