When Carrie Lightfoot, founder of The Well Armed Woman (TWAW) called, we answered. “I think we need to be at The WON,” she said, and we agreed. We are delighted to announce a partnership between the TWAW and Women’s Outdoor News (The WON). Thanks to Carrie for taking the time to answer our questions. We think you’ll like what she has to say, and hopefully add her to your list of trustworthy resources in the shooting world (if you haven’t, already).
The WON: When did you set up The Well Armed Woman and why?
Carrie: I launched TWAW in Feb. 2012. I was so frustrated as a new female shooter that there were so few resources for women shooters. Most of what I found was either condescending or very sexist and holsters and accessories for women were just about non-exsistant. As a new shooter, I wanted information that spoke to me respectfully as a woman and answered the questions I had as I entered this “new world.” I needed products that worked for me and fit my body with all of its “differences.” So, with my passion for business and love of firearms, The Well Armed Woman was born.
The WON: Can you name a few successes so far?
Carrie: I am amazed every day at what has happened with this company. The first year was a whirlwind of growth, holster designs and a flood of women who were so happy to find a comfortable place as a female gun owner. Surviving that first year was a success for me Launching the national chapter program and instructor certification courses in the second year created another phenomenal year. I had no idea the passion would spread like it has. There were 100 chapters by years end and almost 200 to date. I see this, not as my success, but that of the women who have stepped up into leadership in their cities. These women with an amazing passion to change lives in their communities, coupled with the incredible hunger of women across this country. has made this program such a great success. When I hear the hundreds of stories of women growing in confidence and becoming equipped to protect themselves and their families, it drives me to do more.
The WON:Did you learn anything about running a small business in the outdoor industry that you’d care to pass along to others?
Carrie: I love business and have some amazing experiences starting and running businesses and organizations. Now, I have the amazing blessing of having the perfect blend of matching my passion to change lives with a great business in the fast-growing women’s firearm industry. I have learned that when entering unchartered territory, as I did in the business of women and guns, perseverance and an absolute focus on your goals are required. In business, distraction is everywhere. Products, social media, the competition, naysayers and the temptation to believe that you have some how made it or “are” somebody must never lure you away from your vision or shake your confidence in yourself and what you are doing. What is so wonderful about the outdoor industry is that its foundation is the truly remarkable people it is built around and on. The men and women who are passionate about the outdoors are the most down to earth, genuine and positive people! They value our world, our environment and want to live everyday blessed by it. There isn’t a better “crowd” to be with.
The WON:If a woman shops at your online biz, what can she expect to find?
Carrie: What I want women to experience when they visit TWAW website, attend a chapter meeting or train with one of our instructors — in a word — would be respect.
As women, we don’t need to be told what to do, what we need is clear and accurate information to make the best choices we can for ourselves.
I want our customers to feel comfortable, get their questions answered and be pointed toward solutions. I want TWAW to be a problem solver. When a customer calls or emails they get a person who cares and will take the time to answer their questions and guide them. Customer service is a central value and priority for me. Versatility and function drive the products I design and carry. Women need options and that’s what she will find available at TWAW. She can trust that they do what they are supposed to do and they will do it well. I know how tough it is trying to find the right holster options; there are just too many variables to ever have a holster be right for everyone, so at TWAW, all holsters and accessories or fully exchangeable or returnable. We will work with you to find the best choices for you, for as long as it takes.
The WON:What do you like to do outdoors?
Carrie: I love being outdoors and actually work outside much of the time. There is nothing like not having a ceiling! Nothing beats target practice outdoors and I love to hike and go for walks. We live up against the mountains here in Arizona and love to walk the trails and take in the amazing beauty. I used to love to camp and fish, but since my children are grown and life has been so busy, I haven’t been nearly “outdoorsy” enough!
The WON:Anything you want to announce for this fall — an expansion of the line? New product?
Carrie: Innovation in product development are ongoing at The Well Armed Woman. We are working on some new things but it’s a little early to spill the beans. We do have some big news coming in a new direction, and let’s just say … my husband, Bryan, would like to get into a more testosterone-rich environment!
Visit The Well Armed Woman to find training opportunities, answers to your questions about shooting and great gear.
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