Posted: Oct 18, 2013 4:34 PM EDT | Updated: Nov 29, 2013 4:34 PM EST
BOCA RATON, Fla. –
Learning to shoot on a gun range can be scary enough, what with all bullets flying around. But try doing it walking in high heels.
“It’s a little intimidating. It’s a man’s world.”
Wielding an M-16 and pink ear protectors, Susan Kushlin doesn’t fit the stereotype.
“This is just a comfortable gun for me.”
She loves guns, but hates that “gun style”: frumpy, usually ill-fitting hats, jackets and camo gear.
“I didn’t really know much about the shooting and about the clothing, but I know about fashion.”
So she carved a niche. More and more women are picking up gun licenses and conceal carry permits.
“…and what girl doesn’t love bling? We’re all about the bling.”
Now she’s selling t-shirts for the range and jewelry made with empty golden shell casings.
“This is a chain belt. It’s a great piece — very unique piece. “The guns and crystals. Revolvers and crystals.”
Her biggest seller might be the purses, created to conceal a handgun. She’s marketing them to women who want to carry for self defense, but don’t want to skimp on style.
“I want them to be able to wear clothing and jewelry, carry a bag that’s safe to shoot in, it’s fashionable, and be able to wear it from the gun range to going out to dinner.”
Some of the handbags even come with a kevlar-like casing.
“It’s like along the line of a bullet-proof vest for your bag. It’s just another layer of protection.”
Susan knows she’s still in a boy’s club, but hopes to break barriers, ushering more women into the sport. Combining guns and glitter and maybe a pink assault rifle down the road, too.
“With some bling. I’m working on that. That’s in the pipeline.”