Tuesday, August 13, 2019

I Can't Believe This Is My Life

I know I probably talk about this way too much, but I can't help it. I really cannot believe this is my life. If you would have asked me 20 years ago, hell, even 10 years ago if I saw myself loving the shooting sports as much as I do or owning my own gun related business I would have laughed in your face. I wasn't against our 2nd Amendment, but I surely was terrified of firearms. I didn't want them in our house because we had small kids in the house. I made my Husband sell some of his favorite guns (so sorry, Babe). 

A little over 8 years ago, something just "clicked". When I stepped away from the military training mindset, I realized I can really enjoy shooting at the range. I am running at 100 miles an hour on this feeling and I have so much more to learn. I wish I could spend every day focusing on learning about this great sport of ours. There are so many different facets of it!

I am making great strides in handgun shooting sports. I am teaching my first Basics of Pistol class this month and am so incredibly excited about it. Next up is learning how to get better at shotgun. I would love to hit more than 10% of the clays when I go out there. I've never really shot a rifle for more than military qualification and just goofing off (in a safe environment, of course!). I plan to put a scope on my new rifle and really learn how to use it and adjust it accordingly for different yardages. 

Do you know what I love most about my life in this industry? All the support from family, friends, fellow female business owners, and vendor partners. People believe in us, and we believe in them. It is so awesome to see and be a part of! I fan girl sometimes when some of these people like or share my post. I am in awe of many of you and appreciate all of the support!

So, I can't believe this is my life but, you know what? I. Love. Every. Bit of it! 

Shoot On!
Diva Dawn

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Dawn is Crazy...

Dawn here. I can’t tell you how many people are shocked and amazed that we own a gun store now and that “this is YOUR thing, Dawn.” Well, guess what? I’m shocked and amazed, too! Haha. Some of you know my story. Long story short, I was terrified of guns until April 2011. That month was a turning point for me, in preparation for my second deployment overseas. I learned to really respect a firearm and that I’m not a bad shot when I get out of my own head. From there, my enjoyment of the shooting sports has grown.

It really started off with a self-defense mindset. I was deploying and had to carry a firearm in case I found myself in a situation warranting self-defense greater than fighting for my life with whatever hand to hand combat skills I had learned (which, to be honest, wasn’t as much as you’d think). After the trip to the range in April 2011, with my hubby and some family members, I was smitten with target shooting AND was really ready to take the role of protector seriously. Not just to protect myself, but to protect my fellow Airmen and Soldiers that I was deploying with, should I need to.

Without saying too much, I was thankful I took the steps to prepare myself. I never had to discharge my weapon while overseas, but there was one night I will never forget. Our entire base was under attack and many of us were trapped in the chow hall with local nationals. Rule #1 – trust no one, right?! Well, we were all very much on edge, to say the least. You start looking around and evaluating everyone you might have to fight for your life with or protect. Another Airmen and I took point for our section of the chow hall. We didn’t make it obvious, we didn’t “stand guard”, but we were ready. I was confident in our abilities to use our firearms from where we were, should we have needed to.

After that deployment, I was able to go to the shooting range and just plink brass. This is where I fell in love with target shooting. We had a range 7 minutes from our house, which just made it way too easy… I took NRA sanctioned classes there to learn more about handguns and safe shooting. The hubby was VERY excited about my new hobby! My love for the shooting sports has exponentially grown over the years…

Which leads us to today and my craziness. I want to share my love of the shooting sports with women EVERYWHERE! I want to help people become more aware of so many things. Our 2nd Amendment rights, how to shoot properly, what products are out there for us to use, the facts about firearms, and so much more. If you’ve made it this far, thank you! Thank you for taking the time to see why I’m crazy. It’s because I love this hobby/sport so much that I want to share it with the world!

Shoot On!
Diva Dawn

Thursday, May 2, 2019

4 Money Saving Tips for Shooting Sports Enthusiasts

If you are anything like us, you are always looking for a bargain and any way to save money on the hobbies you love. Here are 4 tips on saving money on guns and gear:

1) Shop around - as much as we would love to say "just buy from us!" we realize there are a lot of retailers out there that offer what we do. We do our best to price female centric items the same as men's - no pink tax here! - but that does not mean our prices always fall within your budget. Do some research and find the best value for what you are looking for.

2) Speaking of best value - a cheaper price does not always mean value. An item may be more expensive, but last 10 x longer than the cheaper item you are looking at. Do your homework and find items that provide lifetime warranties and have great product reviews. Ask your friends what brand they prefer and why. Find the best value for you that will save you money in the long run.

3) Bulk buy - One way to save money is to only buy what you need at the time. This is great, but sometimes buying in bulk is better. If you are an avid shooter, and you go to the shooting range every week, or multiple times a week, then bulk buying is probably going to save you $$ over time. If you see a particular type of ammo you need and it is on sale for a crazy low price, consider buying as much of it as you can.

4) Shop in one place - this one requires some thought, actually. What we mean by shop in one place is to look at all of the items you are wanting to buy. Sure, you can buy these at cheaper prices from multiple retailers, but if you have to pay shipping on each item you could be paying just as much, if not more, than if you purchase from one retailer. A lot of places have free shipping if you meet the purchasing threshold. i.e. Free shipping on orders over $99. You may pay more for one item, but less on three others and save on shipping. Overall, you have saved some dollars in your wallet.

We look forward to being your first choice when it comes to shooting sports retailers! 

Shoot On!
Diva Dawn

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A Girl and A Gun National Conference and More

Personal Letter from Dawn:

I am on my way to A Girl and A Gun (AG & AG) National Conference this week! To be honest, when we started this adventure, we had no idea how much was already out there for female shooters. We knew of a few, but not all. We are proud to be a part of the industry that is welcoming women to the shooting sport and is dedicated to helping women develop and sharpen their skillset. I had been participating in AG & AG Facebook groups from afar. Once I decided to make this hobby of mine a priority, I researched AG & AG further and decided it was the one for me to start out with.

A Girl and A Gun is a ladies' only organization. Whether you are a pistol, rifle, or shotgun shooter (or all three), this organization is for you! From beginners to expert marksmen, everyone will find something useful and something to learn in a non-judgmental environment. I am new to this organization, and they have welcomed me with open arms! There are local chapters all over the United States. You should check out their website to learn more about them: https://www.agirlandagun.org/about-us/

AG & AG National Conference is the organization's Event of the Year. Approximately 450 women will be attending this year - WOW!! That is a lot of women who enjoy the shooting sports so much, they want to participate in this awesome event. There are seminars taught by top notch instructors, sessions led by motivational speakers, vendors and sponsors on site, community, friendship, camaraderie and so many other things I can't list them all. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to attend. This will be my first year, and I hope to attend every year after this! The support leading up to the conference has been better than anything I have seen before. As a Project Manager, I am truly impressed with how AG & AG Leadership puts this massive event together, all while answering questions along the way from attendees. The system they have in place is awe-inspiring. I will post as many pictures as I can while I'm at conference. I cannot wait to learn more about this sport I love and meet new friends who share the same love for the sport!

There are other organizations for women shooters, too. AG & AG happens to be the one I feel most comfortable with. When choosing an organization to join, pick the one that feels right for you. This is important so that you will continue to love participating in the monthly meetings, quarterly matches, annual conferences and so on.

We opened on March 1st and, wow, has it been a whirlwind! I have garnered two certifications from the NRA, we received our FFL, and we are ramping up for Gun Shows, Range Days, home based parties (like Pampered Chef), and more. As always, thank you for your support as we find our way through this awesome adventure!

Shoot On!
Diva Dawn

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Shooting Diva is Live and Moving at Full Speed Ahead!

Wow! So much has happened in the last two weeks! We officially went live around 12:30CST on March 1, 2019. We sure did learn a lot about the "easy and simple" process to make a website go live... haha … not as easy as we thought, but we did it and we have multiple orders already!

On March 1st, we also had our FFL interview. We are hoping to have our FFL within a few weeks, which means we can add firearms to our inventory for sale and handle transfers for individuals who buy their firearms elsewhere. We have our eye on some local tradeshows we will be attending as a vendor, so keep an eye out for that information so you can come see us!

Dawn attended the NRA Basic Instructor Training and NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Instructor courses and is now a NRA Certified Basics of Pistol Shooting Instructor. How exciting is this?! We are taking care of all of the behind the scenes tasks to ensure that when we start offering this course we are fully prepared. Some of you might be wondering why this Basics of Pistol Shooting course so important. 

It is a great course designed to familiarize an individual with handguns - all the ins and outs - as well as the safety rules for handling a firearm, how to properly handle a firearm, how to properly shoot a firearm, etc. It is also a great refresher course for those familiar with pistols already. At the end of the course day, you get to go to the shooting range and practice what you learned in the classroom. It is also the first step to getting your License to Carry, or Concealed Carry License as some like to call it. You should first show that you have familiarization and experience with firearms before making the leap to carry one on your person.

The Range Safety Officer certification is next on the list and should be complete by next week. After receiving this certification, we will reach out to local shooting ranges and create partnerships so we can start doing range days and offering courses that require time at a shooting range. Stay tuned for more information and thank you for your support!

Shoot On!
Diva Dawn

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

We Are Two Days Away!

Wow! We are two days away from opening!! This is exciting and scary all at the same time. We always knew we wanted to be business owners, and we are stoked that this type of business is what we are pursuing. We have been fortunate along the way, with certain processes going much quicker than expected, being able to attend SHOT Show at the last minute, wholesalers that are great to work with, a marketing and branding guru that loves what we're doing and has run with it... the list could go on and on.

We are looking forward to growing this business from a gear and accessories retail online store to a full gun store that has firearms, a lot more gear and accessories than we are starting out with, educational classes, events, and more!

Every business starts somewhere. Some start small, some start big. Some have investors, some do not. We fall into the small, no investor category which allows us flexibility to learn and grow exponentially! We are so happy you are on this journey with us. We have had so much positive feedback and engagement from our supporters. Thank you, all, so much for the Facebook page likes, the Instagram following, the sharing of our posts, and the time you take to support us in this endeavor. It means the world to us!

Shoot On!
Diva Dawn

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

It's Been Awhile...

Hey everybody! It has been awhile since we've blogged. We have been busy setting up the e-Commerce website, receiving and processing inventory, signing up for some fantastic events and getting a little range time in between all of the above!

We only have 9 days until opening!!! Can you believe how fast this is all coming together? We can't, either! We've got that hustle and motivation, though, so the sky is the limit!

Here is a list of gear we will be carrying:

Range Bags - Great assortment (including Mossy Oak and Muddy Girl)
MagLulas/Magazine Loaders - Pink, Purple, and Black
Pistol Rugs (Large) - Leopard, Mossy Oak w/Pink Trim, Black w/Pink Trim
Concealed Carry - Can Can Concealment IWB Holsters, Gun Toten Mamas Purses
Targets - Mostly 8 inch, some 12 inch; color explodes on impact so you can easily see your shot 
Hearing Protection - Electronic and Non-Electronic, many colors
Eye Protection - SSP Eyewear, multiple frame colors and lens colors
Non-Lethal Protection - Stun Guns and Pepper Spray
Sleepwear - Grey w/Camo accents, Pink/Mauve with Camo Accents, Camo w/Pink Accents
Lingerie - Camo with Aqua Accents and Camo with Cranberry Accents
Shooting Diva Swag - T-Shirts, Tumblers/Coffee Mugs, Koozies

We can't wait!! Only 9 more days and counting! Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! :)

Shoot On!
Diva Dawn

Monday, February 11, 2019

3 More Weeks Until the Store is Open!

Happy Monday morning, Shooting Diva followers! There are only 3 weeks left until the e-Commerce store opens. How exciting! We will have everything you need to get started at the range, as well as concealed carry purses and holsters, and non-lethal options as well. We cannot wait to share our passion for the shooting sports with you!

March 1st is the Grand Opening date! 

We will have:

Range Bags
Eye Protection
Hearing Protection
Pistol Rugs
Magazine Loaders
Concealed Carry Inside the Waist Band (IWB) holsters
Concealed Carry Purses
Stun Guns
Pepper Spray
Camo Sleepwear
Camo Lingerie

Be sure to keep an eye out for our updates!

Shoot On!
Diva Dawn

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

4 MORE Reasons to Shoot

You've been waiting for the follow up... We have been very busy wrapping up the odds and ends needed to open on March 1st. Orders have been placed (our first shipment came last night - yay!) Nevertheless, as promised, here are 4 MORE reasons to go to the shooting range:

1) Physical Fitness - say what? Yes, whether you are shooting handguns, rifles, or shotguns, it promotes physical fitness. Is it the same as running a mile or doing 50 burpees or 25 overhead presses? No. BUT, it absolutely requires and builds arm strength, solid core, controlled breathing and much more. Physical discipline is a little known side affect to shooting. Worried that you might not be strong enough? Start with a lower caliber firearm. I can say with great confidence that if you are worried about your strength and start with a .22 pistol instead of a .45 you will enjoy shooting much more than if you started with the .45. My goodness, that would probably just scare you away - even if you ARE physically fit already. The smaller the gauge/caliber, the less recoil there is, the easier it is to shoot.

2) Mental Discipline - target shooting, skeet shooting, etc. all requires a great deal of focus. Each type of shooting requires different methods to accurately hit your target. Pistol shooting, for instance, requires that you hold the pistol in one position and focus on the front sight to hit your target (there is much more to it than this, but this is one example.) Skeet shooting; however, requires you to "lead" the target you are trying to hit. In other words, you are swinging your shotgun to hit the target and after you have pulled the trigger, you are going to keep swinging to complete the rotation; this provides follow through. The more mental discipline you have, the more you are able to maintain a level head in the face of pressure or adversity. This affect can trickle into your personal life - not a bad side effect, right?

3) Liberty - this is probably one of the biggest arguments in America right now. Our Pledge of Allegiance does in fact say "with liberty and justice for all," yet so many are against gun ownership right now. They say "guns kill people." Well, an inanimate object cannot kill someone on its own accord. If so, we would say "knives kill people" or "cars kill people" or "spoons kill people." People are afraid of guns. We get it, we really do. It is important that we continue to practice our right to liberty and educate those who do not understand why we feel so strongly about this. Our forefathers put the 2nd Amendment in our Constitution for a reason - so that we may all have the right to protect ourselves and our families. I encourage everyone to be a part of the solution instead of the problem. Take a friend to the shooting range and have an adult conversation about it. Do some research first so you are prepared and have true knowledge to fall back on. Shooting ranges are not the place for heated arguments!

4) Confidence - I mentioned earlier that people are afraid of guns. Guns are powerful weapons, no doubt! I am living proof that going to the shooting range and plinking brass inspires confidence. I, too, was afraid of guns for most of my life. I went shooting with my husband and some family members and absolutely fell in love with it. When taught to shoot properly, hitting those targets with more accuracy becomes a reality. With confidence, comes less fear. The more you practice and handle a gun, the less afraid of it you will become. This is so, so important!

We hope you enjoyed reading 4 MORE reasons to shoot. If any of the reasons we have presented intrigue you, let us know. We are keeping a list of people who have mentioned to us they would like to start shooting, learn how to shoot, etc. Our plan is to hold a range day at a local range to introduce target shooting to this group of folks. Once we have our training certifications, we will be teaching classes through the NRA and hopefully USCCA. We look forward to plinking targets with you one day soon!

Shoot On!
Diva Dawn

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

4 Reasons to Shoot

Over the last few months, we have found that people are intrigued by the term "shooting sports" when we explain why we are opening this store. When we say that the store will cater more to the female shooter than the average gun store does, the most common reaction is "well, sure - self defense is a must these days!" It is so much more than self defense, and even if your only reason IS self defense, you still need to go to the range and practice shooting the firearm that you keep by your bedside, carry on your person, in your vehicle, in your purse, etc. Practice is KEY to good self defense, and there are many other reasons to shoot, too. Here are a few reasons we shoot:

1) Fun - yes, we said it, we shoot for FUN! While Marty is great at just about every sport he tries, Dawn has to work a little harder at it. Well, the day she realized she was halfway decent at target shooting, the fun they have together with this sport escalated! Marty never thought he would hear Dawn ask to go to the shooting range or be excited to go when he asked if she wanted to. Now, they have fun together "plinking brass". It makes for a fun day date or family outing if you bring the kids along.

2) Education - speaking of kids, target shooting is a great opportunity to teach children the basics of shooting and the safety aspects of shooting. You can teach them and implement the four safety rules of shooting while there:
        1) Treat all guns as if they are always loaded
        2) Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy
        3) Keep your finger off the trigger until you're ready to shoot
        4) Always be aware of your target and what's behind it

3) Self Defense - this is what most individuals naturally think of when we talk firearms with them. It is a major reason to have a firearm. If you plan to use firearms for self defense, it is important that you go to the range often and shoot with the firearm or firearms that you carry for self defense. Most ranges will not allow you to pull from a holster and shoot, but some will. If the ranges do not allow this, and you want to practice drawing from your holster, there are molded firearms that replicate a large number of firearms that you can purchase and use for this practice.

4) Competition - who doesn't love a great competition, right? As with any sport, shooting sports are competitive, too. There are so many shooting competitions - 3 gun, Conventional Pistol, High Power Rifle, Smallbore Rifle, Skeet Shooting, and many more. All of these encourage practice with a firearm, safety, and unconventional situations which could help in - wait for it - everyone's favorite reasons to say firearms are necessary - self defense!

These are just a few reasons to go out to the shooting range, or family farm, and have some good, safe fun with target shooting. There are many other reasons we haven't mentioned (like hunting!) but we will save those for another day. Until then...

Shoot On!
The Shooting Diva

Saturday, January 26, 2019

SHOT Show was awesome!

SHOT Show was awesome! Dawn attended SHOT University, which was full of timely and useful information regarding e-Commerce, marketing, and compliance. There were so many vendors, and we were not able to see all of them. Most vendors were helpful and supportive of our new startup, some not so much. 

We have some vendors we are looking to carry in our store and are excited about offering their products to you, our consumers! The Shooting Diva is not just about firearms; we realize there is so much more to it. We will offer range gear, concealed carry gear, non-lethal options (think pepper spray and stun guns), scopes, and much more. The offerings will grow as we do. 

Check out the vendors we have our eyes on in the pictures below. We have also shared some "fun" pictures from the SHOT Show. Dawn realized she watches too much reality TV when she got super excited to see these folks. Gabby Franco was on Top Shot, Season 4. She had a lot of great advice she shared with Dawn. The best piece of advice being "whatever you are, be the best at it". Dawn also met Missy and Godwin, from Duck Dynasty. She got a little TOO excited when talking with Missy, and we don't think Missy was able to get a word in edgewise (so sorry, Missy!) Godwin was great to chat with. They are all very down to earth and fantastic people.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

It's Time For SHOT Show 2019!

We are headed to NSSF's SHOT Show 2019 this week! This is a huge win for us, since we are just starting up. One of the first things we did when organizing and developing our start-up was join NSSF - National Shooting Sports Foundation; The Firearms Industry Trade Association. This is probably the smartest move we made. Not everyone gets to attend SHOT Show. You have to be approved by NSSF to attend, and it's a pretty big deal in the firearms industry. 

What is SHOT Show? It is the annual Shooting Hunting Outdoor Tradeshow. There are over 1,600 exhibitors and 12 miles of floorspace - whoa! Companies, like ours, can attend and meet with manufacturers and distributors directly. There are also lots of new and cool gadgets, gear, and products that we get to see.

SHOT University is part of SHOT Show. It is a one day event, where businesses can attend seminars on topics related to their niche in the market, as well as ATF Compliance, First Shots Range Development, and many other fantastic topics related to the firearm business industry. Dawn will be attending SHOT University this year and she is stoked!

Be sure to follow us on Instagram - @theshootingdiva, and on Facebook - The Shooting Diva LLC. We'll be sure to post pictures of our adventures this week!

Shoot On!
The Shooting Diva

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Exciting News!

We have some exciting news this week! Dawn completed the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting course and qualified at Level 4 during the target shooting portion. Level 4 must be achieved in order to be considered for NRA certified instructor, so she is well on her way!

We have also been approved to attend Shot Show in Las Vegas this year! This is an annual tradeshow for the shooting, hunting, and firearms industry. We are looking forward to seeing all the new products this year and build our inventory for our March opening.

Shoot On!
The Shooting Diva

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Our website is live!

Our website is live! We are still working on gathering inventory and building the e-Commerce side of it for the March 2019 opening, but when you visit www.shootingdiva.com, you will see the list of items that we plan to sell, and can link to our Facebook, Blog, Instagram, and YouTube channel from the website (videos to come soon, too!). This is a huge step and we are ecstatic about it! Our web designer has done a fantastic job; we cannot thank him enough.

Check it out: www.shootingdiva.com

Shoot On!
The Shooting Diva

Monday, January 7, 2019

We Received our Sales and Use Tax Permit!

Woohoo! We received our Texas Sales and Use Tax Permit today! This means we can plan on a March 1, 2019 Grand Opening! Things are moving along and we are so excited!

Shoot On!
The Shooting Diva

Saturday, January 5, 2019

NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course

Hello Shooting Diva followers! We have had a great week this week! I had the awesome experience of attending the NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting Course today. I took this course back in 2011, but I have a goal to become a NRA Certified Instructor this year and wanted to take this course again as a refresher. I am so glad I took it. It has changed in the last 7 years - for the better! There are multiple lessons within the course as well as time at the shooting range to implement what you have learned. It takes roughly 8 hours, so if you are interested in taking the course make sure you block your entire day for just this course. I not only got a refresh of information I already knew, but I learned many new things, too. I am a complete nerd, so I was not upset that I had to "go to class" today. I have some shooting skills that were great, and some shooting skills that I need to work on. All the more reason to go back to the range, right? ;)

We also signed up for Shot Show 2019 this week. Fingers crossed we are approved to attend. I cannot wait to meet with multiple vendors and check out the new firearms, gadgets, gear, and more at the venue to start building our inventory! 

Our website is in the process of being built and we should be receiving our Texas Sales Tax Permit soon. Once all the legalities are in place and the website is up and running (hopefully in February) we will have our "Grand Opening".

Stay Tuned and Shoot On!
The Shooting Diva

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

We are on our way!

Happy New Year! We are excited to get The Shooting Diva up and running as soon as possible! We are working all of the necessary background tasks as fast as we can. Our "Coming Soon" website is being built as we speak and we will be up and running as soon as we have all the legalities taken care of and inventory to sell. In the meantime, we will be providing information a few times a week, so stay tuned and subscribe to the blog so you don't miss out on great information and store updates!