I opened my shop in 1989 at a time when no supplier of traditional archery equipment existed in Europe. This was a period when traditional archery was in its infancy and the shop was unique amidst a sea of specialty archery shops catering to other disciplines.
As a result of my first hunting trip to the Rocky Mountains in 1981, I became aware of the vast amount of traditional archery equipment available in the US that was unknown to archers in Europe. At this time, the only traditional bows available were mass-produced or cheap imports from Korea. During my subsequent hunting trips to the USA (bow hunting in Europe was, and still is, very difficult), I made contact with some custom bowyers, and as a result, I began importing BIGHORN bows. These bows were made by a small craftsman company owned by Fred Asbell, a well-known archer even today. I started by importing bows only for my friends, and in this way i introduced the concept of CUSTOM BOWS into Europe.
I enjoyed seven trips in the USA ( and others around Europe ), mixing the pleasure of bowhunting with acquiring knowledge of traditional archery and the companies involved. I was driving up to 11,000 km each trip to find the most remote bowyers. I scoured the world, finding more than 200 manufacturers, appraising their products, and personally getting to know the staff. As I was the first in Europe to import custom bows, I selected the best products and arranged exclusive distribution. This was fortunate since Handcrafted can mean excellent quality and unique products, but this might not be the case. For this reason, the most important part of my job is to be able to appraise the quality and reliability of products and determine their value and suitability to meet the needs of my discerning customers. This is doubly important as often customers become good friends who rely on my experience in these matters.
Many archers come to the shop because of my reputation for winning World and European championships, and I have to admit this has been a great help. However, the thing I consider to have been most helpful in my archery endeavors is the vast experience I have gained by being involved with the traditional archery scene worldwide for the more significant part of my life (since 1967). The large number of archers and equipment producers I have come in contact with allows me to be knowledgeable and informed about a sport still considered new by many, despite it being a continuation of a tradition steeped in the annals of time.
I converted the ground floor of the 300-year-old house where I grew up into my shop. This provides the perfect ambiance, having fireplaces in every room and a 150-year-old fresco depicting bow hunting scenes on one wall. Some might say it was destiny. Although sales are still made directly from the shop and through distributors, the focus has shifted, and the majority of our business is now direct online retailing. I am very proud of this, as I am a pioneer in this area, having had to master the new technology to develop my online presence and INTERNET SHOP, which began in 1996. The site now collects orders worldwide, which allows us to quickly and efficiently dispatch products to our customers regardless of their location.
My main focus now is to develop and produce my range of specialty archery equipment to offer the best products at lower prices and allow the customers to get the greatest enjoyment from our sport. To have been involved in the many aspects of developing my archery business, including renovating my shop, designing my logo, finding new products, designing my ones and having them produced, and all the problem solving that this has entailed has been a great and exciting adventure. Many thanks to all the friends and associates who have helped me along the way.