Amber Haynes and her father Mark Seaman after a mixed-bag hunt at Joshua Creek Ranch.
She is founder of the newest upland apparel house for women, McKenna Quinn. Starting with shirts, the company is expanding into hunting pants and style accessories for ladies who love to hunt game birds and shoot clays.
From a design perspective, she wanted McKenna Quinn to offer “women’s clothes that are high quality and shoot comfortably and then be able go out to dinner and lunch in, so you don’t have to go home and change,” she said.
Amber Haynes wearing the McKenna Quinn Piper shirt in navy blue with polka dots and the field pants that will become available by the end of October 2017.
Based in Boerne, Texas, McKenna Quinn launched in January 2016. Ms. Haynes designs the shirts. She works with a pattern maker and manufacturer in Dallas. Her clothes are 100 percent American-made – a priority for her. We soon can expect field pants and scarves from her as well.
“I started the company because I could never find any clothes that fit me,” she explained. “There’s a lot of deer hunting clothes for women but not a lot of upland clothes. And the shirts I did find, I couldn’t move well in. I thought that a lot of women in hunting shared the same problems and would be interested in McKenna Quinn.”
The McKenna Quinn Piper shirts for women in camo and blaze.
Before starting McKenna Quinn Ms. Haynes had developed a professional interest in the outdoors and conservation. She attended school for two years at Southern Methodist University in Dallas to study biology and then transferred to Trinity University in San Antonio where she graduated with a biology degree. While at Trinity she interned at the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center in San Antonio and helped run their children’s educational programs. After graduation she took a job at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in their water quality division, but subsequently went to work in her father’s oil and gas company.
Although Ms. Haynes enjoyed duck hunting while in high school, her quest for the perfect ladies upland shirt started around when she turned 30. She wanted to become a better, more proficient wing and clays shooter, so she signed up with instructor and All American, CZ-sponsored sporting clays champ Tom Mack at the 74 Ranch in South Texas.
Hunting doves, quail, pheasants, chukar and ducks with her father and her female friends took on a more ambitious note as she moved to a Perazzi three-barrel set for upland birds and a Blaser F3 at the sporting clays course. She began to realize that the general poor fit of the limited upland shooting clothes available for women got in the way of helping fulfill her potential. And then of course there was that Texas heat.
“I’m from Texas I wanted something lightweight because it’s hot here,” she said.
As it turns out, Ms. Haynes lives across the road from Joshua Creek Ranch, also in Boerne.
With wingshooting season up and running, Ms. Haynes hits the fields there for pheasant, chukar and quail (and some sporting clays too). She also hunts in South Texas and on the coast.
Meanwhile, McKenna Quinn continues is growth trajectory. The upland clothing will be complemented by women’s polo shirts for fishing. Beyond the McKenna Quinn online store, the number of retail outlets is expanding. McKenna Quinn is currently available in six stores including the Joshua Creek Ranch Pro Shop, Gordy & Sons Outfitters in Houston and Caliber Outfitters in Birmingham, Alabama.
In her ongoing journey to make the perfect upland shirt for women Ms. Haynes said “a lot of women have come alongside me and been encouraging.”
Irwin Greenstein is the publisher of Shotgun Life. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.