Feltner’s Athlete’s Corner is filled to the brim with the latest, name-brand apparel and equipment for any River Valley athlete. While this image may paint an overwhelming scene, the store itself is very cozy. The side door puts you at the split between the apparel and shoes, and evidence of the store’s personality are apparent; shoe boxes are stacked waist high against the walls, display cases are crystal clear and staff casually point out preferred items to customers.
Cara and Richard Payne bought the business in 2001. They decided to keep the Feltner name for many reasons. “We are honored to carry on the tradition of the Feltner name,” Cara said.
Richard was a junior in high school when he began working as a clerk for the previous owners, John and Katy Feltner. Cara said John had branched out from his father’s WhattaBurger and opened “his own athletic and footwear business in 1983.” Richard eventually worked his way into management, and five years into the couple’s marriage, the pair bought the business.
“Richard knew his dream would be to own the store,” Cara said. “John eventually offered it to him, and after a few more years of working for him and training under him, we were able to make it happen.”
The Paynes themselves are very active in the sports community around Russellville; Richard coaches his children in soccer and still has a love for baseball, football and basketball. Cara recounts that when they were dating, they “ran in lots of races and did a couple of triathlons together.” Despite their combined love for sports, it’s arguable there’s a bigger passion behind their work at the Athlete’s Corner.
“Our main objective at Feltner’s is to provide the best products with excellent customer service,” Cara said. “We have a passion for staying current with trends and educating our customers so they can make the best decision for their needs.”
Whether a customer is looking for a hammock or a pair of shoes, Feltner’s can assist in with its “wide selection of high-quality products that are affordable for our customers’ needs.” In fact, its current selection includes sunglasses, casual clothing, workout apparel, Chacos and Keens, a selection that Cara claims is one of the best in the state.
Retail is not the only service the Paynes are providing the River Valley, though.
“We offer screen printing and embroidery in addition to our retail services,” Cara said. “We screen print sports teams’ uniforms, school groups’ T-shirts, race T-shirts and a lot more. We love coming up with the right design for your group and making your idea become a reality.”
Customers can visit Feltner’s Athlete’s Corner at 2320 W. Main St. or online at myfeltners.com.