The inspiration for their venture, Good Shot Designs, arose from Lyndall’s own shooting forays in the U.K. A few years ago, she had started wingshooting with her husband, John. On their trips to the U.K. she was frequently the only woman in the shooting party. Still, at least it was possible there, she recounted, to find stylish and traditional garb for women.
But upon returning home to New Jersey her searches turned up empty-handed. The closest thing she could find was “wearing small sizes of what men were wearing,” Lyndall explained. Not even the top brands acknowledged the unique specifications demanded by American women for tweeds of a British cut, style and functionality.
As it turned out, necessity met its destiny. A native Australian, Lyndall and her husband, John, had moved to New Jersey in 1987 from Australia to take their software company to the next level. Dendrite Software was a pioneer in Customer Relationship Management software – or the ability for a company to automate their sales force – for the pharmaceutical industry. By 2006, Dendrite’s annual sales reached more than $420 million in with 2,700 employees in 59 countries. A subsequent public stock offering and acquisition by a larger company proved that the Bailyes possessed the acumen and grit and take a new company all the way to the top.
Bottom line: Good Shot Design has a serious entrepreneurial bloodline.
Spotting a market opportunity for women’s British shooting apparel in the U.S., Lyndall and Stephanie returned to the U.K. in July 2011 to source fabrics and designers. Their first stop was the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Castle in Oxfordshire. Held over a summer weekend, the game fair attracts some 140,000 visitors who explore the traditional English outdoor pursuits and shopping galore.
“The clothes are already designed. We choose the fabrics, color schemes, linings and trim,” Lyndall said.
Off to a flying start, Good Shot Design began importing a unique line of English femininely tailored tweed jackets, coats, culottes and skirts with a signature bright colored trim. Lyndall and Stephanie had opted for darker purples, lavenders and navy – choosing an upland palette that would appeal to women in their twenties and up.
From a marketing perspective, the timing for Good Shot Design was perfect. Leading up to the Royal Wedding, media darling Kate Middleton had helped popularized the traditional British shooting fashions to American women.
“Tweeds are very much in fashion at the moment for elegant daywear,” Lyndall observed. “Many American women like to reflect a sporting sensibility and our unique fashions help them create that look.”
Shortly after Lyndall and Stephanie had returned from the CLA Game Fair, Lyndall suddenly fell critically ill. That’s when she asked Stephanie to take a more active role in the company. At the time, Stephanie had been attending college in Washington, D.C. where she studied marketing, when the call came to help Lyndall manage the company. For Stephanie, it was a perfect opportunity.
“It worked out quite well, because I also shoot,” she said. “I knew how frustrating it became to find the right clothes.”
With mother and daughter now working side by side, Good Shot Design officially launched in September 2011 in New Jersey at the 6th Annual Showcase Event at Hudson Farm to Benefit Wounded Warriors in Action – completing a circle for Stephanie since that’s where she started in the shotgun sports.
The business plan calls for sales through the Good Shot Design web site, trunk sales at shooting clubs and appropriate events, and their first retail presence at the Griffin & Howe sporting stores in Bernardsville, N.J., Greenwich, Conn., and the Pro-Shop at Hudson Farm in Andover, N.J. Orders are starting to come in, giving Lyndall and Stephanie the confidence to expand the Good Shot Design line from the initial seven items to a greater range.
“Our ultimate goal is to be in every pro-shop in shooting clubs across the country,” Lyndall said.
“Ultimately, we’d like to have a range of clothing for women who shoot all year in various climates,” Stephanie added. “We have some wonderful suppliers that we’re working with to achieve this goal.”
The expansion of their offerings will likely include lighter weight clothes designed for Southern plantation shooting, Lyndall noted.
“One of the things we wanted to emphasize is the quality of the clothing and construction,” she explained. “The price point may be more expensive, but they are items that are really beautiful and timeless.”
The biggest payoff, though, is how Good Shot Design fortified the bond between mother and daughter.
“This has strengthened our relationship more than anything else,” Lyndall said. “It’s been fabulous.”
Deborah McKown is the editor of Shotgun Life. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.