Archery Retailers: What Do You Find Most Rewarding?

We asked three veteran retailers: For you, what are the most rewarding aspects of archery retailing? Here’s what they had to say.

Archery Retailers: What Do You Find Most Rewarding?

Customers tabulating their range scores at Barefoot Archery in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Jessie Smith

Barefoot Archery

Charlotte, North Carolina

I’ve worked rewarding jobs in the past, but none compare to archery retailing. I bought my shop 25 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I’ve never gotten up in the morning and hated going to work at the shop. In fact, I look forward to it daily. Archery is just such a positive thing.

I’ve always had a great time with bows and arrows. Archery was my hobby when I worked previous jobs. I’m passionate about it, and I was fortunate enough to turn it from a hobby into a full-time livelihood.

I genuinely enjoy watching people shoot and have fun with their bows, but I also love selling archery equipment. In many cases, it’s equipment I use myself, although I offer a generous selection of merchandise to fit as many needs as possible. For example, I love Hoyt bows, but I also offer and sell Mathews.

Perhaps the greatest reward is seeing success pictures and hearing my customers’ stories. I love seeing a bow I set up laying across a big buck in a photo. Likewise, I love to see someone holding a first-place trophy in one hand and one of our bows in the other. Customers regularly call me to share how thrilled they are with the way their bow is shooting, and that makes my job so fulfilling.

Of course, every retail job involves customers who’re difficult to deal with. Every now and again I encounter an unreasonable customer who I can’t satisfy no matter what I do or how hard I try. That’s a negative point about this job, but my good customers far outweigh the unreasonable ones, so it’s fairly easy to remain positive all the time, even when occasionally dealing with difficult customers.

Ross Anderson

Buckhorn Archery

Atoka, Ok 

Relationships. The customers I get to meet and serve here at the shop make this line of work very rewarding. Many of these folks become great friends.

It’s also neat to see people come together on the common ground of archery. Archery has a way of bringing folks together into a positive setting, and lasting relationships naturally form.

I find it rewarding to meet newcomers to the sport and help them get started on the right track. I got started with archery at a young age, so I’m passionate about passing it on to the next generation.

Every day at the shop is different. Sure, we have routine store hours but each day brings new challenges. Maybe it’s a customer who needs help with their form, or a bow that’s tricky to tune. Challenges like these prevent this job from becoming mundane. They keep us on our toes.

It’s great to see folks enjoying archery. Often, it’s a break from their routine schedules. Archery genuinely makes folks happy. It creates a positive atmosphere for everyone.

When I’m facing a problem, my customers always keep me positive. Whether it’s someone who is pumped about a new bow or a successful hunt, I can share in their excitement and return to my dilemma with a new attitude.

I’ve learned that I can always work through problems, and when I do, I often get to see the rewards of my hard work when customers succeed using equipment I’ve worked on. Those things keep me thrilled about my job.

Brady Lesher

Kinsey’s Outdoors

Mount Joy, PA

First and foremost, I love working in a profession and career I’m passionate about. I’ve worked in retail for more than 20 years, and most were spent selling products I didn’t enjoy or working with customers I couldn’t relate with. It was always very difficult and unfulfilling.

I live for archery and bowhunting, and it’s very rewarding to handle these products on a daily basis. It’s a great environment that I love to work in. Not many people can say they love to go to work, but my staff and I genuinely do. I go to work each day knowing I’m going to be selling products I use myself and talking with folks who share my  passion. That’s tough to beat.

There’s also a level of joy and excitement that comes with purchasing a new bow. Getting to share in my customers’ excitement is rewarding for me. Assisting them in choosing all the right equipment for their needs and setting it all up for them is awesome.

Beyond that, it’s a positive experience each time a customer succeeds, whether in bowhunting or target archery, using equipment I helped them select and set up. I don’t want to appear arrogant or boastful, so I don’t say anything suggesting that I had something to do with their successes. They did the work to get the encounter or opportunity and closed the deal. Still, I know deep down inside that my expertise played a part in their success, and that always feels great.


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