Medusa Skates

The window display at Medusa Skates rotates themes throughout the year, such as this display with vintage blue suede skates.

The window display at Medusa Skates rotates themes throughout the year, such as this display with vintage blue suede skates.

Owner Julie “Glitter” Hunter learned how to create custom skates for customers. Owner Julie “Glitter” Hunter learned how to create custom skates for customers.[/caption]

What began as a desire to play an aggressive sport ultimately led Julie Hunter to leave her career as a landscape architect and open her own roller skate shop.

Nine years ago, Hunter—who goes by Glitter, a shortened version of her roller derby name, Glitterotica—joined the Hellcats, one of the teams in the Texas Roller Derby/Texas Lonestar Rollergirls and fell in love with the sport.

“I started [Medusa Skates] on the side to see: Was there a market? Did I enjoy it?” she said. “I ended up loving it.”

For a year and a half the business operated out of Hunter’s garage before she opened the brick-and-mortar location in August 2012. Running a small business is stressful, Hunter said, but she credits her customers for her success in the niche industry.

“I get people from all over Texas and whoever comes into Austin for South by Southwest [Music and Media Conference] and conventions, so I’ll get people from all over the world,” she said. “It’s been bigger than I thought it was going to be.”

The shop sells roller skates, inline skates, socks, clothing, accessories and protective gear. Hunter traveled to Las Vegas to learn how to create custom skates. Clients pick out the boots, wheel plate, wheels and laces for Hunter to create. She said it is no easy task to ensure proper alignment.

“One-sixteenth [of an inch] over can really make a difference on your balance,” she said.

Once a customer’s skates are ready, Hunter photographs the pair and posts a photo on the business’s Facebook page as a virtual runway.

“It’s also to show people, ‘Look at these combinations [of parts],’ because everything you see online really isn’t going to show you all the combinations you can do,” she said.

Medusa Skates’ clientele does not just include roller derby skaters. Hunter said she has customers who skate recreationally or for fitness as well as inline skaters.

“They remember skating as a kid and liking it as exercise,” she said. “A lot of parents whose kids decide to skate, they want to go with them.”

Medusa Skates, 3515 Hyridge Drive, 512-203-7203,
Hours: Tue., Thu. and Fri. noon-6 p.m.; Wed. noon-8 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; closed Sun.-Mon.

By Amy Denney

Managing Editor, Austin metro

Amy has worked for Community Impact Newspaper since September 2010, serving as reporter and later senior editor for the Northwest Austin edition as well as covering transportation in the Austin metro. She is now managing editor for the 10 publications in the Central Texas area from Georgetown to New Braunfels.


Williamson County data shows there are only 2% of intensive care unit beds available for coronavirus hospitalizations. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Williamson County drops to 13 available ICU beds as coronavirus cases climb

County data shows there are only 2% of intensive care unit beds available for coronavirus hospitalizations.

Round Rock ISD released enrollment information for its virtual learning program July 29. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
Round Rock ISD releases virtual learning enrollment information

Round Rock ISD released enrollment information for its fall 2021 virtual learning program July 29.

Galen College of Nursing rendering
New nursing college to open campus at Austin-Round Rock border

Galen College of Nursing will open with three programs to offer students.

Public schools cannot require students, teachers, parents, and other staff members or visitors to wear masks after June 4, Gov. Greg Abbott declared in an executive order issued May 18. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Leander ISD 'highly recommends' masks; tax-free weekend tips and more Austin-area news

Read the latest business and education news from the Central Texas area.

Sinaloan seafood restaurant El Coco Pirata is now open in Northwest Austin. (Community Impact Newspaper)
New Mexican seafood spot El Coco Pirata now open in Northwest Austin

El Coco Pirata serves classic Sinaloan seafood dishes.

School supplies will be exempt from the 8.25% sales tax Aug. 6-8. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
What to know before the statewide tax-free weekend Aug. 6-8

Customers will not have to pay the standard 8.25% sales tax on select clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks under $100.

Photo of the Sobering Center
Travis County moves forward with plans for mental health diversion program at Sobering Center

The program would divert people experiencing mental health crises away from jail and towards supportive services following low-level offenses.

Baylor Scott & White Pflugerville
Ascension, Baylor Scott & White to require all employees be fully vaccinated against coronavirus by fall

Ascension and Baylor Scott & White have announced all eligible employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the coming months. 

Austin City Council will convene for a regular meeting July 29, its first since mid-June. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin City Hall notebook: Council to look at downtown safety, homelessness and budgeting in return from meetings break

The first regular council meeting since mid-June features a packed agenda and opportunity for resident feedback on Austin's proposed budget.

Photo of a hand holding a vaccine vial
As COVID-19 hospitalizations track upward, Austin Public Health renews call for vaccinations

APH also mirrors the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidance for vaccinated individuals to wear masks in some circumstances.

The request to table talks regarding designated campsites came one week after city staff detailed two properties that could be used for such an initiative. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Ellis, Harper-Madison call for halt to Austin's 'Band-Aid' sanctioned homeless encampment plans

The East and Southwest Austin representatives shared their thoughts on the process one week after city properties in their districts were tapped as workable encampment sites.