I had Jen O’Hara of Universal Huntress write about her experience in the outdoor industry and her company Girls with Guns Clothing.
“When I was a little girl and was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer always was either a Veterinarian or a PRCA Barrel Racer… I know… big dreams for a little country girl who grew up on a small ranch in Northern California. After graduating with a class of 15 people from Big Valley High, I enrolled in a Junior College. I found that working two jobs and going to school was tough and I was better at working hard than I was at school. Ten years after I had a successful real estate career and my best friend, Norissa Harman, asked me to help her start a clothing line that she had a vision for; it was called Girls with Guns. Norissa is a creative soul and God blessed me with a business mind. After several years of hard work, perseverance, and giving up any free time we had after our day jobs, Girls with Guns is now a nationwide brand.
Norissa and I started at a small trade show with .99 urban camo tees with a simple logo and that catchy name screen printed in pink that read Girls with Guns. They were a hit! The women at the trade shows loved the name and the fact that women had a clothing option at the shows. We have come a LONG way from that .99 urban camo tee. We now have a full fashion line and athletic line as well as the best fitted Hunting Line for women in Mossy Oak® camo in the industry. Norissa and I were blessed with an opportunity to start filming our own TV Show in 2013. You can find Universal Huntress TV on the Pursuit Channel.
The TV Show gives us the opportunity to field test our hunting line, designed by women, for women, all over the world from a deer blind in Kansas to hunting in the back country in Canada. This helps us develop a hunting line that is tailored for a woman hunter. We are incredibly blessed to be in the hunting industry and after 7 years we are still the only women’s lifestyle and hunting brand that has made it this far. We know that our success is based on our sacrifices and the sacrifices of our family of our own time as well as the many people who have helped us and given us advice along the way. The only way to be successful is to persevere even through the hard times. We always had each other along the way and although we still have a long way to go in this industry, we have made our mark. You can find our apparel at www.gwgclothing.com.” -Jen O’Hara (Universal Huntress/Girls with Guns Clothing)
It’s people like Jen who are changing the industry for women in the outdoors. I look up to Jen and Norissa for many reasons. They had big dreams and made them a reality. I think the way they have changed the industry for women is incredible. We should strive to get others involved in the outdoors.
I haven’t been in the industry for as long as I wish I was. I have been hunting with my dad since I was a small child. I just got involved a few years ago and have experienced great hunts all over the world. I try to educate those around me about all of the good that comes out of hunting. I’ve spoken with other women hunters and have seen all of the hate they get. It’s out of control. I get way more hate on my posts about shooting animals and hunting than my dad. It’s just the fact that I’m a girl. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me anymore because I’m doing what I love.
There are some very influential women in this industry, but there aren’t many. Women need to get more involved and stand for what we believe in as hunters (or should I say huntresses).