Simply put, the guys who started the company were Sailor Jerry fans. They created Sailor Jerry Limited to keep alive the legacy of the man, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins.
They started it as a small mom-and-pop clothing brand in Philadelphia, collaborating with local artists to make leather goods, sneakers, t-shirts and other products featuring Sailor Jerry's flash. Since Sailor Jerry spent half his life as a sailor (and the other half tattooing sailors) it was a natural move to create a spiced rum in his name. A cult started to grow around the rum, and pretty soon, it started to outsell anything else they made.