The BLINGSTING girl

With Pepper Spray Products So Cute, They Hurt!

Tag: PEPPER SPRAY

Campus Safety: That’s what we do at blingsting

School’s back in session, and that means so many more opportunities to nail being safe and cute at the same time.  Of course ,campus safety is a huge issue facing many colleges around the country … it’s always in the news and from what we found out at University of Texas recently, it’s always on a girl’s mind. And some campuses are safer than others, but you can never be too careful. Lawstreetmedia.com adds that the top offenses on campuses are forcible sexual offenses, robbery, and aggravated assaults, and even sometimes murder.   They also ranked the most dangerous campuses in the country.

CAMPUS SAFETY: CHECK OUT COLLEGES WITH THE HIGHEST CRIME RATES (2015)

  1.  University of Illinois at Chicago
  2. University of California at Berkeley
  3. Illinois State University
  4. Harvard University
  5. University of Hawaii at Manoa
  6. Pennsylvania State University
  7. University of Virginia
  8. Northern Arizona University
  9. University of Southern California
  10. University of Michigan

That being said, blingsting is on it.  We are starting small and heading out to schools around our home state of Texas to spread the word:  safety doesn’t have to be ugly!  Campus safety can actually be semi-fun and by being engaged and excited about your pepper spray, you take the first step in becoming more aware of your decisions.  Many of the girls we spoke to at UT said they always have safety on their mind when walking on campus at night, coming home from the gym or the library.  They also told us that partying (while totally fun) is a dangerous part of life in college.  We agree.  We remember.

We had a blast at Texas and will continue to visit other campuses to show girls that campus safety is always priority numero uno.  Fortunately, the girls absolutely loved the blingsting – and we had lots and lots of interest, which is never a bad thing.  Here’s a little bit of what we heard, when we asked them what campus safety means to them.

 

 

 

And some more shots!  Adorable!

Texas student holding blingsting pepper spray promoting campus safety Texas students taking selfie with blingsting pepper spray promoting campus safety campus safety event by blingsting at university of texas Texas girl student holding blingsting pepper spray promoting campus safety

 

love andi

OC Spray: OC doesn’t mean Orange County

Just in the totally improbable case you hear OC spray and are totally confused … don’t be. OC, in this case, means oleoresin capsicum. And oleoresin capsicum is pepper spray and pepper spray is OC spray. Capsicum is a fancy-schmancy name for peppers.

Cast of the OC

Not this OC

OC spray OC gas, and capsicum spray, is a lachrymatory agent (a chemical compound that irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and temporary blindness) used in policing, riot control, crowd control, against protestor and, of course, personal self-defense, including defense against dogs and bears.  Its inflammatory effects cause the eyes to close, taking away vision. This temporary blindness allows officers to more easily restrain subjects and permits people using pepper spray for self-defense an opportunity to escape. Although considered a less-than-lethal agent, it has been deadly in rare cases, and concerns have been raised about a number of deaths where being pepper sprayed may have been a contributing factor.

So how does it go from a hot pepper to an OC spray like blingsting?

Well, the active ingredient in pepper spray is capsaicin, which is a chemical derived from the fruit of plants in the Capsicum genus, including chili peppers. Extraction of oleoresin capsicum from peppers requires capsicum to be finely ground, from which capsaicin is then extracted using an organic solvent such as ethanol. The solvent is then evaporated, and the remaining waxlike resin is the oleoresin capsicum.

An emulsifier such as propylene glycol is used to suspend the OC in water, and pressurized to make it aerosol in pepper spray. The high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method is used to measure the amount of capsaicin and major capsaicinoids within pepper sprays.

So basically, now you know a brand new big long word (actually two of them) and you can totally impress your friends when showing off your blingsting OC spray.

Source: Wikipedia

andi blingsting pepper spray girl signature graphic

Pepper spray laws: Gotta do your homework

Mostly uninteresting post alert. I don’t like to spend a lot of time on boring things like pepper spray laws, but there are some states that actually just aren’t getting it when it comes to pepper spray! They have decided that pepper spray is to be so highly regulated, that companies like blingsting can’t ship product into the state (you know who you are). The great thing is that while all 50 states do allow anyone over the age of 18 to carry pepper spray, it’s just the whole shipping thing and also some differences in age restrictions where it gets a little more complicated. The bottom line here is, you might want to do a quick scan before you purchase one of our really super-cute pepper spray keychains online. A short list of states that don’t allow us to ship/sell pepper spray is right here. And for anyone who cares, here is the long list of state pepper spray laws that you’ll want to look at if you live in any of these states.  PS – OC spray is the same thing as pepper spray.

Pepper spray laws and state restrictions

  • California: Container holding the defense spray must contain no more than 2.5 ounces (71 g) net weight of aerosol spray.
  • Massachusetts: Before July 1, 2014, residents may purchase defense sprays only from licensed Firearms Dealers in that state, and must hold a valid Firearms Identification Card (FID) or License to Carry Firearms (LTC) to purchase or to possess outside of one’s own private property.  New legislations allow residents to purchase pepper spray without a Firearms Identification Card starting July 1.
  • Michigan: Allows “reasonable use” of spray containing not more than 10% oleoresin capsicum to protect “a person or property under circumstances that would justify the person’s use of physical force”. It is illegal to give a “self-defense spray” to a person under 18 years of age.
  • New York: Can be legally possessed by any person age 18 or over
    • It must be purchased in person (i.e., cannot be purchased by mail-order or internet sale) either at a pharmacy or from a licensed firearm retailer (NY Penal Law 265.20 14 (a)), and the seller must keep a record of purchases.
      • The use of pepper spray to prevent a public official from performing his/her official duties is a class-E felony.
NYC pepper spray laws

NYC. My favorite city, but we can’t just can’t ship there 🙁

  • New Jersey: Non-felons over the age of 18 can possess a small amount of pepper spray, with no more than three-quarters of an ounce of chemical substance.
  • Washington: Persons over 18 may carry personal-protection spray devices.
    • Persons over age 14 may carry personal-protection spray devices with their legal guardian’s consent.
  • Wisconsin: Tear gas is not permissible.
    • By regulation, OC products with a maximum OC concentration of 10% and weight range of oleoresin of capsicum and inert ingredients of 15-60 grams are authorized. This is 12 and 2 oz (14 and 57 g) spray. Further, the product cannot be camouflaged, and must have a safety feature designed to prevent accidental discharge. The units may not have an effective range of over 20 feet and must have an effective range of six feet.
      • In addition there are certain labeling and packaging requirements, it must state cannot sell to anyone under 18 and the phone number of the manufacturer has to be on the label. The units must also be sold in sealed tamper-proof packages.

(source: Wikipedia)

andi blingsting pepper spray girl signature graphic

Keychain pepper spray is so much better as a purse charm

Purse charms are everything. I love the tassels, the fur poms, and of course, all of the cute things we make at blingsting that clip to the outside of your bag. One of the things I thought could really use some updating on the traditional keychain pepper spray is the fact that a keychain only gets you so far.  One way we thought we’d make pepper spray keychains better was to make them more accessible, aka purse charms.  Like most girls, my keys are buried at the bottom of my big a*s bag, and finding them takes a full on effort to dig through everything else I am carrying with me.  Plus, if I go running and want to take my pepper spray, I am definitely not sitting there and trying to get it on and off of my keychain each and every time. So there are lots of reasons why changing around the keychain pepper spray makes sense.  And it’s obvious to me that the men who started selling pepper spray way back when never thought about these very critical things.  Once again, pepper spray does no good if you don’t have it in your hand.

Mine is always clipped to the hardware of my bag, and so there is no digging, no frustration, no forgetting exactly where my blingsting is at all times. Plus, it looks super-cute and out in the open for the world to see so I get TONS of compliments.  It also serves as a really good reminder to any suspicious character who might be checking me out to just not go there.

pepper spray keychain purse charm

My bag and messy desk

Our customers totally understand this, as they love putting their cute purse / pepper spray situations on social media!

 

keychain pepper spray purse charm

Awwww

 

Tassel keychain pepper spray

tassels + blingsting = perfection

And the good news is, if you really want it on your keychain, then you can still put it on your keychain.

andi blingsting pepper spray girl signature graphic

Pepper spray only works if it’s in your hand.

I can’t help but notice that what we are doing here at blingsting is really important.  We make really cute pepper spray , and we are just getting started.  What is happening in our country (and our world) is heartbreaking, and it’s not going to get better any time soon. People are scared, and the issues are way complex. And while you can’t ever stop crazy-sick people with bad intentions, you can be as vigilant as possible.

cute keychain OC pepper spray

MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN

The good thing about personal safety is it’s personal, and doesn’t really matter who’s in charge of the government or any silly politicians. Whether you choose to carry a gun, a stun gun, pepper spray (better be blingsting!) or nothing at all, there are always things you must do in conjunction with carrying a weapon for self-defense, like pay attention to your surroundings. As we all know, the best weapon can be useless if you are caught in the wrong situation at the wrong time.

I hear all sorts of tips from our customers who choose to carry pepper spray, and who love to tell us how, when and why they carry their blingsting. Here are a few of my favorites that have impacted the when and the way I, personally, keep my pepper spray close.

Top 5 Moments to *Not Forget* Your Pepper Spray

1.  At the gas pump. Car jackings and purse snatchings can happen while you are filling up at the gas station. So always, lock your car doors while pumping gas, and always have your pepper spray in hand, in the open position, ready to fire. Better yet, have a husband or boyfriend fill up your car. I mean, come on babe.

2.   Walking the dog at night. So many of us venture out past dark to walk our little fur babies.  Of course walking alone at night makes us prime targets for people up to no good. Many of our customers             keep a pepper spray specifically assigned to their dog’s leash. And of course, when you are walking, it’s in hand, in the unlocked position the entire time.

3.  Jogging outside.  Hardly a week goes by that there isn’t a story on the Dallas evening news about a girl getting attacked while jogging or walking on a trail or in a park.  Sometimes it’s at night, sometimes it’s in broad daylight.  While we all gotta get our cardio on, bottom line here is that you gotta have your blingsting with you, in hand, in the fire position at all times.

 

jogger pink pepper spray keychain

Work it out, girl!

  1. Parking lots, elevators, stairwells. I personally try to avoid all of these places (especially at night) if I can help it. But if I do have to go at it alone, I always take my blingsting off my purse, and you guessed it, have it in hand in the unlocked position, why making note of who and what is surrounding me. I stop and look behind me as much as possible.
  1. In bed. Yes, bed. My friend Erika sleeps with her blingsting underneath her pillow when her husband is traveling for work. Mine is on my nightstand. You just never know and I am terrified someone is gonna break in my house basically at all times.

Again, pepper spray (or a gun, or a stun gun, or a taser) isn’t always the answer. The best answer, I think, is not putting yourself in compromising situations in the first place. But, we all have lives to live, and it’s all about balance, common sense, and hoping for the best.

 

Pepper Spray vs Bear Spray = Size Matters

In today’s news you didn’t know you cared about: what exactly is the difference between all of the different defensive sprays (pepper spray, bear spray, Mace) on the market? We know that blingsting has the market totally beat for cute pepper spray – but what do you do, say, if you are out on the town with the girls, and all of a sudden you are approached by a very hangry grizzly bear?

So, here’s what we know:

Pepper Spray is an aerosol spray containing oils derived from cayenne pepper. AKA “oleoresin capsicum” or OC spray. The OC irritates the eyes to cause tears, pain, and temporary blindness, and is effective when used in self-defense against people, dogs, and bears (ok, more on this below)

Mace Spray is a trademarked chemical compound, and also a brand name. Blingsting pepper spray is NOT mace and mace is not ever blingsting.

Bear Spray is a type of pepper spray or capsicum deterrent that is used to deter aggressive bears, typically in wilderness environments. It usually comes in larger cans and in larger OC concentrations than pepper spray intended for self-defense against humans.

The bottom line here is that defensive sprays all sorta do the same thing … they cause serious irritation to whatever or whoever they are used on. The real difference lies in the potency and the size of the canister.

 

BEAR SPRAY BLOG IMAGE

Oh, hey there.  Nice bear.

At blingsting, we use the smallest canister available (0.5 ounce) so that it is easy to take everywhere (purse, backpack, keychain, dog leash) and it will be effective in deterring a potential human attacker if sprayed correctly. But keep in mind that bear spray is generally sold in much larger canisters. Similar to the size of a hair spray bottle – because as we all know – bears are much bigger and stronger than people. So you need more. Duh.

So, could you take your cute little blingsting pepper spray with you when frolicking into the forest? Sure.

Do we recommend depending on it to deter a bear?  NOT AT ALL.

love andi

 

It all started with a boring pepper spray.

Behind every product, there is a story. In case you are wondering why we started blingsting, you have come to the right place. It’s really very simple. My family and I couldn’t figure out why the companies making pepper spray weren’t making it even remotely appealing to girls.   I mean, you want us to carry one, and be safe, right?

Well, they say the best ideas are the simplest and it doesn’t really get any simpler than this. Here’s how the company came to be, from the comfort of our living room in Central Illinois:

Step 1: Dad comes home with 2 pepper sprays in the ugly black cases for my mom and I. You know the ones in the faux black leather case?  Yeah … no.

Step 2: Mom says “If this were cute and sparkly, don’t you think more girls would be excited about carrying it? We should make a cute pepper spray. I bet it would sell.”

Step 3: Dad says “We can call it blingsting“!

Step 4: BINGO. So we went to work (aka hand bedazzling prototypes until we wanted to throw up), then we made 5000 units to test the concept, and the rest is history.

Man wearing blingsting pepper spray tank top

It all started with one very over-protective (but amazing) Dad

For me, making a girly pepper spray was about way more than the actual product itself. It was about getting girls excited and engaged in their personal safety. It had to be small, inexpensive, packaged very well, accessible, and of course, as effective as any other pepper spray you can find on the market (and it is).  It’s just WAY cuter.

Comparison graphic of boring pepper spray and blingsting pepper spray

Now we are selling blingsting pepper spray and our other personal safety stuff (glitter personal alarms!  emergency escape hammers!) in thousands of retailers big and small across the country and also internationally, with so many more ‘practical products made cute’ to come.

Oh, and 6 years later, we have an actual office in Dallas with a real-life sign! I’m very proud of this sign, as I applied it to the door myself, without messing it up.

blingsting pepper spray office in Dallas, Texas

THIS WAS HUGE

love andi

 

They tell me I have to start blogging.

Hello!

I’m Andi. I’m an owner of blingsting. Welcome to my blog. I am quite possibly the last person to start blogging, because I’M VERY BUSY making cute stuff!

IMVERYBUSYAGENDA

It’s true.  And how cute are these agendas by bando.com?

Plus, I hate the actual word ‘blog’. It’s ugly and weird. Anyway, they tell me I have to do this, so here we go. But first, let’s recap all of the other things I would rather do than blog:

1- Drink skinny margaritas and do yoga in Tulum

2 – Play tennis in really cute tennis dresses

3 – Locate a husband (email me if you know someone)

4 – Get a pedicure

5-  Watch election coverage

Ok, so now that we have that out of the way, I guess I will start blogging. Please check back often as I will (potentially) semi-amaze you with my insight into the personal safety space, BTS of running a small business (there are good days and there are rough days), and other random things I run across that seem cool and that I actually have photos of. One thing I do know is that if I can start and run a business with only one idea for a ‘better’ pepper spray, and very little else, anyone can.

IMG_7980

Golden Girl

And, also ask me questions, give me your opinion on what we are doing that you love or don’t love … send me pics, emails, tag me on INSTA, FB me, whatever you feel like.   I love seeing our girls embrace their blingsting and I will feature our adorable customers, do fun giveaways, and reveal our new super-cute products along the way.

This is me. In a random hat from the Cracker Barrel (so good!) and with my cutest guy, Baxter.

ANDI BLOG PIC

We are really into selfies

love andi

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