Many business owners are in the shooting industry because they love firearms and the shooting sports. They want to teach people how to protect themselves with firearms and share their passion for personal defense. The shooting sports, whether hunting, plinking or competing in shooting competitions, are also just plain fun. However, expanding beyond firearms and adding a new dimension to your business can seriously increase your clientele, as the operators of Faith Armory in Temecula, Calif., are discovering.
Owner Nate Guy opened Faith Armory in 2008, and moved to a larger location in 2013. The expansion allowed Guy to assess the needs of his customers, and he made the decision to add a full-service archery range and pro shop to his business. The focus on archery has greatly increased business and proven to be a huge draw for women and youth, according to staff member Kristen Corona. “Archery is becoming really popular,” Corona noted. “The kids league is blowing up.”
Faith Archery (under the umbrella of Faith Armory) offers a youth league for 10- to 18-year-olds with 45- to 60-minute sessions held three days a week. Youth can rent equipment or use their own. There is also an adult league that meets once a week, and on Wednesdays women can enjoy a free Ladies Night on the range. The indoor archery range has been a big draw with the women and kids leagues because it’s a family-oriented activity, Corona stated.
Customers are also enthusiastic about the bow-techs onsite who offer advice and perform repairs. “This has been super beneficial for the business to have the bow-techs there for the leagues and customers,” Corona said. “Sometimes they can fix the problem while the customer uses a rental on the range.”
Faith Archery sells numerous types of bows, with Mathews and Easton bows being among the most popular. The Mathews Jewel bow is a standout because it’s designed specifically for women and comes in colors ranging from pink and teal, to Lost Camo and black. The Jewel features a shorter draw and lighter frame to accommodate women with petite figures. It also offers the latest in bow technology with the Grid Lock, Reverse Assist Roller Guard, Harmonic Stabilizer, Perimeter Weighted Cam and Dead End String Stop.
The Shoot Like A Girl Bow Case is a popular add-on item for women buying a bow, Corona noted. Its rugged polyester rip-stop construction, adjustable bow securement system, arrow pocket and eight gear pockets make it a top-seller at Faith Archery.
If you’re looking for a family- and women-friendly way to increase business, an investment in an archery range or products might be the answer. The space, cost and regulations involved in an archery range are substantially less than those involved in opening a gun range, and it could provide you with a new way to introduce outdoor-minded women to all of the shooting sports.
Highlight Non-Lethal Defense Options
The Armory side of the Faith operation does a brisk business selling non-lethal defense options and personal-defense classes to women. “We have a huge pepper spray display and the keychain-style for purse carry is our most popular,” Corona noted. Sabre Pepper Spray in the pink canister is one of their best-selling items, she added.
Another rising personal-defense option at Faith Armory is Benchmade’s feminine-style knives. The Mini-Griptilian is a great choice for women and is available in pink to help support breast cancer awareness. Benchmade’s lifetime warranty and quality products make them highly sought after, Corona said. Benchmade also offers many custom options so customers can find a knife to fit their own personal style — a huge plus when marketing knives to women.
Personal-defense training is another way Faith Armory reaches out to women. They offer a free handgun safety course, CCW classes, beginner and advanced knife training and beginner and advanced women’s personal defense classes. Corona said every time they hold classes they promote products to support them. Local radio is the main form of advertising for Faith Armory, Corona added, but they also reach current customers through an email newsletter.
Clothing Options For Comfort And Style
Woman archers will love Próis’ new Artemis competitive archery shirt that combines functionality with style, comfort and performance. Built by women passionate about the sport, the Próis Development Team focused on the details to ensure women archery enthusiasts could focus on the bull’s-eye. The Artemis is constructed of a lightweight and breathable polyester-lycra blend. The sleek athletic cut is designed to move with a woman’s body as she shoots, and the shirt includes an elasticized back pocket to hold various items without interfering with the shot.
For comfort and mobility, women can pair the Artemis with Próis’ new Adventure Pants. These pants were created by women for women, and are designed to carry through a multitude of tasks, from a day at the range to a day in the field. Since these pants are not just a cut-down version of a man’s pant, they sit at a woman’s natural waist and have room in the hips and thighs for unrestricted movement.
Made of a polyester/spandex blend, the Adventure Pants are a lightweight, stretchable athletic pant designed to keep women cool and comfortable during any activity. Special features on the pants include deep front pockets and zippered back pockets. Because Próis thinks of everything, the pants cuff-line features an elastic drawstring as well as locking cord to keep pants tight to the boots. Available in either stone or khaki, the Adventure Pants are sized XS to XL.
Looking for high-performance apparel for your women customers? Yukon Gear offers a line of hunting clothing that is sure to appeal to the outdoorswoman. Outerwear includes an insulated parka and bib in Mossy Oak camo with pink accents. Both items are windproof, waterproof and breathable, and are constructed of a lightweight, durable and quiet fabric. The parka and bibs offer plenty of zippered pockets to carry hunting accessories.
Yukon Gear’s ladies apparel is rounded out with T-shirts, hoodies and fleeces in Mossy Oak and Mossy Oak pink camo.
By Lisa Parsons-Wraith
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