Last week we posted on Facebook a photo of us in 1994 on vacation in Destin, Florida. That’s when we got the idea for Biker Rags.

Jeff and Pamo 1994 in Destin, Florida

For those of you who are curious, today’s post is a bit deeper history about how we got to even wanting to open our own retail store. The following story is in Jeff’s words. Take it away Jeff….

In 1987, I got out of the Army after a four year stint.

Jeff in Army 1983

When I returned to Knoxville, I started running wild and partying really hard. My marriage disintegrated and so I partied even harder. After several interventions, my family finally put me in UT Medical Center Alcohol and Drug Rehab Center (ADRC). I stayed in out patient treatment for a year and worked part time for a friend.

When I finally finished treatment, I was flat broke, had nowhere to go, so I just kept hanging around the treatment center, working every day at staying clean and sober. They finally hired me to drive the patients to meetings and do some drug counseling for newly admitted arrivals.

I’d been working there for awhile when Pam, a Registered Nurse, came to work at the Alcohol and Drug Rehab Unit. We hit it off immediately and after a couple of months, we started dating.

That’s us in the spring of 1994 when we were still working at ADRC.

UT supposedly had a policy about co-workers dating and living together, so I gave them the middle finger good-bye and once again was broke and unemployed.

After a week or so of me trying to figure out my next move, Pam says I came home one day and announced that I was going to open a leather store and sell jackets and novelty helmets. At first, I was going to do it at the flea market, but it was Pam’s idea to rent a store front. Pam was all in- so with minimal savings and two credit cards, we opened that little shop on Chapman Highway and called it Biker Rags. That was on November 1, 1994.

Our first business card.

Pam continued working as a nurse for a couple of years so we would have a paycheck and she also spent every spare minute at Biker Rags.

There I am getting our first store ready to open in 1994.
And so it began.

It was a lot of work, but we were having a blast. We both rode, went down to the Old City every weekend to gather with other bikers, and finally in 1996 we moved to our current location on Kingston Pike. We also got married and bought the house we still live in today.

Life is good. Thank you Pamo!

You can read more of our history by CLICKING HERE.