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NICA finds its niche in Woodstock

Accessories for hunters and the great outdoors

Published: Saturday, April 27, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Lathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com)
NICA Shooting co-owner Brenda Mason and daughter, Caitlyn, pose for a portrait in the family's store in Woodstock.
(Lathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com)
Shooting accessories are displayed at NICA Shooting in Woodstock.
(Lathan Goumas - lgoumas@shawmedia.com)
Coats are displayed on a rack at NICA Shooting in Woodstock.

WOODSTOCK – After 19 years as a basement business that was quickly expanding, NICA Shooting has moved into a retail space in Woodstock.

“My husband wanted his basement and garage back,” said co-owner Brenda Mason of her husband, Tim.

“Everyone always asks what NICA stands for and I tell them it is for my kids, NIcholas and Caitlyn,” Brenda said. “It was a special tribute to them because the company is the only reason I was able to stay home with them when they were younger.”

Tim and Brenda Mason welcomed their first grandchild in December when Caitlyn gave birth to Makenna. Shortly before Makenna was born, Nicholas, a U.S. Army lieutenant, was deployed for his first tour to Afghanistan. He’s expected to be back in September.

The store features a small retail area packed with merchandise while the back of the building is used as storage and shipping space.

The company specializes in clothing and accessories for hunters and the great outdoors, carrying merchandise from Browning, Beretta, Galco, Bob Allen and more. NICA recently began to develop its own line and offers a cold-weather insulated jacket as well as a high-end shooting vest.

The company started in 1994 when Tim and Brenda Mason recognized a need for hard-to-find items in the shooting sports. “My husband is 6-foot-3 and it was virtually impossible to find vests and jackets that fit him,” Brenda said. “At the time it was difficult to find anything for women in the sport, or left-handed people like my son. We saw this gap in the market and decided to try to close it.”

Shortly after the company began, the Internet became easily accessible and NICA became one of the first and only online shooting accessories company. A company that started with a card table and one rolling clothing rack has now become an internationally recognized name in shooting sports. “We never imagined we would take it this far,” Brenda said.

Brenda said the move from the basement to right off the square at 114 E. Calhoun St. in Woodstock “has been a big change. But I am excited to start seeing our customers face to face, and bringing in new customers that didn’t realize we were here,” she said.

“We look forward to celebrating our 20th anniversary in February in a new space and welcome the public to join us, as well,” she said.

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