One of my greatest concerns in college was personal safety. I was bitterly aware of the high crime rate on campus and had been a victim on more occasions than I’d like to share. In any case, my schedule was all over the place in my freshman year, and I had to walk in the dark, alone, multiple times through the week. My mom’s advice was to carry mace. I did carry it, but it was so obvious, and hideous. Which is why I am so jealous of college students these days. You get to do the whole college experience with this awesome new and glamorous update to the tragic conventional design to mace, plus a whole lot of more protective bling!
It’s called BlingSting, and it’s so cute it hurts! Like for real.
What is BlingSting?
BlingSting is basically mace that is dazzling enough for women to wear confidently on their keychain. BlingSting comes in a wide variety of colors that you can choose from on their website. This BlingSting is the real deal. It may look cute, but it will protect you if you are ever threatened. Pepper Spray expires every three years, be sure to make note of the expiration date so that it will discharge properly. Note: there are some states that will not allow mace to be shipped by mail although it is legal to carry in all 50 states. Orders over $75 qualify for free shipping!
Personal Safety Products with a Sting!
Personal Alarms: When getting mace is not available, these adorable alarms will sound a 115-decibel alarm to stop attackers in their tracks and alert bystanders of your need of assistance. 115-decibels is as loud as a thunder clap or a chain saw to put it into perspective. It also has a LED light for use when you need it. This life-saving device is going to look adorable on just about any keychain. Get yours here.
First Aid Kits: Since when are first aid kits cute? Since BlingSting! Clean up your boo-boos in style with this adorable kit.
Escape Hammers: This hammer can break through car glass windows. If you have it strapped onto to your car visor and are stuck in the car due to an accident, you are in luck. This powerful (and fashionable) hammer will help you cut your seat belt and break the window to escape. It comes in white, hot pink, and rose gold (shown to the right).
Stunning Stun Guns: See state and local restrictions before purchasing this one. This stun gun is another fashionable asset to your personal safety. This shining weapon comes with 950,000 volts of power and deter an attacker.
Gift Sets!: Quite possibly BlingSting’s best offers are the gift set bundles that you can gift yourself or a family member/ friend.
How to Get BlingSting
First, find out on BlingSting’s website if the items you want can be shipped to your state/ city. Second, use College Mamma’s exclusive promo code CM2017 to take 20% off your final order (good until the end of the 2017 year).
I had to know more though. I was able to get in touch with Andi, the CEO and founder of BlingSting to hear more about its story. Here is our exclusive interview:
Interview with Andi Atteberry, CEO and Founder of BlingSting
Thanks for taking the time out to talk with College Mamma about BlingSting. Can we start out with some background on you? Where did you grow up? What college did you attend; what did you study? What were you doing before BlingSting was born?
I grew up in a small blue-collar town in Central Illinois. The kind of town where people are conservative, nice, honest, and hard-working. All of our family lived within a few miles of each other and my high school was tiny, I think I graduated with 70 kids. It was a very special place to grow up, time moves slowly there and that was a good thing. But when college came around I gladly left the harsh winters and headed out to Arizona State – for the sun, palm trees, and the experience. I studied Broadcast Journalism, and have been roaming around the world ever since. My first TV news job was in Guam (way out in the middle of the ocean) and it was amazing! After a few years though something was pulling me back closer to home and I spent the rest of my twenties living the dream at the beach in California. After realizing journalism wasn’t for me I took on a sales job and was asked to transfer to NYC to run the sales office there. Again, I hopped on a plane and didn’t look back. Living in Manhattan was one of the best chapters of my life, and I’ve had some good chapters! But after a few years killing myself to hit my sales numbers, I decided to take a leap and start BlingSting. It was just time that I took all the random skills I learned working for other entrepreneurs and start my own thing. I had no doubt the risk would pay off.
On your website, your story about BlingSting talks about your father bringing home mace key chains that never saw the light of day. Why mace? Was it just mace or did he bring other things home too? Did you grow up in a dangerous neighborhood?
Ha, no our neighborhood was not dangerous. He was just a dad who worried about his wife and daughter’s safety like any dad does. Ok, he was potentially a little OCD about us but it’s those quirks that defined this business and gave us an idea. The pepper spray was only one of his ideas for keeping us safe when he wasn’t with us. We couldn’t get in the car or I couldn’t talk to him on the phone without a full recap of all the precautions I needed to take: lock the doors, don’t stop at a rest area, call me when you get there, call me when you leave, call me in the middle … so safety was just his thing. We gave him a lot of eye rolls of course – but looking back he was just doing his job and we made a business out of it.
How did you turn your idea for BlingSting from a craft into a business?
It was never a craft, it was a business idea from day one. I knew if my dad was worried about my safety, then most dads were in the same boat. I also knew that pepper spray was super ugly and if both my mom and I feel that way, so do other girls. It was very easy to come up with the idea and the WHY. Personal safety had never been done the way I wanted to do it … packaged like a high-end cosmetic … designed with current trends in mind. Girls like things in nice packages. It’s just what we do. I knew this because I’ve had lots of practice in buying things over the year, and it helped that my dad came up with the name ‘blingsting’ randomly one night while driving to Red Lobster on one of my visits home. That was when I decided I would launch it someday. I loved the cheekiness of the name. And that light-hearted, fun tone that we use throughout the line was established when he thought of ‘blingsting.’ As a family, we love to laugh and be silly, so this was the winner and the only name we ever considered. The rest of the company unfolded from there.
Have you ever had to actually use/ discharge one of your own products?
Nope, hope I never have to!
Who do you think would get the most benefit from BlingSting products?
Our line is for any girl, at most any time in her life. For the pepper spray it’s starting from college-age, but we have loyal customers much older than that who love sparkles, too. And then, of course, the young professional girl, maybe moving to a new city or starting a new job … this is for her as well. And we sell a lot of pepper spray to women who work in higher risk jobs like nursing, real estate, etc. Being a girl and loving pink and rose gold and glitter doesn’t really change with age I have found. You either are into it or you aren’t. And of course, women of all ages need to be engaged in their personal safety and our products help them do that.
How are your customers reacting to your product?
The best part of my day is logging into social media and seeing girls post pictures of one of my products and showing their excitement about having just purchased one or getting one as a gift. It really is the BEST gift to give because it tells the receiver ‘hey – I care about you and I want you to be safe’ but of course, it’s just as cute as a piece of trend jewelry. I see girls taking pride in their purchase of BlingSting, and it gives them a moment to evaluate their personal safety in general. Which was the whole over-arching idea for the company. If you make personal safety cute and fun, girls will actually stop and pay attention. It’s a win-win. We also sell to retailers, both large national ones and then thousands of independents throughout the country. We are very fortunate that we are able to bring a product to market that looks great, works great, and is affordable. We’ve created our own category and will continue expand the collection as time rolls on.
What are some things your customers should know or consider before purchasing BlingSting?
Pepper spray is pretty straightforward and full information is on our website, but yes, there are some states we can’t ship to unfortunately because of state shipping regulations. Other than that, we try to remind people that it does expire every three years so pay attention to the expiration date … and try to remember that you can’t take it through the TSA at the airport and if you misuse it (like spray someone as a joke) you will be considered in violation of the law. It’s not a toy, and it really does work.
Lastly, I want to thank you again for speaking to us. This is a product I really believe in because it’s something women will want to carry with them to any occasion. I wish you all the best.
Thank you, too!
While I don’t believe any weapon makes us invincible, walking alone in the dark is sometimes unavoidable. I remember calling campus security many times through my college years to get a ride with their well-marketed campus safe rides only for them never to show up. Holding my mace in hand was the only sense of personal security I had. If you are traveling by plane soon, make sure to keep your mace in your checked bag; TSA will not allow it through security.
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Now that you are armed with self-protection, protect your things! See my post about how to never lose your dorm key, laptop, backpack, purse, and etc.