Join Mia and Jen O’Hara as the pair recap the first annual Girils with Guns Ruger Rendezvous at Gunsite Academy. Learn about the GwG concealed carry clothing line and the hands-on experience with world-class trainers.
For discounts on Girls with Guns gear or clothing, use discount code GwGRendezvous10 at www.gwgclothing.com
Important links for this episode:
Jen O’Hara — https://www.instagram.com/gwgjen/
Gunsite Academy — www.gunsite.com
Allen Company — www.byallen.com
Falco Holsters — www.falcoholsters.com
Crossbreed Holsters — www.crossbreedholsters.com
Sticky Holsters — www.stickyholsters.com
Ruger — www.shopruger.com
Hornaday — www.hornady.com
Pursue the Wild at Montana Silversmiths — https://www.montanasilversmiths.com/licensedcollections/pursuethewild.html
USCCA — www.usconcealedcarry.com
Rafter BT Creations — https://www.instagram.com/rafterbtcreations/
Armed Women of America — www.armedwomen.org
Mia (00:00): Welcome to the Mac Outdoors Podcast. Today I am super excited to have an old friend on the show that invited me to an event recently and sharing it all over my social media because it’s something that you just cannot share. I mean, you have to share anything from Gun Site Academy. But this past week I went to Pauline, Arizona to Gun Site Academy, but I was invited by Girls With Guns Clothing, and it was for the first annual Girls with Guns, Ruger Rondevu. And so today I have Jen O’Hara with me. Hi Jen. I’m so happy to have you.
Jen O’Hara (00:35): Thank you. Thanks for having me on.
Mia (00:38): Yeah, I’m super excited to kind of recap because of course gun site is always so exciting and you just wanna relive it any time. But I also wanted to share with my listeners, I mean, girls with Guns Clothing, you can find that on the website and you can find apparel. But part of this adventure, as far as I know, I’m gonna ask you to clarify a lot of this, but part of it was demoing some of the latest and greatest gear, and we got to use that with live fire drills and fir first some dry safety drills. But I just wanted you to tell my listeners about The Rendezvous and let ’em know what, and where they can find future information about it.
Jen O’Hara (01:21): So one of the biggest things was that I am a gun site graduate, and I love Gunsite. I love to continue my education. So a lot of us there were NRA instructors. And we handle firearms, obviously very comfortably ourselves, but we always continue our training. And so that’s kind of where this started. I was coming to Gunsite and also work with Gunsite through Girls with Guns. They carry some of our clothing in their pro shop. And Jane Ann and I had become pretty good friends. And over the years, every time we get together, whether it’s Shot Show or Armed Women of America, we end up having the same conversation. And it’s, when are you gonna come out? When are you gonna come to a media event? When are you gonna bring people out? Let’s do your gear. And so she’s always been just really forthcoming and like pulling me in.
(02:13): And, you know, first of all, we were starting that conversation and then Covid hit and you know, we all know what happened there. And but I had just become a mom in 2019. And as you know, when you become a mom, there’s like this learning curve. So it took a little bit of time for me to come around and get this event put together. I’m a mom again, but you know, I did this event with a nine-month-old. So gun site has always been near and dear to my heart because I am continuing my education. I’m always growing as a firearms instructor and as a clothing manufacturer. So the biggest thing for me was figuring out what does this look like for girls with guns? And so last fall we launched several new products and we have been doing concealed carry apparel for I would say four or five years now.
(03:08): We started originally with hunting, as you know, and have worked with us in the past, hunting, t-shirts, hats you know, just some casual lifestyle apparel. And bringing in the concealed carry aspect really helped us to grow the brand, not only at a retail but also just growing ourselves. And Narissa and I both have very different roles in the company. Mine is strongly with the firearms side of it. So it’s just where my passion lies. And in building these clothes, you start finding that you need to figure out how to teach your customer how to train and how to draw successfully if they were to defend themselves. And then so that the media event was kind of born through that. Illing and I are really good friends and we knew who is very well known instructor throughout the United States.
(04:04): Among all of us women I would say personally the top woman instructor in the nation. She is amazing. And so Elaine came and met with me and I gave her all of our gear, sent her everything. We kind of had like an impromptu get together at my house and we just said, okay, here’s what I see. Here’s what I’d like to train with, how can we fit this in? And so we planned a three day training. We were very successful. We could have probably done five with all the gear that we have <laugh>. But you know, it was still amazing. We got a lot in and whether we started with the carbon pants and our carbon pants are they won the N r A Golden Bullseye Award for the Women’s Range Pants the year in 2020. And so started with like a basic five step presentation all the way through our leggings and then our jackets in.
(05:01): And then we worked on some of our purses and purse straw and really just going through the motions of doing this safely. A lot of it is advanced techniques because it’s a cross straw, it’s turning your body. And so Ruger we used the Ruger Max nine, but we also had special custom max nine blue guns made just for this event, which was really cool. And so we were able to do this safely because there were women at all different levels. So we had people like you and I who instruct con consistently and also shoot all the time Carrie all the time to women who were new to their concealed carry journey. So it was really important that we made everybody equal and everybody feel safe. I feel like it was highly successful. Everyone learned something no matter what their skill level. And I really feel like it was just, it was just awesome <laugh>,
Mia (05:59): It was super awesome. And one thing, as you said, we probably could have done five days because even I wanted to interview you and a few other people while we were there, but they’re just, we were doing so many things, there wasn’t a lot of downtime to do that. And so I’m glad that thank goodness for technology and we can meet later to, to kind of do recaps. But when I got all the gear, I was amazed at how much gear you had, but also the quality of the gear because it wasn’t, you know, a, a bag of brochures or stickers or something like that. There was a lot of quality gear and you know, as I pulled things out and was investigating and looking at the pouches and holsters and stuff like that, it was amazing to me the op the options because I had seen your original pants, like you said, maybe five years ago.
(06:46): I, it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, but I know it’s been a while. But to be able to have the opportunity to try them was very impressive. And I was kind of curious when I was looking at them. The night when I spread ’em all out is in doing the, the rendezvous, is there like a responsibility that you all kind of feel in having this gear? Does it put a responsibility on you to have customers that are buying this product and you’re hoping that they know what to do? Because just as we said in in the intro of the pants, the the adjustable hymn, I mean, I knew that because of the hunting pants and we learned that years ago from you specifically, you, you demoed ’em for us. But you know, some people even with the stickers didn’t see that. So I just kind of wondered what kind of responsibility do you as a company, what do you feel when you’re releasing these, these components of your lifestyle wear?
Jen O’Hara (07:44) Well, one of the things that we found when we first designed everything was that it was really important for us to put a hang tag that had our three rules of firearm safety, the three N R NRA rules. And in every purse you will see inside that we’ve sewn a patch in that has those same rules. And I always like to say when I’m teaching that if you, if you live by these rules, you’re never gonna have a firearms accident. You’re never gonna accidentally shoot yourself or someone else. And so if we can follow those, that is number one. So having those in the forefront of somebody that might be new, we always also open up our customer support to people to ask questions. And my, my girls who run my customer support know, and the questions that they get regarding firearms or drawing or from one of our holsters come directly to me.
(08:39) So the person doesn’t get just someone, they will come directly to me and I will be the one answering them and replying back to them. Sometimes I pick up the phone and call ’em because I want them to have a really great experience with our gear. I feel like that’s what’s important. It is a huge responsibility and I do feel that, and that’s why I continue my training and I continue to help us grow to be better. I don’t think you can ever stop being a student of a firearm. It’s a perishable skill and it’s something that is just really important. And it’s also really near and dear to my heart, whether it’s my four-year-old daughter who I’m working on with a blue gun, the firearm safety rules, just in case, just in case someone else accidentally ever left a firearm sitting around, it won’t be me, it won’t be my husband, but you never know.
(09:32) They go to other places. And so, or it’s somebody who is, you know, 40 or 50 years old and they’re just starting their firearms journey. Everybody’s different, but we just have to teach those same three rules. And I think that’s where it starts. And then from there this was part of my education because Illing took apart every piece and told me, these are the pluses, these are the minuses, and I want to know the minuses. I wanna know what can we change, what can we make better because we have not arrived. We are on a journey consistently every year changing what can I change about our gear to make it a little bit better? Or maybe, you know, this, this piece is really great, but we need a new piece that compliments it for this customer. So we’re always just trying to do that.
(10:21): Make the gear as safe as possible. You know, we have trigger guards in our leggings. We have a retention strap, and we have a soft holster. And I tell you exactly what type of firearm you should be using in it. And I really don’t recommend that you use a larger, a firearm. You know, a lot of women would be like, well, why can’t I carry a 45 in these lightnings? You can, but I don’t think it’s the best. It’s not something I recommend with the weight and the size of the firearm on a, on a pair of lake, right. So there’s that. And then we are, the reason that I sent out a lot of gear besides our own was that there is always something different. I am not a holster manufacturer. So we partnered with Falco Holsters, crossbreed, holsters and Sticky, and we did it for three different reasons.
(11:12): Three very different unique companies that brought something different to the table. And you guys were able to get this awesome gear. And it really was I think the package was over $3,000 value that each participant came, and that was including their training and of course gun site first and foremost. Excellent. As you know, you’ve been there before and so have I the best training. And so we had that, but it was also a unique curriculum that I want to offer again, because I think that people will want to come and train in our gear. I have women ask me constantly, how do I do this? How, and, and they’re from all over the nation, so it’s not like I can just, you know, get in front of them. And so we’re just gonna continue to grow it and learn and as we introduce new pieces, we’ll perfect it.
Mia (12:09): Yeah. And I loved the progression because even though I have been to gun site and I, I try to do training once or twice a year, I go and get training. And it’s something that people often ask, well, you’re an instructor, why do you need training? And it’s like, well, what I teach is very much different than learning to draw from a cons concealed carry leggings or from a jacket or a handbag. And that’s not what I teach. I go to those classes because I wanna know for my own safety and also when people ask me. But the progression, as you said, to have, what did, what were there 18 women there? 20.
Jen O’Hara (12:45): So we had 18 that were shooting, but I think we had probably 23 women total throughout the whole event.
Mia (12:54): Yeah. And as you said, several were instructors. Several are competitors. And the thing is, it’s, it’s all different styles of drawing and different, different styles of shooting. And people had been to different classes, and I even when I shared stuff on social media, people are asking me the, the whys, just like Il Ling taught us, you know, the, well, why would you do this and why would you do that? And it’s nice to hear words from other instructors or to, you know, hear you beside me on the line and you saying, oh, well I’m having this issue and then I can understand if I’m teaching, you know, what comes up with somebody else. But we also had some newbies there that were very new, and it was great to watch their progression, but for us to start with a baseline, you know, with that drop poster from Falco and, you know, start drawing from there just to get our rhythm, several of us that are our instructors we’re smacking the trigger. And you know, it was like, we teach you not to do that, but here we are doing it. So it was nice to have somebody watching us to see what mistakes we were making and, and then to go on from there to a competition at the end, which was, you know, pretty mellow, but still a lot of fun.
Jen O’Hara (14:08): Well, and so when we originally designed the curriculum, it was taking everyone back to basics. So your basic five-step presentation. And it’s something where, you know, I teach concealed carry throughout my locally, but being a student, like you said, of it always helps me to catch something that I might be doing. And, and a lot of it’s just because maybe we aren’t doing as much as we should. For me, I had a baby in the last year, and so I do a lot dry, but I haven’t, hadn’t done a lot of dr of live fire in the past. I would say year ever since I was about 24 weeks pregnant. So, you know, catching myself, but what I do walk through is like, oh, that’s what I’m doing, because, you know, because you do teach it and that really helps.
(14:58): Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, a lot of what I do at home is dry. And I think that that’s one thing for our customers to really know is that they have to continue their journey. Even if you go to Gem site, that skill is perishable. So with our leggings, that was the most, the easiest part for me because I wear our leggings pretty much every day. And when I get ready to leave my house in the morning to take Olivia to school, or maybe I’m going into town to grocery shop or whatever I’m doing, I check my outfit. I just do a couple really quick dry fires, and then I load my firearm. And I have done that for a couple years now, just because the situation has changed a lot here in California. And we have some strange people coming on our property. We have some dangerous situations.
(15:46): We have become this little teeny town per capita. We are the fifth most dangerous city in California. Wow. And we are community, but there’s a lot of people that are coming in. And so we’re seeing things in this community that has changed. And so I don’t leave home without my firearm. I turn around, I, if I ever, you know, I’m like rushing with the kids or something, I will physically turn my car around and come back because I feel like it’s my right to protect myself and my babies. And as you know, because you’re petite, I’m all a five foot tall, and if somebody ever wanted to come at me, I don’t think I could stop them. And so, you know, I just feel very passionate about a concealed carry journey, but also training myself and working on myself always. And that is the biggest part of, I think what we learned at gun site. What was new for me was the jackets and vests. So I always carry appendix 90% of the time, the only time that I ever carried off body. You too. Yeah. The only time I ever carried body was when I was pregnant, because obviously I couldn’t there, you know, it was just all belly <laugh>, so it’s all awkward And uncomfortable.
(16:58): <Laugh> and I had surgery after, and so I was, I carried off body for I would say I don’t know, like at least six months. So I had to learn how to draw from a purse. And so I, I learned a new respect. There will be situations where people, they have to carry from a purse. And so I, I think it’s good for us to know each and every journey, but for me, the best part of where I learned on was the jackets and vests. And it was actually a very advanced technique with the cross straw turning your body. And I love that Illing had us doing ’em from the blue guns. That was her idea from the beginning is if we’re gonna do this and we’re gonna take everyone along. And one of the things that I thought was really cool was that there were three women who didn’t feel comfortable going to live fire. And what I love about women is they said it, they got up on the yes. And they said, I’m not comfortable. I’m gonna stick with the blue gun while the rest of us went to live fire. And I thought that that was really brave and smart and awesome of them to just know where they’re at in this journey. And I know that at the end of it feeling said we didn’t have one safety violation in this class, not one. So I thought that was really,
Mia (18:18): Yeah. And for such a, to me, that’s a pretty big class. I don’t teach classes that are that large, but to have that many of different levels and also to have some pretty advanced shooters, because in my experience, some of the advanced ones are the ones that blow it because, you know, they’re too comfortable. And, but I don’t know, everybody there did really well. I was so impressed. Do you think that type of progression, are you gonna have future classes and try to do something similar or just like with the gear you try to improve and do some changes as you go?
Jen O’Hara (18:51): You know, I feel like the progression for most people would probably need to be like a five day class, something like that. I mean, I, I, of course, you know, I’ll have to check, you know, talk to site, talk to Illing and you know, see what that might look like. But as we’re going through this, it really, it felt like we could have, if we had somebody that was unsafe or you know, whatever it might be. But just taking our time and doing a few more things, I would love to see that. I think the class was amazing the way it was. If anything, I always wanna shoot more, but we kind of, I think like a lot of fellowship and community that I really felt so we ended up talking in the classroom about some really cool and important stuff.
(19:46): I think some of us shared our journey as firearms instructors and some of them as newbies shared their journey. And it was really neat also to see the catalyst, I’ll call it, for a few women of what got them into firearms. And some of it could have been something that could have ended their lives. And just that each one of them has a different journey. Each one of us, you know, all of us, I think you’re similar to me like we were shooting and hunting and then, you know, it gets us into self-defense. But everybody has a different reason. Some people were not about guns at all and then something triggers it. And so I thought that was really cool. Just the fellowship in the community I shared while we were there that I’m super tomboy my whole life and, you know, I never really connected with women and through, I would say the last, you know, 15 years of being in the industry, I have found so many women who maybe I don’t see them every day or even every year sometimes, but we connect and really good wholesome just amazing people that are here on this firearms journey with me and have supported G W G through different levels.
(21:08): Il Ling’s been there since the very beginning. I’m honored that she, you know, helps me along the way. She tests stuff out and tells me, and gives me her honest feedback. And as a clothing manufacturer, you can’t ask for anything better than somebody to be truthful and say, I don’t think this is working, or I think you should change this to this. And that’s what I’m getting, you know, from everyone. And I’m sending out a survey working on that this week. And, you know, looking forward to the feedback from everyone as to what they liked, what they didn’t like, and going from there.
Mia (21:44): Yeah. And hopefully, you’ll get some constructive feedback and then I’m sure you’re gonna get a ton of fabulous feedback. And that’s something that I always kind of look at. It’s like, well, I don’t wanna just hear all the good things and I think you even told us that while, while we were there, but if there’s something that needs to be improved, it’ll get improved. And I think that’s a wonderful thing about the company that you guys have always kind of tried to set goals and become better. And so it’s just super awesome to watch and then to see the quality that you guys are producing is awesome as well.
Jen O’Hara (22:20): Thank you.
Mia (22:21): Where’s the jacket and the vest? That was my first time to, to train with drawing from a jacket. And so that definitely was an interesting technique and totally made sense. But when I actually went to gun site before, it was, you know, I, we did some back holster with belly bands, drawing from your back and trying not to sweep yourself and that kind of stuff. And then appendix and we did handbags and so I, I kind of expected everything that we had done, but then when you did the jackets, I was like, oh my gosh. Cuz when I, you know, kind of looked at the jacket, I didn’t see the Velcro inside, I saw the big pocket and I was like, okay, how is this gonna work? And so then it was like to get that crossbreed holster that I have gotten in other bags when I’ve been at other events, but it had never been one that fits a gun that I had, so I never really got to try it out. And that was pretty cool, like
Jen O’Hara (23:20): <Laugh>
Mia (23:20): For you guys to team up with them.
Jen O’Hara (23:23): Well, and the cool part with Crossbreed was, and I, and I told this story during the event, but it was just kind of an accident. We were both at the Armed Women of America and I had a blue gun and I was showing someone how it went in and I said, you can just buy, you know, a holster online. But I had never really found a holster that I was in love with until we found the modular. And Stacy bright over to me and she said, why don’t you try this? And it was Kit X on the outside and the Velcro on the back, and it just matched perfectly in the jacket. And the gun stayed securely and firmly and I was in love with it. And so just really seeing that and it, it, I kind of text her when I got home.
(24:07): I’m like, I accidentally took your holster home and then the next event I’m like, we need to talk. Because as I started working with that, I realized that it was perfect. It was perfect for what we’re doing. And you know, the Max nine is a really good size because it’s not a micro, it’s a micro-compact, so it’s a little bigger, but it’s still a perfect concealed carry firearm. And so having those, it’s, it’s not too big or bulky when you have it and you’re carrying here in the front and each and every got to go home with the max nine.
Mia (24:40): Yeah. And that, I mean, wow, that’s, I’m speechless with the, with that part of it because I didn’t expect that. But that holster itself something that I noticed because several of the ladies that I, you know, I roomed by myself, but we carpooled together, but they’re all shapes and sizes, you know, and it was like, okay, you’re busty. You can move it here, you know, move that crossbreed into a, a different location, put it further, or, you know, up or down. And or for me, I liked it up a little bit higher where I could get it out without having the grip hit the edge of the pocket and stuff like that. It, I just was so impressed with getting to train with that. So, I mean, that’s something I think if women can go train or men, men need to train also, but to go train and learn how to do that is so beneficial. And that’s where I’m hoping that you guys are gonna do rendezvous number two at some point. <Laugh>
Jen O’Hara (25:39): It, it is definitely, and I, it’s something that I want to do and continue our journey with this and seeing like, what does that look like and where do we go from here? With that part of it I think would be bringing in new gear. And our goal will be, right now we’re designing for 2024, so we have to look at that timeline. And once we launched 2024 with new gear, then we have that reason to like, okay, let’s do this. Let’s go back and let’s bring our new gear in and showcase it. A lot of the people were media and influencers. I had one of my planners from Sportsman’s Warehouse and really just giving each and every person an opportunity to try our gear, learn about it, and talk about it a little bit more, because I think a lot of people don’t know, they don’t know about our concealed carry version.
(26:36): So it’s concealed casual by girls with guns. And I like to call it our grownup our grownup brand because we have always been g w g loud, blingy, flashy, you know, whether it’s the rhinestones on our chest or girls with guns across our hat and camo and our hunting gear. You know, that’s what it’s always been. And I am very loud and proud. You know, I drive a truck with a big jacked up truck with a buck on it. And this is a little bit different with concealed carry. You don’t want people to know you’re carrying. So we muted the branding. It’s everyday clothing. I don’t know about you, but I live in leggings. I’m wearing a pair now. And you know, we’re just constantly going through and making it something that you might wear. So we have, you know, our buffalo plaid vest, we have a black vest, we have four different jackets all the way from urban camo to black burgundy green.
(27:35): And they’ve evolved even in the last four years with the holsters moving from a soft holster to a concealed carry pocket because like I said earlier, I’m not a holster manufacturer, so let’s let the companies that do that, well do that. And the other holster company that we talked about, and people were probably going, well, what did you do with that? Was the sticky holsters. So yeah, one of the things that we talked about on the line was being able to safely and securely re-holster in your leggings. And because we did have a lot of new shooters, you know, you don’t wanna be muzzling yourself personally. When I put on my leggings in the morning, I pull my leggings up to my knees, I either sit down or stand up, I point my firearm away from my body as it’s loaded, and then I secure it in my holster and I pull ’em up the rest of the way.
(28:24): So we’re not gonna be doing that on the range. So we used the sticky holsters after learning how to re holster with the blue guns on the line with live fire. We, it would’ve taken ’em forever to really do that safely. So we used the sticky holsters and just stuck them in the same position to practice. And I thought that was really unique and cool way to do it. The sticky holster works awesome for any of our pants. I like to use it for a pocket holster because I like to grab my firearm as I head out to do my chores in the evening. And just because we have property and we never know, you know, whether it’s an animal or you know, whatever type of threat you could possibly have just to have your gun in a zippered pocket is, it’s nice. And that I enjoy having that.
Mia (29:10): Yeah. And you have it securely protecting the trigger guard. You don’t have to worry about anything like that. It also, with the carboning pants, since we had our, I had my gun belt on, it was challenging to try to pull those pants out and try to get a gun into the pocket when I kind of practiced it with the blue gun to see. And I was like, no, no, no. So that was where the sticky holster was perfect. And it’s, that’s how I often carry. So it was, that sticky holder is super nice and it’s nice to be able to just pull it back out with having, without having to manipulate a big, you know, sturdy clip. So that, those were great as well. As I said, I, I was amazed at all the people you partnered with and such quality products, you know, and all of them serve different purposes, but for the listeners, that’s something, if you’re looking for holsters, people always ask me, what holsters should I get? And I’m like, well, first of all, it depends on what gun you have, but for me, and you even talked about it in the class, I, it’s like, okay, what outfit am I wearing? And then I’m gonna decide what holster I’m gonna have or what gun, because some, you know, as you said, some guns are too big for certain outfits. So those are all factors to consider.
Jen O’Hara (30:16): And it’s, I’ve made it easy for me because I know that I wear leggings all winter long. So as long as I have a loose fitting top and I’m in my leggings, I carry in my leggings. And that’s why I become proficient with that draw because I practiced it, I practiced it at least once a week dry. Now when I go into something else, I have to work at it. So whether it’s from my pocket with a sticky holster or on the waistband, I’m really comfortable because I do carry at the range, you know, two or three times a month training other people so that I’ve become comfortable with. But as you get into more of the concealed carry options, like a purse or you know, anything else, like the modular, doing those new techniques, I’m like, okay, I gotta practice this.
(31:03): I need to, I need to think about it. You know how it’s like your everyday carry positioning is easy because it’s muscle memory and it’s what we know and it’s what we train. So trying to find those new, now I’m like, okay, now I have something new to train and I’m really excited to bring it to our audience and share with them because I wasn’t, I knew that the jacket worked and I was doing it a certain way, but when we were on the line, it was like, how are we doing this? And I loved how we rotated our bodies with it. And having that from you, knowing just that step by step guide as to how to do it was, was just really unique and awesome for us. And I really love that we can offer this. So it’s a concealed carried pocket. You add your holster instead of now you can carry the 45 if you want.
Mia (31:55): That’s true <laugh>, I’m gonna have to give it a try <laugh>. And looking at future products, and I told you this when we were there, but I really do hope you guys will look at making a short and, because in the summertime, I, I have other brands of shorts, but especially with a pocket, a thigh pocket to wear under dresses. And that way I’m not having to pull my dress all the way up to get to a flash bang holster. I can just, you know, easily more easily access something that’s on your thigh. And I, your leggings are awesome, but I don’t often wear leggings, you know, and whereas you do, but that’s something that it’s could easily, I’m like, I’ll just cut the legs off, I’ll have shorts, <laugh>.
Jen O’Hara (32:43): Not that idea. No, I, it’s definitely something. So I wear leggings all, I mean, sorry, I wear like the legging spandexy shorts in the summertime just because I’m comfortable. I’m at home and it is definitely something that’s on the list for us to do. And we do have a range short, currently it’s like our car being shorts, but they do not have a holster in them, but they’re really great just for instructors who go out on the range. I live where it gets to like almost 120 where like one 17, we’re consistently one 10 here in NorCal. And so I wear shorts all the time and it makes sense. We have in 2024, several new items coming out that I’m excited about that I won’t share yet, but maybe we can hop back on when we do and we can talk about ’em.
Mia (33:33): Yeah, that would be cool. It’d be awesome. And I’ll also be sharing, I have all the items stacked up and I’m gonna be doing a few different videos for my social media to kind of show the products because we’ve shared the videos of the fun of us shooting, but also it’s, I don’t know that everybody knew what it was really about and what we were wearing. They probably just thought, oh, they’re all wearing similar gear. <Laugh>.
Jen O’Hara (33:58): Well, it’s so funny, you know, you look on the line the first day and we’re all in the car beans and we look like we know what we’re doing, and then the next day we’re all in leggings and all this different stuff. And I was laughing because it was like, we just look like everyday people. We didn’t look like the gun person at gun site. But I think that was the uniqueness about it, was it was truly a concealed carry where journey, and I, I really feel like that was something that a lot of people had never drawn from concealed carry. And I remember asking in class, how many of you conceal carry now? How many of you draw from concealed carry? And there wasn’t a lot of hands going up. And so that was the unique part. And I’m so excited to be able to help these women on their journey and really with Gear, it, it helps me because now I’ll get feedback, we’ll be able to perfect our gear a little bit more.
(34:49): I already kind of shared some of the things that we were changing about the gear and making better. And then, you know, I’ll get feedback from, like you said, women of all different shapes and sizes, ages also. I mean, we had as young as Dakota Marty from Armed Women, armed Women of America, her daughter was there, she was almost 16. And then I don’t even know who’s the oldest, and I won’t even say because I, yeah. But yes, but I mean, we had people up there in their sixties, and so it was a really neat, diverse group. And like we said, all different levels.
Mia (35:27): Yeah, it was super cool. I hope that more women will consider looking for other women’s classes because there is something to be said. I’ve, I’ve grew up kind of like you, I mean, I was a total tomboy. I don’t mind hanging out with men. I don’t mind training under men, but I do know a lot of women, they take the instruction differently from a man or a woman. And so if you can look for a female instructor, it’s a definitely a great thing to do. Yeah. you know, and I, something that we haven’t talked about are the handbags, and that’s something that I, there’s a lot of thought that went into those as well. Do you wanna tell my listeners a little about the handbags?
Jen O’Hara (36:06): So Allen Company is a licensing partner of Girls with Guns. And we have done just tremendous work with them. You can find us in 2,400 Walmarts. They have, we had our eyes and ears. Our eye and ear protection came from Alan as well as each woman was sent home with one of our rose gold gun cases for their Max nine. And then we also had purses for each and every woman, and it was really cool. So we actually brought in the tomboy, which was one of the ones that I helped design because I like small purses. So we call it the tomboy. And it had its own dedicated pocket, and it actually locks up. So there’s a hidden key on each and every purse, or it’s actually two of ’em. So that’s a really cool feature because you can always lock up your firearm.
(37:01): Then we have you know, multiple pockets throughout. We have a little tab that’s sewn in that has your three rules of firearm safety. And we went through that and Eling actually walked through our purses and showed us how to draw safely from a purse, what to do, what not to do. And it was really very cool and unique to get that feedback from her and just to really know that purses are an option. You know, like I said, I was never a big proponent of off body carry until I had to. And then I realized that I’d been missing out by not training off body carry, because you never know when you might have to. And I like to tell the story too of Olivia is my four-year-old, and when we were potty training, she, that was another time that I had the off body carry besides my two times of being pregnant.
(37:53): She liked to go, we’d go into public restrooms and she’d like to say, oh, mommy shooting a gun. And I was like, oh my gosh. Oh no, <laugh>. I didn’t say that in a, the first time. I’m like, I hear women, you know, because you just never know. And it’s supposed to be concealed Carrie for a reason. So I was no longer able to carry my leggings until she got old enough to in public, like if she was with me, because if we went into the bathroom, she would see my again. And she always just wanted to, oh, mommy, you know, and <laugh>. So like, Hey, we’re not gonna be able to do this. And so having that and, and knowing how to protect yourself, defend yourself if you needed to, is really important. It is completely unique. It is completely different from anything else. And I think that every woman should know if, if you’re gonna carry a purse and you’re gonna carry a firearm, you should practice. You should know what that looks like. And it’s definitely something that that changed my mind about purse carry.
Mia (38:59): Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. And, and that’s something that I feel like we could have taken more time with is the, the off body carry, because we had enough to do with all the other items that you had. But I think even for some of, like I said, I’ve went to a class for that, so I kind of understand what to do. But it’s something still that you’ve, it’s a practice that you need to continue. But there are some ladies, I know Carrie in their handbags that I’m sure they could have learned a little bit more about that, but it was also good to have ling give the demonstrations and explanation forum. I’m, I, I know that you learned a lot
Jen O’Hara (39:38): And I think that the purses could be an entire of training. I think you could spend eight hours training with purses and you know, and then obviously still continue your journey with it. And just so everybody knows, our purses can be found on by allen.com if you wanna check ’em out. We’ve got the tomboy, the Adventure Purse, and the Cosmic Purse. The cosmic is the largest one, which I love to carry as my laptop bag and sometimes a diaper bag too, but it’s really good to know and that we have different sizes from the smallest to a medium to a very large purse. And we have a concealed carry backpack, which every woman received one of those as well.
Mia (40:24): Yeah. And that, I thought we were gonna get to kind of check that out too. But as I said, we just had so much to do and the camaraderie, as you said, visiting, I know sometimes we probably visited a little too long, but it was all good stuff, you know, it was so important. And I’m sure there are lifelong friendships that were developed just in that couple of days at gun site.
Jen O’Hara (40:47): I agree. I agree. It was a really just awesome time. And I feel like I said in the beginning, each and every one of us learned something and took something away. Some of us took a lot away because this was all new. I loved what Ling said, which was like, you know, even if you are an instructor and this isn’t new to you, you’re gonna find something you’re gonna put in your toolkit. And I felt like I was doing it. There was a few things that I was like, oh yeah, that’s awesome, or I really liked the way that they did this or that. And so that was really cool.
Mia (41:19): Absolutely. Are there any recommendations you would give to your customers? And a lot of, there are plenty of my listeners that are, they’re on their journey and they’re just starting out. Some of them, they’re looking for places to shoot, they’re for gear. And I know I do have some that are highly experienced as well. But do you have any advice for the ones that are just beginning their journey?
Jen O’Hara (41:42): You know, I think the most important thing is getting training first. I get it. We all want to own again and we want to go and buy the clothes, but if you don’t have proper training, you can hurt yourself or someone else. So if you can do it going to gun site, I think it would be phenomenal for even a brand new student, they now have a class that’s called Day Zero, and you can walk in with your gun in a box and you can hand it to ’em and then you go straight into a two 50 class. And so it would be six days of training, but in six days, imagine how far you could come. So whether, you know, some people they may not be able to do that and fly out there and take that kind of time, find a local instructor that is NRA certified, but not only N R NRA certified, but continues their education and really tailors it to you.
(42:37): And I think it’s important, like you mentioned for women, some women feel comfortable, more comfortable with other women. I train women and men, so I don’t do ladies only classes, but women feel comfortable because I, I am a woman instructor. And so I feel like if you find someone that you resonate with, ask them questions, make sure that they that they know what they’re doing. And if you don’t know someone, reach out to somebody who does and, and get a referral. Because I think people, that’s the best thing is getting a referral and knowing that the person you’re going to knows what they’re doing and they’re gonna train you safely and starting with a basic class from the bottom up. Because if you do not know what a slide lock lever is, you know, those are just, you know, something simple, a simple function on your firearm, then you’re not gonna understand many other things. So don’t start up here, start at the bottom and just go all the way up.
Mia (43:32): Yep. And I think that’s great advice. Another thing that I would say is something that you said earlier, some of those ladies, they said, no, I’m not ready to go do this. Have the courage to say, no, this isn’t working for me. Or if, if the instructor ends up being somebody you don’t think is safe, or if it just, it doesn’t feel right, have the courage to say, okay, I’m done. And you know, even if you don’t, don’t get your money back, at least you can be safe. So cuz there are some trainers out there that aren’t the best and you have to be able to see that for yourself, you know, and, and step back from something that’s not the best thing you should be around. So something that you, we haven’t really talked about, you know, talking about training and guns is the Ruger because that, that little gun, I was really impressed and my husband of course, you know, oh what do you think of that gun? Well you and he’s critical right away he was asking me and I was like, actually I, I’m so impressed with that and the design. And I know that you partner with Ruger and you guys have a relationship. Can you tell us a little bit about that as well as about the Max nine?
Jen O’Hara (44:40): So I have actually started my relationship with Ruger eight years ago at gun site. So <laugh>, I was invited to a media event and met them at the time. I was an avid hunter and I still am, I just had to slow down while I had babies. So you know how that is. Babies will take you just for a little bit pretty soon they’re gonna be joining me but they, well actually they do kind of join me now, but it’s just a little bit harder in nine months. So going through that it was part of, we actually did a two 50 class and it was definitely new for me. I had firearms experience with a handgun, but I was, I would say I was pretty green eight years ago compared to my rifle and shotgun experience. And so it was really neat, unique opportunity.
(45:29): We shoot, we shot the SR nine C. I remember just like it was yesterday, it was really cool to go through the Ruger factory at the time. And so I knew that that from that event, you know, and coming back again later on that there was something that I wanted to do out there. Now Ruger is like a family. They are very near and dear to my heart. I have been a part of them for the last eight years and so working throughout, they have amazing rifles. They are just some of the best in the industry. I personally shoot the Rug American seven mm super flat shooting, dependable firearm. I just never have had a problem with it. It is like my go-to, whether it’s in the back country or when I’m out here on the planes shooting antelope that’s what I shoot.
(46:21): And so it’s been just really a cool relationship over the years and as I have evolved as a shooter and becoming an instructor, becoming a mom, I’ve kind of feel like I’ve grown up with Ruger and my concealed carry journey, my instructor journey, all of it has just helped me along the way. I think to be a better firearms owner, a better advocate for the Second Amendment and being a mom changed how I felt about firearms and becoming that instructor part of it just kind of goes hand in hand and I really wanna educate and help the next generation and rug’s right there by my side doing whatever the next thing that I wanna do. Hey, can we help with the kids? Hey, can we get over here? Hey I wanna do a media event for women only. They’re there, they are there constantly and whatever I need, they’re always manufacturing guns.
(47:16): I think, in my opinion that are better. Whether you’re talking about the LCP two with the light rack they have ’em chambered in a 22 chambered in a three 80. You have the Max nine, which right now is hands down my favorite handgun from Ruger and I’ve been shooting it for the last year and I took it to the Armed Women of America event and trained 40 women throughout the two different events regional conferences with that firearm and was like, okay, I’m even more in love with it now <laugh>. And yeah, one of the things that’s important is, so I often carry the L C P, which is a micro but what I have found is I can shoot it effectively, but my effective range isn’t quite as far with that three 80 as it is with a slightly larger micro compact, which is the max nine.
(48:08): So we need to be able to defend ourselves effectively. We are responsible for every single bullet that leaves the muzzle of our firearm and not feeling as if I was a further distance away that, you know, I would be as effective with a three 80 as with a nine millimeter. So different scenarios, different outfits, different whatever it is, I decide to carry something different whether it is my 38 special and the L C R or like I said my L C P or the max nine. So I have a variety of different firearms on my permit and I really just try to carry each and every one depending on what I, how I want to carry and defend myself.
Mia (48:54): Yeah. And so that’s another decision we have to make. I mean, like I said that like I’m choosing this outfit and this outfit maybe, you know, that compact carry is not gonna work so I’m gonna have to go to a micro or something like that. And so there’s so many options and I, I know that it’s something that’s kind of hard to teach somebody in even the videos that are online, there’s a lot of different, you know, opinions and stuff like that. What I’ve found through my journey is I just try different things. I’m like okay, well this one’s not working, I’m gonna try this one, you know, and and try to practice with all of them as you said. That’s a challenge finding this, this winter I haven’t practiced a lot cuz it’s a mud bog outside and it’s Iggy and <laugh> so it was fun to go to gun site and get to shoot even if even when the weather wasn’t the best out there, it was still, it was decent and
Jen O’Hara (49:44): Yeah we got lucky.
Mia (49:47): We did get lucky cuz the window actually was the opposite of what the weather report had said. So we definitely got lucky.
Jen O’Hara (49:54): I know we actually had the first day when we did the Ruger factory tour where it was really bad and it was just downpour and they were out there shooting at gun site and then the next two, three days whereas it was 60, 50, 60 degrees. It was beautiful. And I feel the same way. So I mentioned earlier, you know, I just had a baby, I have a nine month old and I stopped shooting at 24 weeks while her ears were developing in the womb. And so I went to a lot of dry fire and it just is not the same as live fire. And when you get out there and spend time just sending it down range and really perfecting your skill whether it’s self-defense or in this case or even for hunting, making sure that you know where your shots for each and every one is fired because you’re responsible for those.
Mia (50:43): Yeah, absolutely. Well I sure do appreciate you inviting me to go and attend and demo the gear, but also I thank you for coming on the podcast and I’m hoping that my listeners will learn a little bit and I’ll include some links in the show notes so they can find, as you said that the by Allen that was one that I didn’t have on my list of locations but it is now. But can you tell them where they can find you and the gear or any links that you would like to share?
Jen O’Hara (51:11): Yes, so on Instagram I’m at Gwg Gen or at Girls with Guns Clothing and then Facebook is Gen O’Hara Girls with Guns Clothing or just Girls with Guns Clothing. So two different pages. I have my personal and public and then Girls With Guns is on there as well. So mine’s a little bit more of a personal journey whereas Girls with Guns is a lot of our gear and all of our team and so on mine you’re gonna see a lot of babies homesteading and firearms <laugh>. And then our website is gw g clothing.com and for the purses and everything else with that is licensed with Alan. You can go to buy alan.com and Awesome. We do have 10% off. It’s Gwg Ren 10 that you guys can use and get 10% off for anything on our website.
Mia (52:09): Absolutely. And I, I was making a list here while you were talking of some things that I’m gonna go order too. So <laugh> <laugh> shopping will be happening soon, <laugh>
Jen O’Hara (52:19): It’s always, it’s always fun when it has to do with guns.
Mia (52:22): Exactly, exactly. Well thank you so much and thank you for taking some time away from your babies and sharing the news with my listeners. I really do appreciate it.
Jen O’Hara (52:32): I appreciate you. Thank you for coming. It was awesome. I was so glad we got to get together.