Here’s How An Archery Startup’s Queer CEO Is Redefining The Sport

Kendall Tichner, an archer and entrepreneur from New York City, is changing the traditional perception of archery by making it more inclusive and fun. With almost 600,000 TikTok followers, her videos of hitting tricky targets have garnered tens of millions of views. Despite being in her 30s, her TikTok presence often leads others to assume she is younger. Kendall is passionate about urban agriculture, ecology, and outdoor activities like plant foraging and birding, which she shares on her ten-year-old Instagram account, “Wild Captives.”

“I live for scouting,” she said, stringing her bow in a flourish on a recent spring afternoon. She released her arrow, quickly hitting the bull’s eye. “I love using the resources around me and connecting with people in urban environments.”

During the pandemic, Kendall Tichner decided to try archery again, which she hadn’t done since summer camp. She posted a video of herself playing with a bow on TikTok, and it quickly went viral, with millions of views overnight. Her bow, bought on Amazon, became a top seller, and she became an influencer in the archery community.

She said of her initial purchases, “I ordered four wrong bows. “Wrong size, wrong shape. It was confusing as hell, and I was bruised. Every piece of equipment that I got came from trial and error.”

Kendall received requests for recommendations and sponsorships after her videos went viral, but she found that the archery industry lacked inclusivity. Women and the queer community were excluded from the marketing narrative, and Kendall couldn’t find anything she was comfortable recommending.

In 2022, Kendall left her job to focus on her company and now has a team of five part-time employees. She took a risk to pursue her dream, and it paid off – after making $20,000 in her first month, she’s now looking to hire full-time staff. Additionally, Kendall found that her latest hobby is empowering in unexpected ways.

Tichner said, “I don’t want to generalize, but in terms of queerness, it made me in touch with my body and femininity in a way that felt powerful, even though I’m a tomboy.”