The ATLien Podcast: Introducing Moosh

Lindsay Ruhl and Stella Mackler

Virginia Highland’s newest boutique, Moosh, started with inspiration from countries around the world. Co-owners Julie Paktracy and Roya Wolverson opened the shop’s doors to the neighborhood on Aug. 25 with hopes to bring neighbors of all ages together through style.

“Roya and I have been friends for a number of years and our kids are friends, and just living in Morningside for the past several years, we felt like there was more of a need for variety and retail,” Paktracy said. “Roya has lived abroad for quite a bit and we both travel. Seeing what’s going on in other countries and other cities in the U.S., their retail is more compelling, [there is] more variety, and we have been talking about this concept for the past five years so we finally decided the end of a pandemic was the perfect time to open it.”

Paktracy’s experience traveling has given her a wider perspective into the world of clothing.

“When I was living abroad, there were a couple of stores in my neighborhood in Paris that were really different from anything that we had in Atlanta and in the U.S. in the sense that they were geared around design forward, upscale, family life,” Wolverson said. “Those stores were just iconic in the neighborhood; they were very successful and people loved them because they could go into a store and have this sense of discovery.”

Packtracy and Wolverson both agree that their familiarity with Virginia Highlands gave them an advantage to starting a small business.

“Roya and I have both been in Atlanta for a number of years so we know the city fairly well and we knew that we wanted to be in our general neighborhood because the problem we were trying to solve was better brick and mortar retail in the neighborhood,” Paktracy said. “Virginia Highlands in recent months and over the years has been going through a transition; so it’s been a great time to open the store there. I think the neighborhood was very ready for it. The neighborhood has been incredibly receptive and supportive and encouraging. It’s been great and super rewarding.”

The sense of community among shops and other businesses in Virginia Highlands has created a supportive environment for Moosh to establish itself.

“It’s been really cool to see the way all of the businesses are encouraging each other, rallying around each other, supporting each other,” Wolverson said. “Moes and Joes is open late which is nice for us because as female business owners, being there late on your own can be a daunting experience when it’s dark outside.”

The store offers women’s clothing selections to a wide range of ages, and hopes to expand to include men’s and boys clothing in the future.

“We are so excited to have clothing that can span from mom to young adult to teen to tween to child to baby,” Wolverson said. “We have tried to really go across the board so that everybody has a reason to come enjoy the store.”

The transition from resident to small business owners has given Paktracy and Wolverson a new view of the neighborhood.

“It’s a great community,” Paktracy said. “Living in the community, we had one perspective, now as small business owners, we’re seeing this whole other side to the community that we never were aware of and it’s been very eye opening in the most positive way.”