Saturday, March 7, 2015

Women in archery. Not just for gatherers anymore...

                               ... women are on the hunt.

Kirstie Pike is the founder of Prois Hunting, a growing technical gear company that started in 2007 when she went to buy hunting clothing one season and only found capri pants and baby doll tees offered in the women’s section.  Built on Kirstie’s cheeky and positive sense of humor and a dedication to filling the gap, Prois has continued to have an impact in the hunting community by helping people understand the seriousness and passion for hunting that women also have. Customers are adamant fans of what Kirstie and her staff have built. “Prois defines me as a hunter. It defines my passion and pride in my sport,”  and it makes Kirstie proud to hear that her ideas have sparked with so many women alike. 
“When we started Prois, there was literally no performance female hunting gear on the market. You could buy men’s gear or cotton lifestyle clothing. It was odd to me when all other sports had gear for women - skiing, mountain biking, running, etc. We just kept tinkering and doors kept opening.”
The hunting arena is still somewhat of a bastion of good-ol-boy attitudes, but Prois continues to work on breaking that barrier by offering specially designed gear for western big game hunters. The terrain is rough, the weather can be tougher and that demands gear that may save your life when you get caught in it. The men that value the virtues of a silent, breathable and warm merino wool jacket or pants automatically understand what Kirstie has set out to do in the women’s space and support it.  But according to her, there are still unfortunately men out there that will never consider spending a higher price point on camo for their wives or girlfriends and she just assumes that these guys either don’t like their wives or just don’t want to hunt with them!
When asked her ultimate goal for Prois, she laughs and says, “World domination. Too much? I want to provide the highest quality shooting gear available for women. Period. And want Prois to be necessary and relevant for the long haul.”
Camo everything has become popular culture in the past few years and you can find everything from wedding dresses to sheets and pillows, to camo bikinis and yoga pants. The women drawn to Prois find a high end look and feel with technical features that rival the best men’s hunting gear. No bikinis, though. Just the gear that keeps you warm and dry. The catalog and site are noticeably bimbo-absent. No pink here either.
For Kirstie, the greatest surprise out of creating Prois has been finding the sisterhood of ladies out there with similar minds and passions.  “I never would have predicted that eight years ago these ladies would become my very best friends and supporters. I love connecting with women and bringing them together. There is much more to Prois than selling clothing (although that is what pays my bills), it is about being a voice, a sounding board and an avenue for women to come together and enjoy their love for hunting and shooting!”
PS. Kirstie Pike is one fantastic lady. I highly recommend saying hello if you make it to a trade show!