Archery Headquarters blends hobby and sport for all ages, skill levels

Chandler archery business aims to create fun for families. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler archery business aims to create fun for families. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)

Chandler archery business aims to create fun for families. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Randy Phillips owns and runs Archery Headquarters in Chandler. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
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One side of the business is dedicated to kids. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Randy Phillips sensed his business was changing around 2012. Phillips opened Archery Headquarters in January 1990 as a retail shop and range for people who were professional archers; the business did not center around hobbyists. But in 2012, Phillips began to see more and more parents flood into the business asking after lessons for their children. The kids wanted to be like the new cinematic hero they had just seen at the movies.

“The year ‘The Hunger Games’ came out changed everything,” Phillips said. “Kids wanted to be Katniss. There was this big change really rapidly in the kind of people who were coming in to the store.”

From there, Phillips sat down and worked to find a way to meet the needs of this new clientele. He came up with the Archery Academy, which serves beginners and morphed into multiple classes a week serving dozens of kids. Then, Phillips said, adults became interested, too, and so an adult league was formed.

“It’s very social for the adults and honestly for the kids,” Phillips said. “I work with the Archery Trade Association and brought this model of the academy to other retailers, and so now more exist in different places.”

But that part of Archery Headquarters was hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, when group classes and events suddenly ground to a halt. The business stayed afloat through retail sales—which went through the roof.


"People were looking for outdoor activity, and a lot of them turned to archery,” he said. “They would go camping and get there and realize you can only take so many walks before that gets a little old, and they would see other people with bows and arrows and find their way to us. It was a blessing. That’s what kept us going.”

Phillips said archery is a sport and hobby that anyone—of any measure of skill or ability—can appreciate and participate in.

“It’s a great equalizer,” he said. “It’s a counter-culture sport. You don’t have to have physical size and strength to be good at it. Anyone can get good at it.”