For me this year, SHOT Show was all about the people. Here are just a few of the awesome women I’ve touched bases with, and what they’re doing.
Lisa Looper created the Flashbang bra holster and boy howdy did it make a lot of buzz at the show! Lisa also had several funny and thought-provoking stories to tell, which I will be sharing with you in later posts. She’s very, very excited about the entire line of holster products for women, and I was (and am) especially impressed with her new line of pretty belts. Not only are these belts very pretty, they are also sturdy enough to hold the weight of a firearm comfortably all day long without sagging. Although they aren’t any thicker than a normal belt, they’re basically a four-layer sandwich: good leather, a kydex-type stiffener, another piece of leather, and a comfortable inner layer of beautifully dyed suede. When Lisa talks about these belts, she gets all excited and you can just see how pleased she is to share them with you.
Claudia, Ann, Jane and the rest of the crew at Gun Tote’n Mamas are celebrating their five-year anniversary! Funny story behind GTM: Claudia never intended to get into concealed carry purses at all. She was a luggage accessory designer, doing very well in that field, when she brought her products to SHOT Show for the first time. When people saw the high-quality, inexpensive leather bags, she was “absolutely flooded” with women asking her to produce a holstered purse. She wasn’t quite sure how to go about doing that, but being a smart and savvy person, she immediately started talking to all the women firearms owners she could find about what they needed in a concealed carry bag. She paid special attention to qualified instructors and people who had been doing this a long time. The following year, she brought out the very practical Gun Tote’n Mamas line of purses, and her products have been steadily improving ever since.
Julianna and her gang at A Girl and A Gun Women’s Shooting League want everyone to know that they have a super-fun weekend planned for the AG&AG conference in March. (Yes, telling you about that is totally self-serving on my part, since I’m one of the featured instructors and am going to have an awesome time teaching some of the segments. But it seems unfair not to share it with you, since we’ll have even more fun if you can make it down to Texas for the party!) AG&AG has spread across a whole bunch of states in just a few years, with hundreds of women getting involved. I love, love, love to see groups like this coming together and helping women learn how to stay safe and have fun with their firearms! Julianna also wants everyone to know what an awesome job the AG&AG facilitators are doing with the local clubs. She’s very enthusiastic about the cool events planned at the local levels.
Natalie at Girl’s Guide to Guns tells me she’s working on making her site more fabulous than ever, with more connections to people, more cool gear, and more cool content.
Susan from the Women’s Shooting Alliance wants to hear from you. She’s putting together an online magazine for women who enjoy firearms (one print edition a year plus a whole bunch of electronic issues). What do you want to see in a magazine like that?
Speaking of magazines, Shelley Rae Sargent just launched GunUp the Magazine. She’s super-excited about this magazine, and believes it will reach the next generation of shooters. (It will!) You may remember her as the founding editor of the Western Shooting Journal; she’s stepped down as editor there but will continue to write a column for that magazine. Shelley and I had an excellent conversation at the women’s networking event after hours early in the week, and I have to say I’m impressed at how hard she’s worked to get where she is.
This entry is already too long, and I haven’t even told you half of it! I’ll try to post more tomorrow. It’s a little tricky because I’m still on the road, but worthwhile because you really should know about all the nifty people who are out there working to support women in the firearms world. If you follow the links above, there should be plenty of free ice cream to keep you busy during my travels.