This Gilroy business is devoted to one of mankind’s ancient skills

GILROY, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: A goat bust wears a hat with an arrow in it at Predator's Archery in Gilroy, Calif., Friday, July 22, 2022. (Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group)

Predator’s Archery in Gilroy sits between two shopping malls that include a Big 5 Sporting Goods and Costco — usually big competition for niche brick-and-mortar businesses like Curtis Campisi’s shop.

After all, why spend hundreds of dollars on a custom bow and arrow and in-person lessons when you can just head over to the big-box stores for a cheaper one and flip on a few YouTube videos for pointers?

Nonsense, says Campisi.

“One thing about archery equipment, it has to be custom fit to the individual,” he said. “You just can’t pick a bow up off the shelf.”

And the virtual classes?

“Trying to learn to swim from YouTube, you’re guaranteed to drown. That’s the same thing with archery.”

GILROY, CALIFORNIA – JULY 22: A goat bust wears a hat with an arrow in it at Predator’s Archery in Gilroy, Calif., Friday, July 22, 2022. (Shae Hammond/Bay Area News Group) 

It’s the commitment and attention to detail that has allowed Campisi — owner of Predator’s Archery shop and range since 1993 along with his late partner Mike Pierce — to build a thriving business on Monterey Road devoted to one of mankind’s most ancient skills. We sat down with him to discuss how he got into the archery business, why the sport is accessible to so many and the fascinating story about why he has a foam dinosaur in front of his shop door.

Q What is the story of you getting into this sport?

A So I saved up my money when I was a kid. I went to Kmart and I bought a fiberglass bow and arrow. Where we lived in Santa Clara at the time, the backyard was fairly big. And I used to shoot back there. In junior high, I bought my first bow out of a catalog and I don’t know anything. There was no archery shop nearby. The bow was actually technically too big for me. In high school I met a couple of other guys that used to go up to Mount Madonna Park. They had compound bows. Now this is back in ’83 or ’82. So then we started going up there and in my college years (at SJSU), I ended up joining the archery club. Then I started selling some archery equipment to the club members and just had a little business going.

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Q And when did that turn into your business today?

A I had kind of partnered with another archery shop in San Leandro, and he was wholesaling me stuff. And so I had asked him, what would it take to open an archery shop? He goes, “About $5,000. I go, “$5,000?!” He goes, “You have a partner. Working your other jobs, you work the store part time. When you sell an item, you reinvest that money and buy more items. You sell an item, you reinvest that money and buy more on it.”

Q I see these more traditional looking bows on the wall. And then there are these more fancy, advanced compound bows. What’s the difference between the two?

A …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

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