Originally a 1,500 square foot space on Covington Highway, Elite Pawn moved into its third location in August, taking up 8,000 square feet of what used to be a rental company at 2235 Sigman Road.
The speed of the store's growth shouldn't come as a surprise considering how fast owner Kevin Smith decided to get into the business.
"I came down here to play golf in Atlanta, while living in Tennessee, and never went back," Smith said.
Smith and his brother flew their airplane from Tennessee, where they were living at the time, down to the coast for a family vacation in July of 1996. When the weather turned so they couldn't fly back, Smith rented a car in Montgomery to drive back to Chattanooga and ended up playing golf with his uncle and his uncle's friends. After that fateful golf game, Smith decided to buy a Fieldstone Pawn shop.
By August of 1996 Smith was in the Pawn Shop business, and three months later moved to the store's second location, on Covington Road, where they remained until last August.
Since opening the store, Smith and his staff have focused on making customers feel comfortable with friendly and informative service.
"Our attitude with people is that we strive to treat everybody fairly and look at it as we're trying to help them," Smith said. "We try to offer a good service that people are going to enjoy."
Elite Pawn has six staff members consisting of manager Tim Keller, Lindsey Seber, Jasmine Henderson, Mallory Biles, Ryan Johnson and Burt Freeman.
Elite Pawn offers pawn service along with a number of items including guns, cars, tools, computers and commercial vehicles.
Their gun department is currently one of the biggest in the area, and Smith said they are looking to expand it in the future.
"We have more guns on display than anybody in this area as far as pawn shops," Smith said. "It's also one area we're looking to grow in."