It’s a female gun blogger feature with a twist … In this post, Britney Starr talks to Destinee, publisher of the vlog FateofDestinee about shooting with her family, her career goals and her crazy YouTube videos.
Brit: What exactly is the mission behind FateofDestinee? I just watched a video where you let someone demonstrate a taser on you?! Girl, you’re crazy!
Destinee: The FateofDestinee mission has evolved somewhat over time, actually. When I first started blogging and recording videos for my YouTube channel, the objective was merely to share my interests such as shooting and fitness with family and friends. Those first few blogs and videos ended up being pretty simple, without much creative expression. But, as time passed, I started to increasingly receive more responses and requests to produce additional content. It should not have been a surprise that a younger female firearms’ enthusiast would receive that response. Quickly, my subscriber base started to grow and with that came a following of women who were inspired by my videos. They were expressing to me that they appreciated a woman who was making gun and gear videos without the typical female exploitation. Also appreciated was my creative approach to videos. I wasn’t taking the same old approach and tried to express myself creatively with each endeavor. Another area of common ground was the fact that I did not try to sell myself as an expert, but rather was approachable and didn’t hide the fact that I was still learning (and still am).
That unassuming enthusiasm for learning has somewhat hit a chord with both male and female viewers, based on the comments and emails I receive. That response was the basis for the current evolution of the FateofDestinee mission, which is: 1) to share any newly acquired firearms knowledge, 2) to inspire more females to join a male dominated sport, 3) to prove that shooting can be fun, and doesn’t always have to be training or self-defense related and 4) to help promote the shooting sport in a safe, responsible manner while providing entertainment.
Also, important to me is to be a positive reflection on the shooting population. Political opponents of the Second Amendment are always on the lookout for reasons why we should ban guns. I want to provide a counterpoint to that movement. Along those same lines, I work hard to maintain a brand that is tied to safe, reasonable and educated firearm ownership. Lastly, I want to also show that firearms enthusiasm isn’t limited to seasoned professionals with years of experience. We all have to start somewhere, and it is fun every step of the way.
Brit: You mentioned being a new shooter, how long have you been shooting and what sparked your interest to start?
Destinee: I consider myself a new shooter even though I’ve been around guns all of my life. Both of my parents were in the military and my dad has been an avid shooter for as long as I can remember. When I was younger he would take me along with him to the range, but at the time I didn’t have the interest in shooting. It wasn’t until I turned 21 (I’m 23 now) and realized that I could buy my own handgun that my journey began. To prepare, I had asked my dad to take me to the range to try out a variety of his handguns and narrow down what I was interested in purchasing. After trying a number of calibers in both revolvers and semiautomatics, I had the best experience with his .45 caliber guns. So, I set out to purchase a 1911 for my first gun. I was lucky enough to find a Kimber SIS Pro that I just fell in love with. To this day, it is my main carry piece. Yes, it’s a full sized 1911 with a four-inch barrel, so I have to be very creative about my wardrobe. After purchasing the 1911, I started receiving training from my local range instructor and of course, my dad. Coincidentally, I recorded those first few sessions and posted them on YouTube to share with friends … which started my additional hobby of making gun and gear review videos. Producing videos and interacting with like-minded firearms enthusiasts has fueled my passion for gaining more knowledge and experience with firearms while sharing my findings along the way.
Brit: Mmmm. I love me a 1911! Good choice for your first gun. So, what is in your range bag?
Destinee: I’ve experimented with a few range bag configurations, but I’ve found what works best for me is a type of wheeled carry-on travel bag. It’s loaded with compartments, zippers and pockets, which allow me to keep it stocked up and ready for my range visits. As I write this, I’ve wheeled it over to document its contents. One outside zippered pocket of the bright blue bag is home for my purple Beretta shooting glasses, my formed ear plugs, and Browning ear defenders. I usually only double up when shooting the Smith & Wesson 500. Because I often shoot with family members, my sister, my brother, and my dad also have their own compartments with their respective ear and eye protection. A few remaining zipper pockets contain gun oil, a laser bore sighter, and additional foam ear plugs. In the main compartment I have an assortment of paper targets, 50 rounds of Federal .357 Magnum, 50 rounds of Federal .380, 100 rounds of Remington 9mm, 50 rounds of PMC in .45, a Smith & Wesson 686P, a Sig P238, a Beretta M9 and lastly, Springfield’s new XD-S. Finally, what else is in my range bag? Various spent casings lucky enough to land in the bag — tributes to the quality family time spent during hundreds of range visits over the past couple of years. I should probably clean those out, but they now have sentimental value.
Brit: Sounds like you are prepared! How much time does it take to run a firearms based YouTube channel?
Destinee: My YouTube channel endeavor is a labor of love. It consumes about 40 hours per week. About half of it is hands on training/practicing and research. The other half is spent on video productions and YouTube interactions. Every part of it is so rewarding that it doesn’t seem like work. My productions started out typically as 90-second cell phone recordings and have morphed into more involved productions including original background music, parody characters, and music videos. Comedy (or attempts at comedy) is sprinkled in, but the main focus of my channel is to inform and to entertain. So with that aim in mind, I share my research, my progress as a shooter, and my personal reflections on various topics – all with a creative flair. I try to make each video a bit different from the last. In a way, each production is a creative expression, allowing me to take on an old subject with a fresh perspective. I enlist assistance from my family and friends to run the camera. Sometimes my dad helps me with music, audio, or video questions. So far, I’ve produced about one video a week for a year and a half now, which sometimes gets difficult with my other “real life” commitments of school, work, and family. Although, it takes a considerable amount of work, most of it is family time which adds to the reward. Ultimately, as long as I enjoy it as much as I do now, I’ll keep making videos, regardless of the effort.
Brit: What are you going to school for and what are your career goals for the future?
I’m 23, so I’m technically a non-traditional student. I switched gears and changed my major after I had completed two years of business courses, wanting to pursue a career in business law. But, I found that my passion for learning was medicine. I’m now considered pre-med, double majoring in Biology and Art. Actually, my hopes are either to become a cardiac surgeon or a research biologist. It all depends on money! I’ve been sharing the expense of school with my dad so it’s slow going. YouTube actually has been helping out with that, which is great. And yes, I am extraordinarily busy … but luckily I get a lot of support from my family. I pretty much have every hour of the day planned out and sometimes feel as though I’m burning the candle at both ends, but that’s what happens when you’re passionate about your pursuits, right? I wouldn’t change anything because I have my life aligned with the things that truly matter … I’m engaged in meaningful work, I stay healthy with exercise, my close relationships are rewarding and get to the range about twice a week.
Visit FateofDestinee and watch her YouTube shenanigans here.