We’re always delighted to introduce you to our advertisers, the real people behind the banners and blocks and links here at The WON. Please welcome Athena Means, proprietor of GunGoddess.com, to our network. She is of Greek heritage and grew up in South Africa. Athena met her husband in Europe while he was stationed in the military and came to this country with him. She said, “I proudly became a citizen in 2005.”
Athena explains the concept for GunGoddess
I started shooting competitively about 18 months ago. My own frustration with trying to find feminine, colorful shooting accessories gave birth to the idea. I mulled it over for a few months, then started working on it. It took about a year from first having the idea, to getting the website launched. While I am serious about my shooting, I also like to look like a woman while I am doing it. Initially, it was just going to be t-shirts to wear to the range … it sort of mushroomed from there, because it’s hard for me to do anything in small measures!
She’s a real shooter, too!
My husband first took me to the range in 2004. He was about to deploy overseas for a year, and felt that I needed to learn how to use the guns that were in the home. I didn’t care either way, but I went, and loved it! The gun I learned to shoot with was a Beretta F92. Big, heavy and clunky, but it has a special place in my heart! After that, I took some classes and bought my own first gun, a Kahr P9. That’s the gun I still carry – it just fits my hands well, and I like its size and weight.
About 18 months ago I decided to try competitive handgun shooting, showed up to watch a USPSA match and the next week I participated with my Kahr. It didn’t take long to realize that I needed new toys for this sport (any excuse!). I now shoot both USPSA and IDPA with my Glock 34, which I love! It wasn’t my first competition gun, but it is the one that suits me best!
I also recently bought my first shotgun, a FN SLP Mark 1. I had borrowed different shotguns before making that decision, and again, that just felt like the best fit for me. I got to shoot it for the first time last week! I now have my sights on a rifle.
She’s got plans!
There’s a lot about GunGoddess that is trial and error; what products will women like? Or not like? What products are they asking for? It’s just all so new, that I’m sure as the year goes there will be many tweaks and changes to the products being offered. With a lot of the products, I am just sourcing them from other manufacturers and bringing them together in one place.
I would like to move in the direction of more GunGoddess-branded items. I definitely plan to expand the t-shirt line. I am also working on a GunGoddess line of range bags and gun cases. And I am just staying open to new ideas and new products. I am working on shipping within 24 hours for as many products as possible. And I am leaning towards American-made products, if I can. It’s not possible for all products, but I am focusing more and more on that.
Quality is critical. I test and use every product before offering it. If I wouldn’t use it myself, I wont sell it.
And, that’s not all. It’s not all about selling stuff. It’s about networking and inspiring, too
Well, initially I wanted GunGoddess.com to be a resource for information, and not just shopping. Then it dawned on me that other sites are already doing the information, article and educational material, and doing it well. So I scaled the idea back to just focusing on linking to women’s courses and shooting leagues. I’m still working on what the permanent format for that will be. My hope is that if there’s a growing and permanent link that is state-specific, it just becomes an easy place for women to go to find what’s going on in their area. While they’re shopping, they can look into taking that next course, or joining a women-only club or league. That’s the idea, anyway!
What’s hot at Gun Goddess?
My top sellers are the leopard print range bags and long gun cases, the bullet casing necklaces, the engraved Glock magazine floor plates, and the t-shirts.
About those shirts …
They are my “baby.” I can’t even draw stick figures, but I am working with two wonderful artists who take my ideas and turn them into gorgeous artwork. The shirts are one of the reasons GunGoddess began. I wanted tees with fun, shooting-themed designs for myself, and I think the current three ladies’ designs are just gorgeous. Here again, quality is very important to me. I use higher-quality garments because I want my tees to have a super fit and feel. The water-based inks discharge into the fabric, so you can’t even feel the design. It will never crack or peel!
I just introduced embroidered polo shirts, as well the embroidered polos with a padded shoulder. I am so excited about the apparel ideas I’m currently working on! Ladies just love the logo, which caught me by surprise! Although when you think about it, it’s not just a logo, it’s a statement … a woman who shoots IS a Gun Goddess! I am getting requests for more “Gun Goddess” items, and I can’t wait to introduce some of the new products!
Not just ‘for the ladies’
My focus is absolutely the women, but as I was searching for women’s gear, I kept finding “unisex” items that I thought guys would like too. That’s why I created a small men’s section, with a lot of gift ideas and original t-shirt designs, so that while a woman is shopping for herself, she can pick up a little something for him too. My “young shooters” page is expanding too. And the gift items are something I’ll be working to expand this year, too. I want the site to be THE place to go when you’re gift shopping for someone who shoots!