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With Pepper Spray Products So Cute, They Hurt!

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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

(Please) don’t go running without your blingsting pepper spray

You should have a personal security team at all times and lets be real, blingsting pepper spray should be a part of that team.  Not only should you have added safety when you are running errands, walking to your car, out on the town, or on campus going to class but you should also take precautions when exercising.  And we should all be exercising.  As our spirit animal Elle Woods says, ‘Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.”

pepper spray for joggers

To all the cute little joggers or any one trying to get a little cardio and sunshine in their life, this one is for you. Below are some safety tips for jogging (or walking, whatev). There are so many different preventative measures to take when running outside so this list is a condensed version of the hundreds of tips out there. Check it out.

  • Be aware of your surroundings. It is easy to zone out while running and listening to music but always be alert and aware of who/what is around you.
  • Run a route you already know and are familiar with. If you are trying a new route, plan ahead and make sure to learn the new route during the daytime when people are around. You do not want to learn a route when the sun is setting, keep it moving when it’s bright out.
  • Alternate your routes. Running the same route, at the same time, creates a pattern and can make the runner an easy target for attackers. Switch things up and keep ‘em guessing, from the route you run to the time you run it.
  • Avoid deserted areas and bad neighborhoods. Also, know a few “safe” locations you can run to if you ever come across any trouble. This can be anywhere from a public location to a well known neighbor or friend.
  • Do not run alone. It makes runners a less likely target when there are two of you. Running partners are also able to assist in getting help if there is an emergency. Keep in mind; your running partner can also be your furry friend. Large dogs pose as potential threats to attackers.
  • Turn it down. We all enjoy a concert in our head so we can drown out our heavy breathing and focus on the music instead of our sore legs but your safety should come first. While turning down your music helps, taking out one ear bud completely is even better. This allows one of your ears to focus on the sounds of oncoming traffic, bikers, other fellow runners, and potential threats. It is important to be able to see and hear what is in front of you but also what is behind you.
  • Tell someone. Let a friend or family member know you are going out for a run, the route you are taking, and about how long you anticipate being gone. That’s easy.
  • Bring your phone. Not that you were going to let it leave your side, but if you were, bring it anyway. You’ll be able to call someone if you’re in a bind or drop someone your pin (location) if you need help. There are also all sorts of running apps out there for joggers so that their emergency information is available as well as their whereabouts.
  • Run against traffic. You will be able to see the traffic in front of you more clearly and they will be able to see you better. Also, be careful when running near cars, you have to pay attention because sometimes they are not.
  • Be bold and be bright. If you decide to run at night or early morning, make sure to wear bright colored clothing as well as reflective clothing or shoes. This will help drivers be aware of your presence. Hand held lights or headlamps are also key. Not only will this help the drivers to see you in front of them but it will help you to see where you are going as well.
  • Carry your blingsting. Not only will you be better able to protect your self but also you will feel confident that you have an additional safety measure on you.

Be safe and super-cute!

love andi

Where to buy pepper spray? Right here. Duh.

Pepper spray is  MUST-HAVE.  It is the most basic and definitely one of the most valuable items you can carry (I always say: keys, phone, lipgloss, blingsting).  Problem is, lots of people are often wondering where to buy pepper spray.   Whether you’re a city girl or a country girl, pepper spray has become a necessity for anyone living in today’s world. With the use of a cleverly-pointed pepper spray shot, a girl might be able to save her own life, possessions, and those around her.

That alone should serve as purpose enough as to why you should carry pepper spray.  Now, I have been favoring the word “her” because I support super cute independent boss babes everywhere but us women aren’t the only ones who can benefit from carrying pepper spray. Men, I’m talking to you. All of you guys out there can reap the benefits of pepper spray as self-defense as well, you just have to buy it first. The good news is that pepper spray is very affordable and can be bought by just about anyone. As mentioned before in a past blog post, the spray is made out of an ingredient taken from real chili peppers known as oleoresin capsicum or OC – this ingredient is what gets the job done.

 

Donald Trump talks blingsting pepper psray

Ugly pepper spray, ya fired!

Why carry pepper spray?  Let’s recap:

– Inexpensive

– Legal; no permit required

– Small and easy to handle

– Non-lethal

– Can be used against human and animal attacks

– It comes in different forms: spray, fogger, or gel

So where to buy pepper spray? Here are three more ideas:

Wal-Mart:

It doesn’t get any easier than this. Wal-Mart, the go-to place for anything and everything. They don’t fall short in the pepper spray category either. Affordable and good quality, Wal-Mart never fails. It is a trusted company to give you the best options. Find a Wal-Mart and you’ll find good quality spray as well.  Search ‘super-cute pepper spray’  🙂

Amazon:

What’s not love? Diverse products and brands, cheap prices, low tax delivery, and only high quality pepper spray. If you have some uncertainties about the pepper spray you’re looking at, check the user reviews underneath the product. You’ll know right away what you’re dealing with.

Online:

Of course, we think blingsting.com is the best website for pepper spray.  While Amazon required a VIP shout out, there are many other online web stores that will offer you  pepper spray.  They aren’t gonna be super-cute, but I am biased.   Some even provide warranty cards so you won’t have any hassle later. Online shopping is easy, convenient, and a major key in getting what you need during your busy days. Online shopping for pepper spray is no different.

andi blingsting pepper spray girl signature graphic

 

 

Say hello! to the cutest stun gun ever: The Stunning Gun

Yes, we just had to go there. First it was pepper spray, and now we have set our focus on all things cute and sparkly to the stun gun! And of course it wouldn’t be a blingsting product without a seriously cute name – so say hello to the Stunning Gun! We have shown it at our big tradeshows across the country in the last few weeks and can already tell it will be a top seller in no time. It will be available for purchase on our website in a few weeks (yay!)

Stunning Gun rhinestone stun gun by blingsting

On display at the Las Vegas Gift Show

 

I didn’t ever think we’d make a stun gun, but our customers asked for it, so here it is!  For those unfamiliar, a stun gun is simply a device used to immobilize an attacker without causing serious injury, typically by administering an electric shock. So, it’s a positive safety product, just like pepper spray, that won’t cause permanent damage but will deter and deflect a potential attacker if used properly.  They say to really make the most impact, the electric shock should be directed at the face, chest or groin.  Of course the longer the shock is administered, the more disoriented the attacker will become.  And, the sound of the spark alone is enough to cause a scene. It’s seriously loud. Oh and we have tested it on the president of blingsting, Gabe, and it totally works. Plus, it’s decked out in the deep charcoal rhinestones that I call ‘mink.’ Mink is everything, as we all know. New products are SO fun!  Ok – just remember that stun guns are so not a toy, and there are state and local restrictions on ’em – so gotta do your research to make sure you can legally carry one of these little gems.  Most states do require you be 18 years of age (just like with pepper spray).  We have a list of states that we can’t ship the Stunning Guns to right here.

Stunning Gun Stun Gun in packaging

Stun gun meets cuteness overload

 

andi blingsting pepper spray girl signature graphic

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

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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