I have never been one to turn down any opportunity that comes my way, just as long as it aligns with my personal beliefs and morals. My entire life has been about taking chances and accepting challenges. I have always looked at any opportunity with the “glass-half-full” outlook.
To the best of my recollection, my optimistic attitude began my junior year in high school when I had the opportunity to be an exchange student to Paraguay. Although going on the trip would cause me financial hardships later in college, I vowed that if I could work out the finances I would go because, “at least if I have a terrible time I will be better in Spanish.” My Spanish did improve as expected, but I also made some lifelong friends and memories to boot. That opportunity has paid me back tenfold through out my military and law enforcement career.
When I returned from Paraguay, I commuted to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee about 120 miles a day. I was working three part-time jobs to pay for the loan I took out to go on that exchange trip. Each day while commuting, I heard the same US Army recruiting radio ad offering $25,000 toward college to those who enlisted as linguists. I had plenty of time to consider the benefits and drawbacks of military service. By the end of that semester, I recognized military service was an opportunity. I had to fight through my fears to enlist. I recall convincing myself, “It’s only four years and I’ll get to travel and learn a third language. It can’t be harder than everything I’m doing now — and even if I’m miserable … at least I’ll be in shape when I get out.” In the end I served 11 years active and reserve status. I met dozens of people and saw countless places that I would have never experienced, had I not taken advantage of the opportunity.
Fast forwarding to March 2013, when I was asked by Karen Bartuch of the Women’s Tactical Association and AlphaGirls, and Marilyn Smolenski of Nickel and Lace to be a guest speaker for their First Annual Firearms and Fashion Show at HEAT-Armor in Chicago, Ill. Like always, I didn’t give it a second thought before agreeing to participate. That evening I was able to speak about women in the firearms and law enforcement industry, an area that I feel confident is changing and growing. The show also featured various industry vendors, who have committed to representing women in the firearms and fashion industries. One vendor really caught my attention, Armed in Stilettos.Armed in Stilettos had a booth at the Firearms and Fashion Show where they were selling t-shirts and firearms-related accessories for women. I was immediately drawn to one shirt that quoted in part the Second Amendment. I immediately knew the relevance of that shirt and scooped it up. I actually bought a couple of shirts. Later that week, I went online and bought a couple more.
Armed in Stilettos t-shirts are soft spun and fitted for women. They are both feminine and edgy. I read the owner’s (Randy Stitt) story online and really related to her. In summary, she says that as she began to consider the bad things that could happen to her she decided to get her concealed carry permit “just in case.” She says she never goes a day without carrying concealed, because it is her constitutional right. Randi expresses her frustration in finding clothing for women that isn’t pink and camouflage. I can relate to Randi’s sentiments. I actually love pink and camouflage (NOT together) but I hate tacky … and there’s more tacky apparel for women than things I would actually wear.
I had the opportunity to wear my Armed in Stilettos’ Second Amendment t-shirt for an article written by Barbara Baird in an upcoming issue of Combat Handguns. I emailed the photo to Barb and Randi so they could see. Later that week Barb asked if I would be interested in having Armed in Stilettos sponsor my blog. Like so many other opportunities in my life, I didn’t think twice about accepting. I am very grateful to Otis Technology for their sponsorship during the past two years, but I feel very excited to have Armed in Stilettos as my new sponsor. This opportunity will allow me to write more frequently, covering areas of interest among women, such as firearms, holsters, concealment, safety, hunting, training, tactical equipment and of course … the Second Amendment.
Randi states on her website that, “Due to the current state of firearm legislation, I felt the need to express my feelings and show my support … Armed in Stilettos’ t-shirts and accessories show you support your Second Amendment and the right to protect yourself and other innocent citizens of this great country.” I could not agree more with Randi, and she is keenly aware that our constitutional rights are in jeopardy. I admire anyone who can focus her passion and convert it into a business opportunity that promotes women and the Constitution and I am so excited to be sponsored by Armed in Stilettos! Thanks, Randi!