Behind the Scenes With Music City Archery

Adaptability, innovation and an “all hands on deck” family mentality help Music City Archery thrive through all seasons.

Behind the Scenes With Music City Archery

On a warm October evening, Music City Archery is relatively quiet except for the “fwwwhhiiiitttTHUMP” of arrows burying into the thick target 20 yards away. Of the 16 lanes available, two are in use as a competition archer works on her form and a younger student is amid a private lesson. Jessica Greer watches with a keen eye, offering encouragement and gentle reinforcement to a young student. In the well-stocked pro shop in the back, her brother, Dalton, is focused on finishing a couple of hunting bows before leaving for the day.

The spacious, well-lit and colorful facility is relatively quiet for now. Within an hour or so, however, more than a dozen teenagers will filter in. They get their bows and gear assembled and ready, belt up quivers with arrows and then chat. Some parents sit on bleachers behind them, watching, talking, looking at phones. Soon, Jessica and fellow instructor Jenna Smith begin the class. Arrows begin flying, tips and instruction about form, posture, release and follow-through become the norm. After a flurry of arrows, the group walks down to retrieve them from the targets.

Almost every day is like this at Music City Archery, which is located in the vibrant and continually growing Nashville suburb of Franklin. About 20 miles south of Tennessee’s capitol city, the archery center is tucked into a spacious location in a shopping center off the city’s main artery from I-65. From its inception in 2014 when co-owners Theresa and Jeff Greer dived head-first into archery, the shop has been a mainstay in Franklin and the Midsouth.

“Like a lot of parents who have children interested in a sport or something, that’s how we got into it,” Theresa explained. “It started with bare bow in 4H and they needed coaches. We did that and began learning about everything, and then got involved with USA Archery. We needed a safe place to practice and get the right gear, try it and see what worked or what didn’t, and so we had a small place in west Nashville for about 3 years. Then we moved here to Franklin about 6 years ago and things took off.”

Have they ever.

Dalton and Jessica Greer (above) are an integral part of running the family business, which was started by their parents, Jeff and Theresa (below).
Dalton and Jessica Greer (above) are an integral part of running the family business, which was started by their parents, Jeff and Theresa (below).

How They Started

From about 3:30-5:30 p.m. on that weekday afternoon last October, it was typically quiet. The teens that filtered in for the 6 p.m. instruction session were one of several groups that meet during the week. One is a home school group that shoots about 2:30 p.m. Another couple meet at different times. Adult leagues and classes, along with individual instruction, also take up time slots on the indoor range. And, individuals who want to shoot can pop in to practice, shop, have a bow repaired or find out about what is offered.

It’s been like that for the last 6 years, especially, after the Greers moved the shop to Franklin. During my visit, a couple of hunters came in with tricked-out compound bows. One adjusted his bowsight a few times as he zipped micro-diameter arrows downrange. Another appeared to be working on his draw and anchor spot. Similar to the younger competition shooters, they were seeking improvement and relaxation in what has become a well-known, successful and welcoming home to archery enthusiasts.

Another older teen came in, saying he has a bow but had never visited the archery shop. Theresa explained some of the opportunities and leagues, and escorted him to the pro shop. By the time the guy left, he had plans to return for some work on his bow and was excited about possibly taking some lessons. The Greers see older, veteran hunters and young novices of all genders, races and abilities.

That’s what they found when they got started in archery years ago, thanks to the interest of their children Jessica and Dalton. When it was time for practices, competitions, even trips overseas for events as they grew older, Jeff and Theresa were right there with them. New countries, friends and experiences along with opened eyes and inquisitive natures propelled Music City Archery forward. They’ve taken teams around the United States as well as Mexico, Czech Republic and Nimes, France. Volunteer work on boards, such as USA Archery and the ATA Retail Council, expanded their knowledge and networks.

Jeff and Theresa have coached different USA regional and national teams. They’ve coached or been around archers who shoot barebow, recurves and compounds. At an international competition in Jamaica, the Greers met a small but determined team from Dominican Republic who were shooting recurves. The Greers and USA Archery helped the team secure compound bows, equipment and sponsorship.

“They were the first archers from Dominican Republic to compete outside the country,” Theresa said. “They were determined and winning medals and doing it right. It was fun helping them.”

Helping is a cornerstone of the Greers’ approach to their successful business.

Music City Archery doesn’t just dabble in recurves; they stock a wide selection of product and can teach you how to use it.
Music City Archery doesn’t just dabble in recurves; they stock a wide selection of product and can teach you how to use it.

Rolling With Changes

Adaptability has also been a hallmark of Music City Archery from the beginning. The Greers examine and, quite often, embrace new trends in the archery world.

Archery Tag has become quite popular for us,” Theresa explained. “It’s more relatable to kids or for someone looking for a different or new experience. It’s not the same as laser tag. We have date nights, have had some groups come in for team experiences. It’s one of the things we looked at and embraced, and it’s been a hit.”

Players in archery tag have sleek helmets that look like Stormtroopers and arrows with 3-inch-thick foam tips. Snap shots and lots of laughs are the norm. Among the other things the Greers do or are involved with include:

  • Music City Archery was host of the USA Archery Nationals in Kentucky February 15-19, 2023, which put their name and hospitality in front of many people.
  • The Greers hosted a Valentine’s Day couple’s shoot February 14 at the range. The Valentine’s event is an archery lesson for seven couples and each couple received a box of chocolates.
  • A glow-in-the-dark zombie shoot with costumes has been popular.
  • Coaching local college students interested in or competing in archery.
  • Pins awarded for different goal levels for youth and adult students in classes. Pins can be earned after achieving performance goals for scores or distances. A special shoot is held at the end of each month for another pin, all of which provide goals for students.
Beginning archers are less likely to drop the sport if they experience early success. For that reason, the Greer family focuses on helping and teaching.
Beginning archers are less likely to drop the sport if they experience early success. For that reason, the Greer family focuses on helping and teaching.

In the pro shop, Jeff knows hunters and competition shooters want the best equipment that works. As a staff, they keep up with what’s hot, talk with their industry reps and have a smartly stocked shop. Among the brands for sale are CBE, Spot Hogg, HHA, Swhacker, NAP, Bone Collector, Bowfinger, TruFire, Exact Sights, R3, Cobra, Hoyt, Galaxy, The Block, GPO and others. Affordable range rental prices give shooters or bowhunters a chance to try their gear or practice.

One big hit has been the shop’s Loyalty Program, in which shoppers accrue points that can be reimbursed at specific levels. The program is for in-store purchases only. Theresa said with today’s online shopping options, “the program is a little extra incentive to shop locally with us.”

The Greers always are seeking knowledge, which Jeff said is critical to helping with instruction.

“We have a wide range of people of different ages and skill levels,” he said. “We have different levels of instruction, from beginning to travel and advanced, among others. For me to get people to the level they want to achieve, I need to understand that level. We have a lot of people in our area from around the country, so we get a variety of skill levels. Some shot bows as kids but haven’t since, some are hunters, some never have shot at all. But they have an interest. One thing we always try to remember is with kids it’s ‘Tell me how.’ With adults it’s ‘Tell me how and why.’ That’s not hard and fast, but it generally holds true.”

The instructional archery leagues have become quite popular, for several reasons. One is that everyone there wants to be there and is interested in improving. Another is it’s similar-aged people, so the comfort level is high. A third is everyone has a good time. A few laughs, some competition, perhaps a good score that earns a pin or new goal, is all conducive to a positive experience, repeat business and good word-of-mouth advertising.

“The Novice Adult League is new this year and is going really well,” Theresa said. “Adults who are new to archery can shoot league at 9 meters or 18 meters on the 60cm target. This has been a lot of fun, and some of the archers have advanced to shooting a 40cm target. A few even competed at the state tournament in January.

“We also have added a 6-week adult archery class that has been a big hit! This class is for people new to archery or those with some experience. We have a good variety of people attending and even have a waiting list. We will offer a new session every 6 weeks.”

Jeff said evolution is part of Music City Archery’s success and will continue to play a big role in the future.

“We’re always looking for fresh, new ways to present archery to people,” he said. “If we sell someone a bow but don’t give them an opportunity to shoot it or learn, it won’t become a priority. When people see success, they want to be part of it. Learning and improving is a path to that success, and we want to help them achieve it.”

Archery Tag combines elements of dodgeball with the skills of shooting a bow. Music City Archery provides all equipment, including safety gear such as these helmets.
Archery Tag combines elements of dodgeball with the skills of shooting a bow. Music City Archery provides all equipment, including safety gear such as these helmets.

Sidebar: How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

One of the things Jeff and Theresa Greer have successfully done at Music City Archery is to watch for trends, reassess how they do some things and then adapt with changes — sometimes out of their comfort zone — to keep the lights on and customers coming through the door.

The Greers, along with their children, Dalton and Jessica, keep up with what’s happening in the archery industry, on social media and what customers are asking about in their shop. Whether it’s competition shooting, instruction, hunting, recreation or something else, being able to adapt and change has been a key factor for their business. Archery Tag, for example, or maybe a glow-in-the-dark Zombie costume night, might not be something your shop has space for, but adding a loyalty points program for discounts on future purchases could be an easy thing to do.

“That’s how we’ve always done it” sometimes is one of the worst statements to make, or hear, about any business. Sometimes the tried-and-true definitely pays off. And yet, if you have the chance to purchase and learn a new computer system that makes your accounting or inventory process better, refusing to learn it “because I don’t wanna” is imprudent. Nostalgia for the good ol’ days is fun to discuss with friends, but failing to change or being dragged kicking and screaming isn’t good business.

Change is difficult for anyone. Young people adapt quickly. Some adults can do it, too. But for most of us, we find our comfort zone and cruise along. Getting out of that comfort zone is tough, whether it’s at home or in your business. We often have a fear of failure and the unknown, or a lack of desire to learn something new. But once presented with new ideas and how they can help, positive impacts might result. Consider it like a fresh coat of paint on the building or your house. You might like what you have, and dread the painting process, but once it’s done, things look brighter.

Here are some ways to break free from “Nah, that’s how we’ve always done it” and be open to new ideas that can help you change and grow.

Take a Breath — Remember when we were young and were told, “If you get anxious or angry, take a deep breath and count to 10 before saying anything.” That’s good advice when presented with a new idea, trend or something out of your comfort zone. Take a deep breath, either literally or figuratively, and wait a moment before answering. Don’t discount it immediately, even if it seems crazy or improbable.

Pros and Cons List — What are the pros and cons of a new idea or possibility? Make a list of each with the reasons for or against. Doing this with a pen and paper, instead of just in your head, can further help you think about them, what you could or couldn’t do, and the impacts.

Seek Advice — Let’s say you have several customers ask about a specific product. You’re likely to then check into that with a sales rep or online (or both), and possibly add the item to your store. The same can be done with new ideas. Do some research. Ask friends or others in the industry. Contact the Archery Trade Association to get advice, or perhaps data if it’s something trendy. The more information you can get, and learn from, the better.

Don’t Be the “No” Guy — At some point in our lives, we’ve all been around someone who doesn’t want to do anything, go anywhere, and isn’t interested in trying anything new. Same vacation spot, same restaurant and meal (probably the same booth), same this and that. We usually shrug with an, “Eh, that’s just how Bob is” or we quit hanging around with them. Right? Don’t be the “No” guy and decline, ignore or pooh-pooh everything immediately. Assess, consider, learn and then decide.

Small Bites — The flashy BowBowGizzzmo from Dave’s Big Company could be the next big thing, but you’re not completely sure. Can you get just a few of them to put in the store and see how they sell? If so, make the investment. They might take off like a rocket, or fizzle and sit there. Find out the minimum you can order and give it a try. Will every kind of BowBowGizzzmo be a superstar? Of course not. But strikeouts and singles are building blocks to hitting home runs.

Embrace the Change — The way to grow is by trying new things, working hard and embracing the awkwardness. If you’ve ever watched the popular television show “Shark Tank,” the entrepreneurs asking for investments from five billionaires span a gamut of emotions: deep confidence, spunk, snark, positivity, fear, doubt, egotism and in some instances, lack of awareness. They ask for an investment and some get an offer from a shark, but then balk or turn it down. They fear giving up their control or even part of the company they built. Embracing change is terribly difficult for a lot of us. Embrace the change, work through it, examine the pros and cons, and then make the best decision.


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