It’s easy to overlook Carriers Skate Shop in Downtown Plano. The non-descript door at 1423 K Ave. doesn’t let on that it’s one of the few stores in Texas selling top-of-the line skates. But those who are passionate about skating know, and they’ve been flocking there since it opened in February.
Owner Fritz Peitzner first got into skating when he was 13. His mom brought him with her to work in Downtown Plano one day, and he ventured over to Eisenbergs Skatepark. Two years later he was teaching lessons there. His father worried about him getting hurt.
“My dad paid for guitar lessons, soccer lessons, all sorts of lessons and I never got good at any of them,” Fritz recalled. “He didn’t want me to do this, but I was at Eisenbergs every day, and I was fully addicted.”
Fritz became well known in the skating community. For years he was a professional who traveled as far as Europe and South America for competitions. He was living his dream, but over time the life turned out to be not as glamorous as expected. He was broke and spent many nights sleeping on couches, floors and even in a Peruvian skate shop.
“It was cool, and I got to learn a lot, but slowly I started getting to this point where I was like, ‘Man, I’ve got to do something with my life,’” he said.
Fritz returned home to Plano unsure of his next move. He got a job at the airport, worked other odd jobs and spent his free time skating. One day a person noticed his specialty wheels and asked where he could get them. Fritz called a friend in South America.
“My friend said, ‘What are you doing? If I can make it down here in Peru, you can definitely make it up there,’” Fritz recalled.
He got in contact with the supplier and ordered an initial 10 pairs of skates. They sold quickly. Before long he was selling all sorts of skates and equipment from the back of his van. He worked social media, passed out flyers and talked to people he met while skating.
As his business grew, Fritz began storing inventory in his old bedroom at his parents’ house. Before long his mother got tired of the piles of equipment and constant UPS deliveries. She had a downtown storefront where she used to run a beauty salon. These days she works by appointment only, so she decided to let Fritz take it over. He hasn’t looked back since.
Business has grown as local skaters learn about Carriers through word of mouth. But Fritz isn’t looking for just hardcore enthusiasts. He wants to get everyone involved – whether they want to do stunts, skate for distance or just have fun with old-fashioned roller skates. For beginners, he offers a free lesson to anyone who buys skates.
“I don’t want people to come in here, buy a pair of skates and never see them again,” he said. “What I try to get people to do is become a part of the scene, because there is a scene here and we’re trying to build it, grow it and make sure people continue skating.”
That scene includes roller rinks, particularly Thunderbird in Plano, where people of all ages go for recreation and exercise as well as dancing and roller derby. Area skate parks and trails, especially Dallas’ Katy Trail and Plano’s Skate Park at Carpenter Park, also attract many skaters.
In addition to a wide selection of inline and roller skates, Carriers also offers services like wheel rotation and a variety of skating clothing and accessories.
“It’s been going great,” Fritz said. “We are a specialty shop where you can get good skates and the opportunity for lessons and information. I think it’s something that the Dallas area really needed.”Carriers Skate Shop >