It happened during nap time. Samantha Omdahl was listening to another entrepreneur podcast talk about passion when she realized her future business endeavor—outside of her home run daycare—would be linked to archery. “I remember listening to podcasts and looking over content on being an entrepreneur while my daycare kids took their naps,” Omdahl says. “I had been thinking about what I would do when my three-year-old didn’t need daycare someday. Then I heard somebody say to find something you would do whether you are getting paid or not.”
Last year, Omdahl started Top Nock Archery. (Nock refers to the anchor point on a bow string where the arrow rests on the string before launch). The early vision for the endeavor is related to education, promotion and giving Omdahl a chance to spread her knowledge, ability and love for archery with kids, women, parents, newbies and seasoned archers. Up until her twenty-first birthday, Omdahl was a self-described girly girl. At that time, her boyfriend (now husband) gifted her a bow. Since then, she’s been obsessed with shooting her bow and getting outdoors. She now has a passion for all things outdoors, from camping to fishing to target practice or hunting. “You aren’t born with passion. You have to try new things to learn what you like,” she says. That is a motto she utilizes to pitch her services and businesses to those unfamiliar with holding a bow in their hand. “No one is just born liking these things.” Omdahl enjoys a sense of accomplishment that comes from archery, and, she says with a laugh, feeling like a “badass” with a bow in her hand.
When she started Top Nock, she reached out to several local archery groups, including the Red River Archers and the shooting range in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Every group welcomed her and the ideas she had for Top Nock. After becoming a certified level two archery instructor (she can now teach classes and teach other instructors), Omdahl began teaching individual archery instruction classes. “A lot of women were interested, along with new-to-the-sport people,” she says. Her single classes didn’t require her to shut down the range. But, soon after starting a Facebook page and spreading the Top Nock gospel, Omdahl was getting enough interest that required her to shut down the entire archery range to accommodate the number of people that wanted to partake in her classes. She has since ran couple’s classes, date night, mother-daughter, and multiple-group themed classes. The range, and others, have provided gear in many cases.
Last fall, with the organizers of “The Patch On The Point” pumpkin patch, Omdahl spent seven hours on her feet instructing and helping a never-ending line of participants draw, aim and release arrows on leftover or spent pumpkins set up as targets. “People were loving it and shooting again and again,” she says.
She recognizes the reality that some might find her business choice unorthodox, but she doesn’t care. In fact, she is putting more of her passion, time and money into it all. In addition to Top Nock, Omdahl has started a clothing line and online boutique featuring outdoor-themed clothing, many pieces branded with the Top Nock logo. In the wake of social distancing brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, she has added online instruction course and short how-to’s to help those looking for her type of content on every platform. When things get back to normal, she intends to hold an in-person workshop and maybe someday, an entire camp. “I didn’t realize that this would affect me the way it has,” she says. “To help people learn and find a passion for it is amazing. It’s almost like archery helped me find an entirely new passion apart from the bow.” G
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From Issue 2, 2020