A longtime Lady Vols store that started with a sweatshirt sketch and a request by Tennessee’s legendary basketball coach is leaving its Blount County roots and relocating to West Knoxville in a partnership between Orange Mountain Designs and Alumni Hall.
“Lady Vol fans are loyal and devoted,” said Terri Holder, who started the business in 2008 in her Blount County home at the behest of the late Pat Summitt. “I am thrilled that a business that I started 14 years ago because of my love for the Lady Vol sports has grown where we can offer even more options for student-athletes, families, friends and fans to wear and showcase the Lady Vols logos and marks with pride across all Lady Vol sports.”
The move follows a partnership between Holder and Jeff Goodfriend, owner of Alumni Hall, to expand the store’s footprint to a highly visible location. Orange Mountain Designs will now carry merchandise representing all nine Lady Vols sports – basketball, golf, rowing, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field and volleyball. The store also will add retail lines, such as home goods, including throw pillows and plates.
Orange Mountain Designs, which had store locations in Maryville and then Alcoa, will open in The Gallery of Knoxville at 7240 Kingston Pike, Suite 192. The shopping center also includes restaurants and other specialty shops so foot traffic will increase – and also visibility for the Lady Vols brand.
One of first items ever offered by Orange Mountain Designs was a sweatshirt with a pirate and parrot theme and the words, ‘Ahoy Mate, The Treasure is Eight.’ Summitt then won her eighth national title in 2008 in Tampa, Florida, and the store expanded its offering for the next decade while enduring the iconic coach’s diagnosis and then death from Alzheimer’s disease – and a global pandemic. The intent then became to preserve the Lady Vols brand and honor Summitt.
The grand opening is Saturday, Oct. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and special guests will include women’s basketball coach Kellie Harper, softball coach Karen Weekly, UT Women’s Athletics Director Emeritus Joan Cronan and Lady Vols from different sports, including Jaida Thomas and Giselle Washington (soccer); Bailey Davis (golf), who just tied the program record at Tennessee with the lowest 18-hole score after shooting a 63 on Monday at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship in Knoxville; JaKya Moore (volleyball); and Tess Darby, Jordan Horston, Rickea Jackson, Tamari Key, Justine Pissott, Sara Puckett, Karoline Striplin and Jordan Walker (basketball).
A new Orange Mountain Designs store logo also has been created. The store will continue to support UT women athletes with in-store meet and greets and the selling of name, image and likeness (NIL) apparel for players. Alumni Hall, which has three locations in Knoxville, also carries Tennessee and Lady Vol gear in the other stores, but Orange Mountain Designs will be dedicated to the Lady Vols logo and sports.
Holder and Goodfriend also will be in attendance at the grand opening.
“We are proud to be partnering with Terri to add new elements to Orange Mountain Designs like additional apparel options, accessories and home good choices for shoppers to have the largest and best Lady Vols selection and shopping experience,” Goodfriend said. “Our combined resources and knowledge base will deliver a unique element to support Lady Vol fans, current Tennessee female student-athletes and women’s athletics.
“Tennessee has the fan base to support women’s athletics in this way.”
FALL FESTIVAL: For those who want to take a trip to the Smoky Mountains, the Lady Vol Boost (HER) Club will host a fall festival in Sevierville in mid-October and offer interactive experiences such as shooting hoops with basketball players, playing putt-putt with a golfer and shooting at a goal with a soccer player.
“This is part of our efforts to help student-athletes in all women’s sports at Tennessee,” Holder said. “The Lady Vol Boost (HER) Club is another entity that traces directly to Pat Summitt and is part of her legacy. With the NIL rules, we can directly benefit these young women and allow fans to have access they never could before.”
The festival will be held Sunday, Oct. 16, at Elvira’s Café located at 4143 Wears Valley Road from 2-6 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for children and free for kids under 3 and are available here. So far, more than 100 tickets have been sold. Lady Vol Boost (HER) Club members will receive a free commemorative T-shirt.
Multiple players will be in attendance from different sports, including the basketball newcomers. The event also will answer once and for all: how tall is Tamari Key? The senior center from Cary, North Carolina, was listed at 6-5 when she arrived on campus. The 2022-23 roster lists her as 6-6. Key may be closer to 6-7. A measurement will be taken of Key – and sophomore Jillian Hollingshead, who is listed as 6-5 – at the festival.
See y’all there.
Maria M. Cornelius, a writer/editor at Moxley Carmichael since 2013, started her journalism career at the Knoxville News Sentinel and began writing about the Lady Vols in 1998. In 2016, she published her first book, “The Final Season: The Perseverance of Pat Summitt,” through The University of Tennessee Press. She can be reached at [email protected]