Funny car driver branches out from behind the wheel
FAIRLAWN – Matt Hagan is a guy used to seeing his name on things.
Since 2008, Hagan has driven a car adorning his name in the NHRA Funny Car series, and in 2011, he became the second youngest driver to add his name to the list of series champions.
On Monday, the 31-year-old Christiansburg farmer saw his name on a different venue, as the Matt Hagan Outdoors retail store officially opened its doors for business.
“For where we’re at and for what we’re doing and for the farms and the community and just everybody that hunts around here, it just seemed like the perfect fit,” Hagan said.
The 6,000 square-foot Western-themed shop is located just across from the Kroger location on Lee Highway in Fairlawn.
It features a full line of boots and apparel from Rocky Brands – one of the major sponsors of Hagan’s Dodge Charger R/T funny car – as well as a variety of other Western-themed apparel and products that are hard to find elsewhere in the area.
“We didn’t want it to look like anything else in the New River Valley,” said Al Shelor, the store’s general manager.
As a part of that goal, the store features a customer lounge with free coffee and free gift wrapping, Shelor said.
Ariat, Durango and Georgia Boot products join their Rocky counterparts in the men’s section, while the women’s section is highlighted by Rocky’s 4EurSole products, a shoe line specifically geared for the needs of nurses.
Browning products are also available in the store, which Shelor said should increase once the store receives its license to sell firearms, which he expects to happen around the middle of January. At that point, Shelor said he expects the store to expand to include a gun shop.
The store also features a selection of Western-themed jewelry, highlighted by the Lizzy J’s Bullet Jewelry, in which pieces are made from shotgun shells.
“We wanted it to be a destination for people to come and buy things they can’t get elsewhere,” Shelor said.
Hagan said he liked that many of the products available in the store were items he could see himself using in his day-to-day life.
He was most happy about bringing a business to the area.
“It’s just cool to have a new business going in Radford …. In this economy and everything else, to be able to open up something versus closing something down,” Hagan said.
He also doesn’t mind seeing his name on the new venue.
“You know, it’s awesome to have your name on something other than just inside a race car,” he said.
The store is currently open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. A grand opening celebration and sale is scheduled for Dec. 6.
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