There are two of us here at Kerberos Industries. We are a partnership in business and in life. We started this business because we both had our frustrations with the firearms industry, and wanted to change the way the industry treats its customer base. We both have had negative experiences, but those experiences have consistently looked very different. For me, as a woman, my negative experiences have almost always been because I AM a woman. So, if you are a woman reading this, I suspect you will recognize and relate to what I have to share. If you are a man reading this, I hope that you have not been guilty of any of these things, but if you have, seeing it from our point of view, may be an eye opener, and hopefully, a catalyst to help change things.
Ok ladies, let me know if this sounds familiar. You go into a big box store, looking for ammo for your handgun, for instance. You are standing there in the aisle, perusing boxes of ammo, along with any number of male customers, and a store employee wanders by, asking each man if they are finding what they are looking for, but never even acknowledges you. You look around and wonder who they assume you are ‘the wife’ too. Or maybe you go into a small local shop you have heard good things about, or maybe it’s the only option in town. You want to check out a new pistol or just need to grab a couple of extra magazines before your next training class. You stand around and watch as one after another of the male customers are greeted and assisted, while you are ignored. After a while, you simply leave. Or, if they do ask you if you need help, they try to talk you out of the handgun you are interested in and try to steer you toward some other model, because its ‘more appropriate’ for a woman. You hear things like, ‘but its smaller, it will fit in your purse better’. Or maybe something like ‘what about this one, in tiffany blue, it’s a cute little gun.’ Are you nodding yet? You know what I am talking about, I know you do. Every single one of these things has happened to me. These are the most common stories I hear from ladies I encounter. The other thing I hear a lot, mostly in gun groups online, is, ‘I want to buy my lady a gun, what should I get her?’ UGH. These are only a few of the examples, there are so many more.
There are several local gun shops I no longer frequent, because the staff refused to recognize me as a competent, valuable customer. That’s ok, I found some places where my money was welcome, my questions answered respectfully, and my opinion valued. Until we started this business, those places were the ones that got my business. We, as women in general, are powerful consumers, and are buying more firearms than ever before. The shops that are not recognizing this are shooting themselves in the foot.
That’s just experiences with shops. We have not even talked about things that happen on the range, or in training classes. That is a whole separate can of worms. I can’t tell you how many times I have been on the range and have had a gentleman approach me with unsolicited, and often, incorrect, advice. I have taken several training classes and I am pretty proficient with my firearms. I have a membership at a local range that I utilize as often as possible and I have recently started the process of becoming a firearms instructor. I am NOT on the range looking for help. However, many of these gentlemen could use some.
We can also talk about gear, but I think I will save that for another post. Another LONG post.
The frustrations are endless when you are a woman, trying to exist in a ‘man’s world’. There is a serious lack of Firearms related businesses owned by women. There are very few shops that even employ women. We have very little representation in the industry, but it is better than it used to be. There are several places that offer ladies only training courses. There are national organizations for women shooters. There are good shops out there that are respectful and helpful. These are the things we need to support. These are the places we need to tell our girlfriends, sisters, mothers, aunts, cousins, etc., about. These are the places we need to give our business too.
As a woman business owner, I am dedicated to helping women customers with their questions and listen to their needs and respect their choices, as is my partner. Whether you are brand new to the shooters life, or an experienced shooter, we are here to help. If you are looking for a different kind of experience, you have come to the right place.