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Cheyenne Dalton

Coffee Date with Cheyenne Dalton

{ full interview }

SMT: Between being a student, competitive shooter, running your social media on Instagram and Facebook, playing in a blue grass band (as well as all the instruments you can play) how do you have time to do it all?  Not only that, but to do everything so well.

Chey: I have become fairly proficient at time management. I really have to make sure that I have enough to time to complete all of my school assignments, and have time to practice shooting and music. Not gonna lie, sometimes it’s really hard, and not everyday is a good day!

SMT: Do you have any advice to other young shooters who would like to get more serious about competition shooting?

Chey: Just keep pushing and don’t give up! Be sure to ask as many questions as you can. Take other shooters opinions with a grain of salt and try what they have told you in practice to see if what works for them will also work for you!

SMT: If you had a round trip ticket to anywhere in the world where would you go to and why?

Chey: Hmm, I don’t have a specific destination, just somewhere beachy. I’d really like two weeks to turn off my phone and get some time to just relax!

SMT: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

Chey: Probably salads. You can do so many different things with them and there are so many different toppings!

SMT: Since Halloween is coming up, what would be your ideal costume this year?

Chey: Princess Leia will always be my go to. I already have the hair for the buns and I’ve been the same size since I was 12. I have the costume for the rest of my life, and why not? She’s iconic!

Steff Essene

Coffee Date with Steff Essene

{ full interview }

SMT: What a lot of people don't know about you is that you're a labor and delivery nurse which I imagine is a very demanding job. How do you balance your time so you can still hit the range, travel, have a social life, and also take time for you?

Steff: I wish I could tell you the secret to balancing life, but I think we all struggle with this question.  Honestly, for me, I just have to listen and not lie to myself.  I’ve been reading a book by Thich Nhat Hanh called “The Art of Power”.  In the book he states, “Finding ways to protect yourself and promote your own well-being is the most basic investment you can make.  This will have an impact on your family and work environment, but first of all it will result in an improvement in the quality of your own life.”  If you aren’t at peace within yourself, everything externally will crumble.  It is imperative to take time for yourself, that’s partially why I travel so much. Going to the range is also one of the things that helps me to just get away and reset; also, it’s for your own benefit to know how to shoot well and defend yourself and loved ones.  Once you have more responsibilities, you forget to make yourself a priority; you forget to go where you want and do what you want. Start making it a habit now.  The best advice I can give is to pour into yourself, and the rest will follow.

SMT: So when you do get some free time and aren't traveling, what's your guilty pleasure?

Steff: I enjoy cooking and baking (more baking) to a good R&B playlist.  Blast the music and watch me dance around in the kitchen.

SMT: You've been able to shoot some pretty cool guns, what stands out the most or what's been your favorite?

Steff: I still love the HK MP5! It looks awesome, and is so much fun to shoot.  Plus, it’s used in a lot of movies. Think of it like dating a famous actor.  When you see it on the big screen, you kind of get proud that you know what it’s like in real life.

SMT: What is one item or essential piece of gear you don't leave home without?

Steff: I’ve made it a habit to bring the previously mentioned Nitecore pen with me, now.  It’s one item that I know is legal to bring anywhere I go. Also, I make sure I have my phone...GPS tracking, access to call for help, Google...the world is at your fingertips.

SMT: Besides your HKVP9, what's your every day carry gun?

Steff: I still carry my M&P Shield.  Although the capacity is 8, it’s compact and narrow, making it really easy to conceal. Also, I have a bad ass red APEX trigger on it. However, I’ve been looking at that VP9SK. I love how it looks and shoots, just haven’t gotten to play with it under my clothes...double entendre? Nah.

Ashley Lewis Caliber and Carats

Coffee Date with Ashley Lewis

{ full interview }

SMT: Can you give SMT readers a hint at anything new that might be coming up for Caliber and Carats?

Ashley: There are few tops that will be hitting the shop soon that can be worn casually or dressy, for the rest of spring and summer. Summer season I hope to bring in some stylish sleeveless/tank top options.

SMT: What's on your firearm wish list? 

Ashley: It’s growing. I’ve been patiently waiting to try out the Sig P365. Mike recently purchased the Performance Center Ported M&P 40 Shield, which has that muzzle brake feature, and I am in love with it. So eventually I’d like to have the same pistol in a 9mm caliber.

SMT: When you do get some free time what is your guilty pleasure?

Ashley: It’s so terrible, but reality tv. Totally guilty of not getting enough of The Real Housewives franchise on the Bravo network.

SMT: If you could only take one item with you on vacation, what would it be?

Ashley: Definitely a good book. I love to read and wish I could do it more often than I do.

SMT: What advice to have for other women looking to start their own businesses?

Ashley: Know what you want to do first, and what will set you apart, and just do it. Although having any business is a risk, it’s only a big risk if you make it that way, and it doesn’t have to be.

Bree Warner Coffee Date

Coffee Date with Bree Warner

{ full interview }

SMT: I know my eyes weren't deceiving me but I'm pretty sure I saw a motorcycle helmet in your Instafeed. Do you own a motorcycle? You really are the ultimate bad ass. How did you get into motorcycles?

Bree: Haha! That is thanks to my guy! I’ve always enjoyed riding on bikes especially through some beautiful terrain so it’s a sexy bonus that he has a motorcycle. Now that winter has finally left the east coast I’m excited to adventure with him. I make an excellent passenger! ;-)

SMT: I remember talking with you at SHOT Show about the Glock 19x and now that you have it, is it living up to your expectations?

Bree: I’m thrilled I was finally able to shoot my 19X. It arrived and then life suddenly became very busy so it took a minute to get it to the range. I’m definitely excited to torture test it a bit. The G19 that I learned on has been an incredible training tool so I will always have a special love for it, but I am excited to see what this 19x can do. The combination of the shorter slide but full frame grip along with a more aggressive grip texturizing helps with recoil management. These subtle changes make big differences, so I’m looking forward to getting more shots downrange with it!

SMT: What is your guilty pleasure?

Bree: McDonald’s French Fries! I generally try and avoid fast food when possible but I must admit, I’m a sucker for French fries especially when they’re fresh out of the fryer. Combine that with a Chocolate Shake? …forget about it! Yum.

SMT: You get a lot of training opportunities and recently you were training at the Sig Sauer Academy for defensive rifles. How was that experience and what was your biggest takeaway?

Bree: I’m a training addict. I think since I came onto the scene a bit later than most, I felt the urge to catch up. I also love the learning process so getting to train up at Sig Sauer has always been a treat. A good chunk of my training has been with pistol, but this year I’m hoping to focus more on rifle. Eventually it’s another avenue of knowledge I hope to share with female students.The biggest takeaway was to run your own race. I had the good fortune of working with great instructors and fellow students during that course. Regardless of everyone’s skill level and experience, focusing only on my own leaning process was key. It may have been the first time I didn’t get in my own head or start comparing where I’m at vs. the shooter who’s been shooting rifle for 20 years. We all start somewhere so use the sense of wanting to be better and make it a positive marker and not evidence that you’re falling behind. It’s simple a way to motivate you to continue pushing past your comfort zone. Trust me, I would love to pick up any skill like I was born a Special Forces Operator but that’s not realistic. You get back as much as you invest, which is why I love training. Results become evident and it’s gratifying to witness.

SMT: You've been able to work with some pretty great actors and have played a range of characters. What is your dream acting role?

Bree: I’d have to say getting to play either a badass FBI agent or Female Sniper would be pretty amazing. I think having any opportunity to shattered gender stereotypes in Hollywood would be worthwhile experience. I also feel like there are probably many great women in our armed forces that have inspiring stories. Portraying one of them on screen would also be an honor.

Coffee Date with Niki Jones

{ full interview }

SMT: I’m sure you get to shoot a lot of awesome guns between the women’s club and the magazine. Do you have gun wishlist, what is your dream gun?

Niki: We featured a few guns from Jesse James Firearms Unlimited on one of our covers, and they are ridiculously gorgeous. I would love a crazy custom 1911 from JJFU.

SMT: You've hinted that there some exciting things in the works for Sure Shots this year, can you let the SMT readers in on some those plans?

Niki: We will tell you because we want you to be involved but the info will be embargoed until April, so more to follow separately. 

SMT: Well I'm intrigued and I'm sure the readers will be too.

SMT: What is something that people would be surprised to learn about you?

Niki: Judge Judy is one of my idols.

SMT: Besides your carry gun, what are your other every day carry essentials?

Niki: I alternate between my ZT 0400ST knife and my Benchmade Phaeton automatic knife daily. I also carry pepper spray and a flashlight.

SMT: If someone were to play you in a movie who would it be?

Niki: Janice Muppet

Niki Jones Sure Shots Magazine

Coffee Date with Julie Golob

{ full interview }

SMT: Besides your M&P Shield carry gun, what are some of your other go-to self-defense tools?

Julie: For day-to-day, I carry a flashlight, multi-tool and tourniquet in my purse along with additional spare magazines. When I travel I carry a larger bag and I have another tourniquet, a medical facemask, rubber gloves, sanitizer and a small medical kit. One thing I think women often don’t consider when they think about their ability to protect themselves is their choice in footwear. I think this is an important aspect of self-defense. I even consider the shoes I wear for formal events. When you think about your ability to run, or shoot, what you have on your feet really matters. You will rarely see me in flip-flops or high heels and if you do, I probably have a pair of Chucks or flats with me just in case.

SMT: When you do get some free time what is your guilty pleasure?

Julie: Lately? It’s so scandalous! Are you ready?

Bullet journaling.

I know, it sounds so… dull and work related! The truth is I juggle so many balls and creating my own plan, in my own little leather bound book is such a nice quiet way to spend my time. The guilty pleasure part comes when I grab a glass of wine and pull out the colorful pens to embellish it a little. 


SMT: You are always cooking up some delicious looking meals based on what I see on Instagram. What is your families most requested recipe?

Julie: You would probably think with all the wild game I cook it would be a venison dish, but my kiddos love when I cook lamb, specifically lamb lollipops. I do nothing more than season, sear and throw a rack in the oven, but there’s just something about seared, juicy meat on a stick.

SMT: You have been nominated for the 2018 NRA Board of Directors.  If elected, what kind of leadership will you bring to the NRA (#JulieGforNRA)?

Julie: It’s no secret I love to win and that I believe in hard work but what many may not realize is that my leadership style is one that involves a lot of listening. I think we need to take a long, hard look at how we communicate to our members and how they can communicate to us.

I also feel that as an organization we focus primarily on the defense. We need short term and long term goals that involve building our programs and thus increasing value to our members and beyond. Many of these programs need an audit or simple modernization. We also must find new, innovative ways to reach and connect with the modern American gun owner.

Finally, the NRA cannot be truly successful if it is viewed as an umbrella organization. We need to think of it as a finely tuned machine. The membership is the energy, the fuel. Each segment, each program with the NRA is a cog, a wheel, a belt, a screw, a vital component that makes the National Rifle Association drive forward.

SMT: You've traveled a lot for your competitions, what is one of your favorite places you've traveled to?

Julie:  There have been so many! I love food and experiencing different cultures. Thanks to shooting I’ve competed on six continents. I have so many wonderful memories to take with me like driving through the jungle in El Salvador, petting wallabies and koalas in Australia, standing in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral in Russia and visiting a castle in France. I’ve flown in a helicopter in Ecuador, explored sulfur springs in New Zealand, ruins in Greece and the streets of the Old City in Jerusalem. There are also all the ranges here in the United States with the generous and kind volunteers and all special people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and shooting with. Shooting truly can take you to incredible places.

Coffee Date with Amy Robbins

{ full interview }

SMT: What is one item or essential piece of gear you don't leave home without?

Amy: My Alexo Signature Pants. I store everything in them and hardly have to take a purse with me anymore.

SMT: If you could only have one firearm what would it be and why?

Amy: A tricked out Daniel Defense DDM4A1 in Mil Spec Cerakote. If i’m only allowed one option, they’re light weight, strong and accurate making it great for a Zombie Apocalypse and self defense since we can open carry rifles in Texas.

SMT: When you do get some free time what is your guilty pleasure?

Amy: Binge watching Netflix original series.

SMT: What's next for Alexo Athletica? Can you give SMT reader's a sneak peak as to any new Alexo goodies that might be available in the coming months?

Amy: As we are growing our brand you will see an expansion into a full lifestyle line in the near future. I can’t give away all of our secrets but we’re working on some great pieces for the fall with new  color variations and fabrics to ensure the most up to date styles, functionality and comfort you’ve come to expect from Alexo.

SMT: Let's have a little fun with some quick rapid fire questions:

SMT: Favorite Movie?
Rocky 1- 4 ( yes all 4 count as my #1 favorite as I will without a doubt watch the Spike TV  Rocky marathon every time it’s on).

SMT: Cake or Pie?
Amy: My mom’s homemade apple pie.

SMT: Beach vacay or Jungle vacay?
Beach vacay far far away from snakes that sneak up on you in the jungle.

SMT: Appendix Carry or Kidney Carry?
Kidney when running, appendix in normal clothes for EDC.


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