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‘Something to Talk About’: Women of the firearms industry unite for an evening in Vegas

The first Annual Women’s Outdoor and Shooting Industry dinner exploded with excitement on Tues., Jan. 15, in Las Vegas, Nev. The planning for this event began as a small meet-and-greet for no more than 30 attendees.

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Organizers and hosts Britney Starr and Jacquelyn Kelly. Photo courtesy of Doug Gillmer

When word got out, the attendee list grew exponentially. Hosts Britney Starr, of Starr & Bodill African Safaris, and Jacquelyn Kelly, of Armed in Heels, found themselves hit by increasing attendee limits as they spent many hours planning a wedding-sized event that eventually numbered 150 guests. Sponsors began appearing, eager to underwrite such an event, held at Gilley’s Barbeque, located in Treasure Island Casino.

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Gilley’s busted with beautiful women in the firearms industry. Photo courtesy of Stacey Huston

The number of women attending was said by some to be “amazing” and by others to be “well expected.. Kristen Oxley, one of the event’s Platinum sponsors, Lasermax, said, “The response shows how pent up the need for an event like this is.” She also mentioned that she expects an explosion in the number of women who want to attend next year’s event, especially when they hear how well this one was received.

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Britney Starr shines in the middle, surrounded by friends from Prois Hunting Apparel and Hercamoshop.com. Photo courtesy of Stacey Huston

The guest list was diverse, but the sisterhood of the industry stood out above all. Among the crowd were SWAT docs, creators of lady hunting apparel, shooting and tactical apparel and accessories, archery champions, shooting instructors, hunting guides, mentors, gunsmiths, army veterans, police officers, shooting champions, magazine editors, photographers, writers and more. With such a dynamic list of backgrounds, it was inevitable that friends were made and right before our eyes partnerships were formed. As guest Cristy Crawford said, “It’s the ‘wow factor.’ That is why we do what we do.”

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Photo courtesy of Stacey Huston

Other quotes heard amongst the group included these:

“We’re all about helping each other to do better.” Karen Butler – Shoot like a Girl

“It’s nice to see some of the younger women getting involved and taking it seriously.” Stacey Huston – A “Focus” in the Wild

Referring to instructing new shooters, “It’s so great when they turn around after that first shot and smile.” – Jessica Merlino – Guns and Lace

“It is cool to see so many women here with similar interests.” Ruth Cusack – 2013 Próis Hunting Apparel Award Winner

“It is wonderful to see the networking here. It is phenomenal!” Rachel Ahtila – Canadian hunting guide

 

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Photo courtesy of Stacey Huston

Platinum Sponsor:

Gold Sponsors:

 

Silver Sponsor:

 

  • ESS EyePro

 

 

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Door prizes were donated by a large number of women’s companies, as well as all of the event sponsors. Photo courtesy of Stacey Huston

Britney Starr

Britney Starr reads the raffle winners’ names. Photo courtesy of Stacey Huston

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Small conversations happened, as well as big ideas for next year’s event. Photo courtesy of Stacey Huston

Kristen Monroe

Outdoor writer Kristen Monroe belts out “Something to Talk About,” to an approving audience. Photo courtesy of Stacey Huston

  • About Women's Outdoor News

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. With a band of columnists and reviewers, photographers and female reporters, The WON engages its readers through a blog format and we invite you to talk to us. Thank you for reading!

     

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