Plugged In owners David Deacon and Dallas Ogletree talk about the process of finding a retail space for their business that started in the dorm room in college. Knoxville News Sentinel
Not many stores offer a $15 Miller Lite tank top, a $100 1992 “Dream Team” T-shirt, a $220 1984 Harley-Davidson T-shirt and a $1,000 pair of sneakers all side by side. These are just some of the items at Plugged In, a vintage clothing and sneaker store that opened last weekend on the Strip.
Located at 1907 Cumberland Ave., Plugged In is a sneakerhead’s dream. The walls of the store are lined with colorful sneakers ranging in price from $80 to $1,000. Vintage clothing fills a rack in the store’s center, with old-school memorabilia scattered throughout the store.
Looking through Plugged In’s stock is like taking a time machine to a 1990s clothing store. There’s no telling what you might find, but chances are you won’t find it anywhere else.
Plugged In has a distinct vibe, one that owners Dallas Ogletree and David Deacon hope will resonate with customers. After sharing a dorm in 2018 during their freshman year at Maryville College, the two quickly bonded on their love for shoes and fashion.
“We started selling shoes and clothes from our dorm, and it just kind of took off from there,” Deacon told Knox News. “We want this store to be a one-stop shop for our customers.”
Plugged In has operated as an entirely online business, gaining sales through its website and social media such as Instagram and Snapchat. Ogletree and Deacon would visit thrift stores in Maryville and Knoxville looking for interesting clothes, reselling what they found.
“It all started for a love of shoes,” Ogletree said. “We cleaned our own shoes up, put them on a rack, and started selling them out of our dorm just for the love of shoes.”
When they discovered there was an active sneaker collecting community in Knoxville, they began going to sneaker events and conventions to buy, sell and trade shoes.
“We would go to (sneaker and vintage clothing) events and buy a bunch of stuff, fill up our car, bring it back and sell it,” Ogletree said.
As their business became more successful, Deacon and Ogletree decided to put more of their focus on it. Ogletree shifted to taking classes online at West Georgia, with Deacon taking a break from classes to focus on Plugged In full time.
With Plugged In’s business steadily increasing, the two decided it was time to open a physical location. Filling the location that House of Dragon occupied on Cumberland Avenue for years, they hope to target their established customers as well as the student population that often frequents the Strip.
“College students love the vintage clothing and sneakers we carry,” Deacon said. “We get higher-end streetwear as well, so we’ll cater to different customer bases with different wants and needs. We’ve got everything from a $10 T-shirt to designer clothes and shoes.”
All of the sneakers currently being sold at Plugged In are new. The vintage clothing will be a mix of used, thrifted items and never-worn items. Ogletree and Deacon determine each item’s worth based on rarity, condition and demand, using online resources to cross-check prices when available.
“We’re trying to have a good vibe in here, kind of a ‘barbershop’ type feel,” Deacon said. “It won’t be so transactional. People will get to come in, talk about what they’re buying, talk to us, get to know us, and get a feel for what we do.”
Plugged In is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The store will be closed on Sundays.
News intern Jake Yoder can be reached at [email protected] Follow along with his work on Twitter @jakeywakeyy. Support our local news efforts by becoming a Knox News subscriber.
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