That’s What She Said: What a Difference a Year Makes

| January 27, 2015 | 3 Comments

This was my second year attending SHOT Show in Las Vegas. I wouldn’t be able to write an impressions piece without acknowledging the draft I started from last year but never posted. It was titled “The Tribal Women of SHOT” and in it I noted the clearly defined groups of women, the lack of interplay between us, and how puzzling it was to me that such an under-represented population didn’t show more of an affinity to one another. I was also disappointed that gear made in my size also happened to be pink or purple. The vendors seemed really busy and I was too shy to ask them questions.

After my experience in 2014 I continued to train. I logged more hours in more diverse classes than ever before. I discovered more people in the industry who wrote about things I was interested in. I created The She Shepherd, refined my focus, and continue to find my voice.

If confusion was my experience in 2014, generosity was the star of 2015.

I am still humbled by the following people who took the time to speak with me, and continue to keep in touch.

  • Tatiana Whitlock  – what an example for women in this industry. If you are going to attempt your first video interview with someone, you can’t find a better subject than her.  I walked away from speaking with her inspired to do more, learn more, and give more… and an acute appreciation for what I need to do better next time.
  •  Firearms instructor Vicki Farnam met with me for coffee to discuss everything from training women to Pinterest. Her books have revolutionized the training of female police officers and civilians. She’s a huge presence at the show and the 2 hours we spent talking helped form my future plans.
  • James Yeager gave us an impromptu interview after I saw him on the show floor. I took the opportunity to pose a reader question to him, and his answer revealed the softer side to this famously masculine man.
  • Natalie Foster of “Girls Guide to Guns” was just trying to get a coffee when I noticed her in the press room. Her gorgeous smile never wavered as I blathered on like a weirdo. She even recognized “The She Shepherd” from comments I’ve made on her facebook postings. I hope she wears her SBS patch with pride.
  • Nikki Raye was working at the BattleComp booth. We commiserated about the short lived production of the Star Wars line of Adidas sneakers, confessed our love of a good bargain, and she was super patient with my interest in her tattoos. FYI they’re fabulous.
  • Speaking of BattleComp, Kristine Sun and I talked about her super cute Hello Kitty-esque (Hello Kitty does not endorse firearms and does not want their image to be used in firearms promotions) patch and t-shirt. She even found a shirt for me, which made my male crew very jealous. NEENERS!

Cool, right?

Now keep in mind that the above list does not include all of the vendors, particularly the ladies at Angstadt Arms, AG composites, Gun Totin’ Mamas and UnderTech who talked to me about my unique equipment concerns. I know it’s their job, but I’m not a sales force and talking to me took time away from bigger publications. That goes a hell of a long way with me.

Two years. Two totally different experiences. Same Show.

I was the one who changed.


About the Author:

The She-Shepherd The She-Shepherd is a defensive firearms student, mother and advocate for pushing the boundaries of how we train. She believes that defensive training must balance context, mindset, and skill to be most effective. Her specialty has become testing alternative modes of firearms carry and best practices of less than lethal force options through rigorous force-on-force scenario based training.
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3 Comments on "That’s What She Said: What a Difference a Year Makes"

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  1. HawaiianPunch says:

    I totally would have sported that pink tshirt the rest of the day….

  2. Bond says:

    You were a natural and fantastic interviewer. I’m very excited to see the upcoming video. Both men, and especially women, in self-defense and shooting sports are super lucky to have someone of your character covering ShotShow.

  3. It was a pleasure meeting you! Thank you for doing what you do to promote positive, strong, dedicated women in the shooting community. It is because of folks like you that myself and other like minded women have the chance to reach a greater audience with our message. Oh, and had you not told me it was your first interview I never would have known. You’re a natural! Looking forward to staying in touch!

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