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Thu Sep 15, 2016, 10:54 AM


"Park Ridge businesswoman mixes concealed carry with female fashion"

Marilyn Smolenski's line of body wear isn't the only thing her customers are concealing beneath their clothes.

Sporting pockets on both sides, Smolenski's form-fitting top doubles as a handgun holster for one contingent of the concealed carry set: women.

The Park Ridge entrepreneur launched Nickel and Lace, a company mixing concealed carry fashion with safety, in 2012 after reaching a frustrating conclusion: The holsters she borrowed from her husband for use in a self-defense and safety course just didn't hit the mark.

"All his holsters were incredibly uncomfortable for me," said Smolenski, who grew up learning how to shoot in Texas and Louisiana. Smolenski says many of her earliest customers were female police officers looking for better ways to carry their guns under their clothing, whether they were working undercover or off duty and out of uniform.

"They couldn't wear the traditional waistband holster," she said. "It wasn't working for them." Other buyers of Smolenski's Shape Wear Holster include members of the military, bartenders and waitresses, and, Smolenski noted, a growing number of real estate agents.

But Smolenski adds that her bodywear holster isn't just for packing heat. "When I was in Europe two years ago, I put my room keys, I put my ID, I put my cellphone in my pockets and I hit the road," she said. "It's not just for a firearm."

Obviously "one size does not fit all" except for maybe baseball caps. One of the big issues for many of the the women in my carry classes has been finding a way to carry that works for them and their size and shape. But since I started 3 years ago, several small companies like this have come up offering designs specifically for women. I sent this out to my student e-mail list too.


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Reply "Park Ridge businesswoman mixes concealed carry with female fashion" (Original post)
DonP Sep 2016 OP
pablo_marmol Sep 2016 #1

Response to DonP (Original post)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 01:18 AM

1. Excellent news for women!

I'm tempted to post this on my Facebook page -- even though I live in CA -- just to irritate my friends.

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