After more than 26 years, Robin Ball is retiring as CEO and co-owner of Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop in Spokane.
Ball and her husband, Steve, opened Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop at 1200 N. Freya Way in July 1995 with five employees, becoming one of the only indoor ranges and pro shops in the region.
It has since expanded to nearly 20 employees and offers firearm sales, safety classes and training.
Ball recently sold the business to her son, Jeremy, and his wife, Katie.
“What really led to the decision (to retire) is I have been told by other people who led the way: ‘When it’s time to retire, you know when it’s time.’ And, I really felt like it was time,” Ball said.
Jeremy Ball has been integral to the operation of the business for over a decade and brings a unique insight to the industry and retail operations.
Katie Ball will play a significant role in Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop’s marketing and public relations, according to a company release.
Previously, Jeremy Ball was general manager of the company.
“Jeremy was a really good salesman in the early days,” Ball said. “It has really been fun to watch his growth. He’s definitely cut out for the industry. He’s passionate about it. He’s very level-headed. He will do well.”
Memorable moments of operating the business include interacting with, and getting to know, customers. Many of them became lifelong friends. Robin Ball also said she enjoyed learning about the industry.
“When we opened, I didn’t know anything about the industry,” she said. “I wasn’t really involved in the shooting sports in any way.”
However, she described operating the business throughout the years as “an amazing experience.”
Ball’s dedication to the industry has extended beyond Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop. She served on the National Rifle Association’s range and women’s policies committees, as well as the development committee for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Ball also has testified at the Washington State Capitol multiple times on behalf of the shooting industry, hunters and target shooters.
“What I’ve loved the most about being involved in the shooting sports industry is being able to help people develop safety skills in handling their firearms – whether they bought them from us or someone else,” she said.
Ball said she doesn’t have any specific plans following retirement but is looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren.
In the meantime, Ball is working on a project for Spokane County that will keep her busy through October, she said.
As the new CEO of Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop, Jeremy Ball said he plans to continue upholding the company’s core values of responsible gun ownership through training and classes.
“Without a doubt, operationally, we’ll have changes in this building and we’ll have new initiatives and things that we really focus on,” he said. “But the core values of the company – bringing people together through gun ownership and creating responsible gun owners – will not change.”
Jeremy and Katie Ball are planning to boost the company’s social media presence by adding more content and creating a place for people to obtain firearms knowledge.
The couple will continue to work with community organizations and also expand the number of products and services available at Sharp Shooting Indoor Range & Gun Shop, Jeremy Ball said.
“It’s important to know even though we are going to keep the same values, we are also going to evolve and meet our new gun owners’ needs through further product diversification” Jeremy Ball said. “We will continue to expand the amount of services we have available to help support the firearms community.”
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