When Lorraine and Tracy Dotson opened the Fuquay Sports Shop in September 1997 on South Main Street, they knew they were filling a void in town.
But, the longstanding Fuquay-Varina business announced in January that it will close its doors on Feb. 28.
In the 1990s, all three of the Dotsons’ sons were in sports with the Fuquay-Varina Athletic Association; the oldest son played basketball. But the Dotsons couldn’t find solid white basketball shorts anywhere. That’s when Tracy knew something had to be done. He didn’t think it was necessary to travel to Cary or Raleigh for sporting equipment.
“We thought there was a need in the community,” Lorraine said.
Thus, the Fuquay Sports Shop was born. And the shop owners made sure to stock solid white basketball shorts for FVAA families.
In 2006, the shop solidified its importance in the community with the introduction of the Orange Crush t-shirts.
Some seniors from Fuquay-Varina High School came to Lorraine and asked for shirts that had Orange Crush printed on them. While she had 12 seniors on a list to buy the t-shirts, only half actually purchased them. So, Lorraine put the shirts out on display and they sold immediately.
“It just took off,” she said. “It’s huge.”
Now, there’s an Orange Crush club at FVHS and shirts are sold to high schoolers, middle schoolers and local Boy Scouts. Students in the high school’s club will decide whether to have a “whiteout” or “blackout” game where the entire student section shows their FVHS pride in specific colored shirts. And they all purchase their shirts from the Fuquay Sports Shop.
Lorraine said she and Tracy are always ready to personalize shirts for students and have them ready for the Friday night game.
But, there’s a real possibility FVHS students won’t have the luxury of buying their shirts locally anymore with the closure of the business.
“Everybody’s very disappointed,” Lorraine said. “They don’t want the Orange Crush to die.”
The Dotsons are moving to Asheville to be closer to their sons. And while customers understand, Lorraine said many have been sad to see the shop close.
The Dotsons have had the shop on the market for a couple of years, hoping to sell at least the trophy-making business or the printing business. But they haven’t had any bites in the tough economy.
Lorraine said she is going to miss the people of Fuquay-Varina the most. She has loved serving the community.
“I’m sad to close it,” she said. “I believe people are going to miss the personal touch we’ve had throughout the years.”
However, she and her husband are excited to start the next chapter of their lives. And they appreciate the overwhelming support they have received since they opened the shop and they hope there’s a possibility to pass the torch to someone else locally.
“We’re going to miss everybody,” Lorraine said.
Almost everything in the store, excluding cornholes, sleds, trophies and anything with logos, like the Orange Crush shirts, is on sale now through the store’s closure at the end of the month. The shop is located at 501 Broad St. in Varina. Call the shop at 919-567-1583 for more information.
Contact Kelly Griffith at email@example.com or 919-552-5675.