A new Page: Pardon gives business owner a fresh start

Published 9:06 am Monday, December 28, 2020

A common adage holds that you can’t outrun your past, but Chris Page’s accomplishments as a business owner and community leader show he has been able to leave his earlier life in the dust.

The owner of Shake Rag Barber Shop has built a vibrant business in a historic part of the city, welcoming people from all walks of life into the chairs at one of his barber stations and hosting community events.

Page’s influence is such that he mounted a write-in campaign for Bowling Green mayor last fall.

For his recent work in the community, though, Page still wanted to correct a self-imposed wrong from his past.

Fourteen years ago, Page found himself on the wrong side of the law, under indictment on drug trafficking charges in Barren County.
Upon pleading guilty, court records show he faced an eight-year prison sentence, and he did spend a few months behind bars before being granted shock probation.

Any criminal court judge will tell you a felony conviction can hang like a millstone from your neck, closing off previously available opportunities after you serve your sentence.

Page knew he had to go to some lengths to keep doors open, completing barber college while his court case was pending so he would have a career path on the other side of his case.

“I went straight to work and I never looked back,” Page said about life after gaining his freedom. “I strengthened my relationship with the Lord, my family and friends. I remember when I would see people I had interacted with when I was on the other side of the law, I apologized to them. … There was a lot of repentance, remorse and rebuilding myself.”

As the years passed, completing barber college turned into earning a degree from Western Kentucky University, and working at a barber shop became owning a business. Prayers for a better life transformed into sermons as a pastor.