“Our kids grew up playing tennis,” Amy said. “Once they were all grown, we wanted a family business. Tennis is what we know, so this is what we do.”
All three of their children—Justin, Price and Haley—excelled in the sport, competing in national tournaments at the collegiate and professional level. Ironically, Amy describes her family’s obsession with tennis and pathway to the family business as “a fluke.”
“When Justin was 5, we saw an ad in the paper for tennis lessons,” she said. “That’s how it all started.”
Now, Justin and Price coach lessons and work alongside their parents in the store, stringing rackets, managing inventory and assisting customers.
“Austin lacked a tennis shop in the area,” Price said. “There’s too much tennis around here to not have a shop.”
Tennis Zone is a “one stop shop,” Amy said. The store carries a variety of brands, styles and sizes of equipment suitable for beginning players to professional athletes. Their best-selling items are rackets; currently the Babolat Pure Drive, Babolat Pure Aero and Wilson Roger Federer Pro Staff are popular. Tennis Zone also sells accessories, including grips, wristbands, headbands, hats and visors.
“You can actually try the shoes on, try the clothes on, or demo a racket,” Amy said. “When you buy online, you can’t do that.”
Online retailers are Tennis Zone’s biggest competitors, according to Amy.
“We’re still working towards [making a profit], because you know, you have to compete with online sales,” Amy said. “That’s hard. Even though tennis is a small community, it’s still hard to get people to know that we’re here.”
Tennis Zone offers other services, too. For custom racket stringing, Tennis Zone guarantees a 24-hour turnaround. Customers in the market for a new racket can demo up to three at a time to determine their favorite model.
The Wintons interact with customers on a personal level. A family feel is “part of the charm,” Price said.
“We definitely plan to hand our store down to the next generation,” Amy said. “That was the whole point—to build a family business.”