WOMEN in the INDUSTRY
Carrie Lightfoot of The Well Armed Woman
Carrie Lightfoot is quite a force in the firearms industry; she’s got a line of great shooting gear for women, the largest shooting league in the world, AND a brand-new women’s forum... when does this dynamo sleep? —Niki Jones SSM: How long has The Well Armed Woman been in business? I launched The Well Armed Woman in Feb. of 2012 and The Well Armed Woman Shooting Chapters and The Well Armed Woman Instructor Certification programs in Jan. of 2013
SSM: What made you decide to start The Well Armed Woman? My love of business and my frustrating journey into the world of firearms was the perfect blend to start The Well Armed Woman. I knew there was a need, and I knew I was not the only woman looking for information, products and support that was respectful and that honored me as a woman. The little that was available frustrated me, and not being afraid of “doing business,” I followed my gut instincts and dove in. Headshot by Jim Lodson. Shotgun photo courtesy of Carrie Lightfoot.
SSM: Have you always been involved in the shooting/ tactical/firearms community? No, I came to my life with firearms late in my 40’s. I grew up in the suburbs of New York City and they were just not part of my world. It’s rather funny to me now, but I didn’t even allow toy guns in our house when my children were young. I wasn’t anti-gun; I was just afraid of them in my ignorance. The first toy gun snuck its way into my home in a Nintendo box with the game Duck Hunt! After being single for a number of years, and as my youngest of four children was preparing to head off to college, for the first time in my life, I felt vulnerable and alone. I had just started a new position with a nonprofit that worked with the homeless and those struggling in poverty which was in a very tough part of town. The combination of these things set me on the path to take responsibility for my personal protection. Although I had friends that took me shooting and introduced me to the safe handling of a firearm, there were no supports or resources that answered the questions I had as a woman or spoke to me respectfully. What I found was both over-sexualized and insulting, or it was condescending and spoke to me like a child. I knew there was a need for resources that spoke respectfully to women—one that could help women to navigate the world of firearms in an intelligent and comprehensive manner. I also found there was a void of holsters and products that fit the needs of women gun owners.
SSM: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background. I was born and raised in New York but have lived in Arizona for about 35 years. I have 4 grown children, two boys and two girls and now two granddaughters. Life in Arizona is great, but I will always be a die-hard Giants fan! I have been blessed to have been involved with some amazing projects and experiences over the years. I am a bit of a “can’t sit still” person and find my joy in working and trying to make a difference, so I just keep moving! When the children were young, I led a team that designed the first charter school in the state of Arizona and was its first president. I spent years in the art business and ran fine art galleries. I also started a company that sold recycled glass landscaping aggregates and fire glass and was featured on numerous HGTV and DIY Channel home improvement shows. Life changed for me after Hurricane Katrina. I felt so helpless being so far away from the agony so many were experiencing, so I started an organization with my church to adopt a small town that fell outside of the attention and support that the larger communities were receiving. Its mission was to send construction teams, equipment and dollars to help them recover. These years changed me, and shifted my career path toward serving others. I worked for a non-profit that served the needs of the homeless and those struggling in poverty. We began a social entrepreneurship with the purpose of starting, owning and managing a variety of businesses with the purpose of creating jobs, as I believe a job is the true path out of poverty.
42 | sure shots mag | issue 15
Sure Shots Mag Issue 15