Hello friends! I am so happy to introduce you to an expanded version of the Coffee Date series here on SMT. If you're not familiar with my Coffee Date series, I created it as way to connect with you, the readers a bit further. It's an opportunity for us to have a chat so-to-speak where you send me questions and I answer them monthly. I like to think of it as our way of having coffee together, albeit virtually.
This new expanded version of Coffee Date will be a regular feature. Each month I will be interviewing inspiring, badass, and self-reliant women to share their story, to inspire you, and to keep growing this community of women that are kicking ass and taking names. I've got some great women lined up for 2018 and want to bring you along to hang out with us. So in coffee date form, get those cups ready.
Some of you may know Amy Robbins from her days hosting NRA TV but most recently she is probably better known as CEO of Alexo Athletica. An active wear carry line for women to carry whatever tool they choose in order to feel safe. If you aren't familiar with this line just check out the hashtags #TeamAlexo or #AlexoAthletica on Instagram and you will find plenty of women sporting this fashionable and functional line all over the world. I first met Amy through social media, isn't that how all connections seem to be made these days. Specifically we met through Instagram when SMT barely had 20 followers, she was one the 20! We finally met in real life at SHOT Show in 2015 and since then we have become great friends all while sharing with women everywhere that firearms can fit into your lifestyle of fashion and beauty.
I feel so lucky to know her and to call her a friend. Amy is one the kindest, nicest, hard-working, and badass women I know.
So grab your coffee and join us for our Coffee Date With Amy Robbins.
SMT: Congratulations on your recent launch of Alexo Athletica. What lead you to create an active wear carry line for women?
Amy: Thank you so much. It’s been a dream of mine to create a line and when I was training for my marathon I realized I had nowhere to keep any sort of personal defense tool or even just my phone or keys for that matter. At that point, there was nothing on the market that really catered to a fashionable, functional active lifestyle so I decided to design it myself. With concealed carry permits up 500% for women since 2007 I knew there was a massive market to reach.
SMT: Seeing Alexo being featured and worn all over the world (as far as Australia) must be such a great feeling.
Amy: It really is. I was sitting at a restaurant with my husband the first time I got tagged in a photo of someone wearing it across the world and I simultaneously started crying and smiling from ear to ear. My husband was so confused until I showed him the picture and that’s when it hit me that the message of empowerment is a global message. The fact that women would see our brand as one that empowers them and helps them be prepared in life and look good doing it was a very humbling experience for me.
SMT: Do you recall the time when you made the decision to leave your comfort zone to jump into building Alexo Athletica? What was that like?
Amy: I remember the exact moment. I had a very nice, cush position at an advertising agency working my dream job writing content, hosting a TV show as well as producing when this idea hit me. It was both terrifying and exhilarating to leave the known for the unknown but I also knew that if I didn’t jump out and do it, I would regret it the rest of my life. So many times we let our fears paralyze us, and I was bound and determined to not let that happen to me. So I put my notice in and got to work sketching ideas, making mood boards, forecasting trends, and trying to figure out how in the world I was going to start an apparel company with zero background in that industry.
SMT: I've seen a lot of women carrying their concealed carry weapon in your Alexo Signature Pants. For those that don't carry a firearm what other non-lethal tools can women carry in these pants?
Amy: I love this question because it really highlights the appeal of our brand. We have women flocking to the line that do not carry a firearm but love the functionality and convenience that the pockets provide. We’ve had such an outpour of support from women in all walks of life who carry everything from pepper blasters and stun guns to phones, keys and credit cards. I’ve even had women store snacks in some of the pockets on their hikes! It’s been so fun to see how everyone is making Alexo their own and all coming together to send a strong message that we have a right to live a confident life however we choose.
SMT: On top of being CEO of Alexo Athletica, you wear many "hats" in your life...entrepreneur, NRA Instructor, TV Host, Model, Wife, Pet Mom, Friend...are you secretly Wonder Woman? How do manage all these items that are constantly pulling for your attention and find time for yourself?
Amy: Ha! I am not Wonder Woman but I definitely feel like I am surrounded by a bunch of Wonder Women. I feel very blessed to be surrounded by a gang of women who work just as hard if not harder then I do, live purpose driven lives, and are constantly pushing and inspiring me to keep going. Starting a company can be a lonely road, so I’m thankful to have an amazingly supportive husband and family that are there to pick me up when I am down, encourage me when I want to quit, and never let me believe any lies if someone tells me I can’t do something including myself.
SMT: If we were to get coffee in person (or better yet a cocktail), what would you order?
Amy: Without a doubt, a mambo taxi from Mi Cocina. It’s a Texas thing and when you come visit me we’ll grab one!
SMT: We both love our beauty products, so I gotta ask, what's your can't live without product at the moment?
Amy: My homemade essential oil moisturizer! I’ve spent countless dollars on expensive moisturizers only to find that grapeseed oil with a little Lavender and Frankincense works wonders for my face without clogging my pores or leaving an oily residue.
SMT: Why do you think it's important for women to be self-reliant?
Amy: It’s important for women to be self reliant and prepared because there may not always be someone around to take care of you when you need it. There’s also nothing more empowering than tapping into the strength God’s given us to live courageously in all areas of life.
SMT: What was the first gun that you owned and do you still have it?
Amy: Of course I do! Christmas day 2012 I opened my very first, very own Taurus .38 Special. I didn’t know a whole lot about firearms at that point, but little did my dad know when he bought t for me that his gift would send me on a journey into a world that would forever change my life.
SMT: As an NRA Instructor, what advice would you give to women looking to improve their shooting?
Amy: Just get out and practice. Improving in anything takes repetition, so find an instructor you are comfortable with and just get out there and do it.