Oct 12, 2021

Neet Products in Missouri Celebrates 65th Anniversary

Leroy and Judy Young – founders of Lee’s Archery & Pro Shop, today known an Neet Products

It isn’t often I receive an email asking if Archery Wire will help spread the word about a company celebrating 65 years in the archery space. Frankly, it is an honor to be asked and I enjoy sharing good news. Brenda Eichholz the current president of Neet Products, formally known as Lee’s Archery & Pro Shop, is the daughter of the company founder, Leroy Young. Children taking over their parent’s company isn’t a new story, but continuing it successfully – through a pandemic nonetheless – is something to celebrate. Cheers to all the Neet Products folks – here’s to another 65 years of making quality, American-made products. All photos were supplied by Brenda Eichholz. Learn more about Neet Products at http://neet.com - Michelle Scheuermann, editor, Archery Wire.

When Leroy Young started making archery accessories for himself and friends in his garage in the 1950s, he was just looking for a way to have high-quality products to support his love and passion for archery. Young turned that hobby into Lee’s Archery & Pro Shop that this year is celebrating its 65th anniversary. The company, now known as Neet Products, is commemorating the milestone by introducing revamped premium archery accessories featuring new styles, fabrics, colors and textures. What hasn’t changed is the company’s focus on creating quality American-made products, unmatched customer service and relationships that continue today.

Leroy Young at work

Leroy Young honed his craftsmanship sewing leather at Town & Country Shoes in Sedalia. He started making finger tabs in his garage and showing them off at archery competitions, and he

was soon making them for others. Young met his wife, Judy, at Town & Country Shoes, and in a matter of a few years, the couple left the shoe factory to start their own business in 1956. In 1965 the Youngs moved their operations to the current location at 5875 Highway 50 in Sedalia. Their daughter, Brenda Eichholz, is owner and president and said the original building was just 4,500-square-feet.

“The original footprint included manufacturing space, a retail store and a shooting range for archery lessons,” Eichholz said. “In addition to working in the factory, fletching arrows and setting up bows in the Pro Shop, Dad ran an indoor league at night and taught people how to shoot. I would do my homework at the desk and people would be shooting. Mom was doing all the office work and in those early years, made thousands of Hoyt Arrow Rests. I don’t know how they did it all; it was a labor of love for them.”

Leroy Young (left) with another gentleman outside the original manufacturing facility

Today, Neet Products occupies a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing complex and makes quivers, bow cases, shooting gloves and finger tabs, arm guards, and additional archery accessories. We also make many products for other archery companies. Eichholz said the company has stayed true to its commitment to excellence by redesigning its production

processes to be more efficient and providing what today’s customers want. “Our revised plant layout means we have better communication between team members, and we have more cross-training happening,” she said. “We’ve also implemented continuous quality improvement processes. Our designers have been busy reworking many of our popular products using new leathers and fabrics and adding techniques like embossing.” Leroy died in 1998 and Eichholz and her mom continued to run the business . In 2012 Judy died, and Eichholz took the reins full-time in 2020. She said that every day she is amazed at what her parents were able to accomplish.

“I’ve been in this building since I was two-years-old. I worked here after school helping do all kinds of work and learning the business,” she said. “My parents started with nothing and became a leader in the industry for many years. Sixty-five years is a long time to be in business these days, and we’re committed to our relationships with dealers that have stayed with us since the beginning. I’m so proud to be the caretaker of my parents’ dream and hard work.”