Women are the fasting growing demographic in the hunting industry. They are blazing trails and founding businesses along the way, and for good reason. Female representation in hunting is finally catching up, and hunting gear, services, and other helpful materials are being created specifically for their demographic on a larger scale than ever before. The following businesses all launched by female founders and are planting firm roots in the hunting industry.
Meraki Hunt is a haircare brand aimed at sportswomen. The concept is simple; produce hair care products, specifically shampoo and conditioner, that are scent free and yet still nurture and protect women’s hair while hunting.
“I’m here to represent female hunters and to create high performance, functional products specifically designed for women hunters,” Meraki Hunt Founder and CEO Kristy Houck said. “I empower women hunters to live life to the fullest, to stand out as a woman in the woods, and to pass down the tradition.”
Otis Technology is an industry leading gun cleaning products brand. It was founded in 1985 by a sixteen year old girl. The business was inspired when founder Doreen Garrett took a fall in the mud while out deer hunting with her father, thoroughly smothering the barrel and clogging the bore of her grandfather’s Model 94 Winchester. That hunt was over and Garrett’s spirit was sore, but not crushed. She picked herself up, brushed off, and went home with a mission – find a better way. The first product was a gun cleaning kit featuring a flexible cleaning rod as the centerpiece.
The company has grown tremendously since its inception to become a leading supplier of gun care products to the United States military forces, law enforcement, and the general public. In recent years Otis Technology has also acquired DRD Tactical, a firearms manufacturer, and Shooter’s Choice, a brand of gun care solvents and lubricants.
DSG Outerwear is an outdoor apparel brand that produces outerwear for adventurous women. Originally Divas SnowGear, the company first dabbled in women’s snowmobiling and skiing apparel. DSG was conceived in 2010 by founder Wendy Gavinski after many years of personal frustration with the limited selection women had for outdoor apparel.
The hunting line was launched in 2015. The hunting apparel line follows the same concept of being highly functional, with an emphasis on a true feminine and fashionable fit (including plus sizes). DSG uses only quality materials and components built by designers and production specialists with over 40 years of experience in making quality outerwear.
In 2019 a new line of fishing apparel was released – DSG Fishing. The ice fishing products released first, followed by warm weather fishing apparel in 2020. Last year a line of battery operated heated apparel line was launched, which consists of a heated vest, heated gloves and heated socks.
Another outerwear brand, Prois (pronounced PRO-is) was launched in 2008 by founder Kirstie Pike. Pike’s story is similar to Gavinski’s – she was unsatisfied with the options she had available and was thus inspired to create her own.
Pike’s philosophy is to provide female hunters with the very best hunting gear for any climate, geography, or species. The Prois layering systems follow the formula of optimal base layers (Merino Wool or high-grade synthetics), prime insulation layers (Goose down or Primaloft), and durable shell layers to stop wind and water. The comprehensive lines allow the female hunter to select the precise system she needs for her body type, hunting climate, and geography.
Girls With Guns Clothing
Girls With Guns Clothing was founded in 2009 by a team of two best friends, Jen O’Hara (Adams) and Norissa Harman. Their now international brand had humble origins – they launched from a garage. Their brand had a huge boost in 2010 when Sarah Palin sported one of their logo hats during the filming of an episode of her show. What started as fun and flashy outdoor apparel for women has expanded greatly. They now have a full line of apparel for women, including hunting clothes, accessories, and most recently concealed carry apparel. Their mission is to strongly support the rights of gun owners while also working to keep the hunting heritage alive, both in their local community and worldwide.