Author: Cassie Scott
Getting certified to teach archery boosts your store’s marketing value, provides your staff valuable skills and knowledge, and provides access to programs that open your door to new customers and greater profits.
Chip and Kathleen Hemphill are proof that retailers can boost their business by getting certified to teach archery. They own and operate Hoot and Holler Archery in Bossier City, Louisiana. They’ve always focused their attention on retailing, but earned their archery-instructor certifications and began offering archery programs three years ago. They now host clubs, classes, lessons and more, which steadily boosted customer numbers, equipment sales and personal satisfaction.
“We have way more customers now than we ever did,” Kathleen said. “We have a 10-lane range, and from 3 to 9 p.m. the range is constantly being used. We average 20 kids per night, and have at least 20 adults on a given evening, too.”
As their programming developed and their customer base grew, so did their retailing. Kathleen said equipment sales increased about 300 percent after they began teaching archery. They’ve sold over 40 Genesis bows and 60 dozen Genesis arrows since December, and believe they sell more Easton equipment than any other shop in Louisiana.
Chip and Kathleen Hemphill are proof that retailers can boost their business by getting certified to teach archery. They own and operate Hoot and Holler Archery in Bossier City, Louisiana. Photo Courtesy Hoot and Holler Archery.
It all started with instructor certification. Chip earned USA Archery Level 2 and Level 3 certifications so he could start a Junior Olympic Archery Development club at Hoot and Holler Archery in 2014. JOAD gives kids a place to pursue archery beyond National Archery in the Schools Programs.
Once the JOAD program was running smoothly, Chip and Kathleen tried another new program after getting certified as Scholastic 3-D Archery instructors at the 2018 ATA Trade Show. That enabled them to create an S3DA club to give customers more opportunities to compete.
“Having an instructor certification helps us build for our future,” Kathleen said. “We can introduce kids to archery at an early age. If they stick with it, we’ll have customers for several years.”
Kids aren’t the only ones getting involved. As the shop attracted new customers, others in the community grew curious and started to “poke their heads in.” Kathleen said five families shoot regularly. Their program’s performance made their shop more credible among bowhunters. They also host the 4-H Club on Friday nights, which attracts over 40 people.
More customers means more money, of course, and archery programs are a good source of supplemental income during hunting’s offseason. Still, Kathleen says it’s not all about money.
She said giving lessons, teaching classes and hosting tournaments is a lot of work, but it’s fun. “It’s also fulfilling,” she said. “We have fun, make memories and get to watch our archers learn and succeed. That’s the most gratifying factor. It’s more rewarding than money.”
Kids aren’t the only ones getting involved. As the shop attracted new customers, others in the community grew curious and started to “poke their heads in.” Photo Credit: Shannon Rikard.
She encourages retailers to become certified instructors if they want to build a strong archery community and inspire their town. However, she warns that results require work.
“You can’t just get a certification and expect the public to come,” Kathleen said. “You need to go out there and get people involved. If you help your community, your community will help and support you.”
Kathleen said Chip spent years helping schools with NASP, and regularly visits churches, community events, 4-H Clubs and Boy Scouts of America meetings to talk about archery and how to get started.
He’s also dedicated to improving his coaching skills, which is why he’s pursuing a USA Archery Level 4 certification in 2018. “The more experience and expertise he has, the more he can offer and teach our students,” Kathleen said. “We want them to improve and achieve greatness, so we have to advance as coaches to provide better instruction.”
As the Hemphills show, retailers have many reasons to get certified to teach archery. Visit the USA Archery website to find a certification course near you. If you want to wait, you can get certified at the 2019 ATA Trade Show.
For more information on starting recreational archery programs, check out these articles: