ARCHIVE - ISSUE TEN - JANUARY 2015 COVER - FEATURED PICTORIAL - TRAINING - LIFESTYLE - REVIEWS ARCHIVE - ISSUE TEN - JANUARY 2015
Sure Shots in the News
At Austin Sure Shots we give women a place to learn to shoot safely & handle firearms safely, and we encourage women to train with their firearms. That often gives women the confidence to get their concealed handgun license. As featured in the KXAN News piece:
Women in the Industry
This month in our spotlight of Women in the Industry, we would like to introduce you to the owner of OffHand Gear, SANDI KELLER. This supercool lady designed two of the most exciting products we’ve seen lately: the OffHand Gear Fleur D’Lis Hand Guard, and the NORB (No Ordinary Range Bag)!
Sure Shots Magazine: Please tell us a little about your company, OffHand Gear
Sandi Keller: OffHand Gear is all about us ladies. Many companies are coming around to the fact that we ladies are here and bringing girly colors to their line but I am trying to take things to the next level with OffHand Gear and design products around our size, shape and needs.
SSM: How long has your company been in business?
SK: Right at 2.5 years.
SSM: Have you always been involved in the shooting/tactical/firearms community?
SK: No, mine is a story like many others, hubby took me to the range about 3.5 years ago and well… I was hooked! I started trying different pistols, purchased my first pistol and now, I am the one planning date nights at the range and dreaming of SHOTShow LOL
SSM: Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
SK: Up until OHG I wasn’t all that focused. My trained background was in bookkeeping and then when I was the bookkeeper for an interior design firm found my passion for design. I soon opened my own small retail showroom and did Interior decorating for some custom builders before moving to Arizona. I left that industry when I got pregnant with munchkins number 3 and 4 and fell back on the bookkeeping for a few years before starting OHG. OHG is the perfect balance for me with the logical business side of things while doing the design side, which I so love.
SSM: What made you decide to start Offhand Gear?
SK: Need and want. It was frustrating not finding products for women. I mean, there were and are products out there, but so many not designed with women in mind. Not just what we like, as in color or style, but taking our bodies and needs into account too. While the OHG apparel is fun, the core of OHG is the gear. Like NORB—NORB (No Ordinary Range Bag) was designed out of my frustration trying to find a range bag that didn’t look like a range bag, but also would accommodate all my stuff. I didn’t want to always have to carry my handbag and a range bag. If I go to the range and need to stop at the store on the way home I didn’t want to have to switch my wallet, phone etc, all over back to my handbag, or carry a big ol range bag in either. CC bags couldn’t handle the weight of ammo and all the gear and range bags typically scream “Hey, I’m a range bag” So, I set out to design my own bag that was functional for us busy Moms and more incognito.
SSM: What is the best part of your job?
SK: I don’t really think of this as a “job” – it’s really more of a passion and the best part for me is the creative side of it. I love spending hours at my computer working on a new tee graphic or brainstorming a new product idea.
SSM: Have there been any lessons that your work life have taught you?
SK: I have learned there is a difference between competition and being competitive. While there maybe businesses in this industry that are competitive business and trade secrets are not shared. There is a genuine desire to help each other instead of competing. I have made some friends in this industry that I will always appreciate and look to for advice.
SSM: So, if you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
SK: That is easy! I had the privilege of who I would pick actually being my mentor – my Dad. He was the kind of man people would gravitate to and leave a job in order to follow or work for him. He not only knew business but also knew how to lead—before he passed away we would have Saturday morning business pow-wows—I miss those very much!
SSM: What is your primary weapon and why?
SK: Sig Sauer P238. I really like everything about it! I was not willing to sacrifice my wardrobe so I needed a pistol that would be small enough for me to conceal as well as large enough to be able to control with a good grip.
SSM: What are some important lessons you have learned while running Offhand Gear?
SK: Oh my, there are many everyday. I would say the biggest one I am learning though is patience – being a company that is USA Made brings quite a few challenges with it and the patience and tenacity to keep pursuing how to bring a new idea or design to life while maintaining to be Made in America is a lesson I have to learn every day!
SSM: What do our readers have to look forward to in the future from Offhand Gear?
SK: More gear and apparel for women! As I grow in my journey as a woman shooter so will the product line up. When I find a need then I get to the drawing board. My goal is to bring many more products to the table that are designed just for us.
SSM: What is the best shooting advice you have been given that you feel might be important to share with our readers?
SK: To get out there and practice, and practice often! I find the more I frequent the range the more confident I am. I don’t just improve my ability to hit the target and have a nice group, but also gain the confidence and comfort to carry all the time and handle any malfunctions that may happen.
SSM: Where do you see Offhand Gear in 5 years?
SK: My goal is to make OHG be the go to brand for great USA Made items for women. Grow the apparel into a more fashion statement line while also expanding the gear side of the business utilizing our partnerships with some really great companies in the industry.
SSM: And for our final question… If you could be any character in a movie to be who would it be & why?
SK: Probably the hardest question here. I am not a movie buff but my first thought is Jane Smith (Mr. & Mrs. Smith). Jane Smith is confident, intelligent, beautiful and sassy while still being able to work with and “partner” to get the job done.
SURE SHOTS at
Texas International Firearms Festival