Style Me Tactical’s Leading Lady

Emily Valentine launched Style Me Tactical in 2015, as the first lifestyle website to blend women’s fashion and firearms.  As she explains on her website, “Style Me Tactical is a resource and community for women to become inspired, informed, and encouraged to live a lifestyle where being prepared and having the ability to defend oneself can coexist with a woman’s desire to be fashionable.”  Her blend of Glock and Gucci has led to a large and loyal following, as well as a regular column in Sure Shots Magazine.

Comprehensive Fighting Systems has long been promoting the empowerment of women by providing female-specific training programs and resource materials, and by promoting companies and products that have that same goal in mind.  Style Me Tactical provides a resource where women can learn how to accessorize their distressed jeans, beat dry winter skin, increase situational awareness, and choose a handgun all in one location.  Emily is teaching women that being armed and prepared doesn’t mean you have to stop being who you are, and that these things can and should be as much a part of your life as painting your nails and shopping for deals on designer shoes.

I recently had the privilege of talking with Emily, and she was kind enough to provide some insight into her background, her brand, her motivation, and her experiences that made her who she is today. 

 

What motivated you to become a self-reliant woman?

There are many ways of thinking about how to be self-reliant.  When I was growing up I was taught to be independent and to learn how to take care of myself.  It meant having responsible values in life like being financially secure, which is an aspect of being self-reliant.  However, as I got older and moved to the city I became more aware of the possibility that my safety could be threatened and that I would be the only one that I could count on.  Being aware of my surroundings, trusting my instincts, and being prepared were some of the first steps I took to developing other areas of becoming a self-reliant woman.  Since then I’ve been taking measures to ensure that I’m able to be self-reliant in all aspects of my life.  

 

Have you received any formal firearms or self-defense training?

I have taken courses with both the NRA and with private instructors to learn shooting safety, shooting fundamentals, and firearm maintenance.  I haven’t had an opportunity to take any self-defense training yet, however, I think it’s important to practice and be proficient with various tools and techniques in order to be self-reliant.  Unfortunately, there aren’t many opportunities in DC for comprehensive training but I hope that will change in the future.  I think it is important to continue to challenge and educate yourself in your preferred method of self-defense no matter your experience level.  

 

Tell us about your website and your involvement with Sure Shots Magazine.

I created Style Me Tactical as a resource for women that blends a love of fashion with a desire to become self-reliant. While SMT provides valuable information to women along the lines of self-reliance, I also wanted to share my honest experiences of becoming a first time female gun owner.  I didn’t want SMT to be just a survival or firearm blog.  I wanted to show women that you can be stylish while also being interested in firearms, self-defense, and self-reliance.  After I started SMT, Sure Shots Magazine reached out to me and asked me if I would be interested in contributing to their online magazine.   It was a good fit because we share some of the same values of empowering women.

 

Your photos look like they belong in a fashion magazine.  Who does your photography?

Thank you so much.  I really strive to bring a unique look and personal aesthetic to the photos I publish.  I’ve never used professional photographers and all of my photos are either taken by myself or my husband.

 

I have noticed that the photos of you on SMT only show a small portion of your face.  Is this to maintain a certain amount of anonymity, or is there another motivation behind that?

Yes, it’s mostly to maintain some anonymity.  At first when I was sharing my journey to gun ownership I wanted women to be able to relate and envision themselves in my shoes so-to-speak.  I think that being somewhat faceless helps women to better see themselves and identify with the content.  As I got into concealed carry, I saw even more the importance of this anonymity because I didn’t want to advertise on such a big platform that “I” was carrying a firearm.  After all, it’s concealed for a reason.

 

What future plans do you have for SMT?

I want to continue to grow the community and message of self-reliance and empowerment among women.  I want SMT to be a leading resource for women to become inspired to take responsibility for their own safety and to know they don’t have to sacrifice their style while doing so.  I hope to continue to work with brands that have the same values and message.  I can’t get into specifics, but I do have some exciting projects lined up that I’m planning on launching this fall and into 2018.

 

What parting advise could you offer up to the women reading this right now?

My advice would be to take responsibility for your own safety in a matter that you are comfortable with.  Meaning that if a firearm isn’t for you, then take some self-defense classes, educate yourself on situational awareness, find other tools such as a knife, pepper spray, or taser to carry and learn how to use them.  Be open to different ideas and thoughts on being self-reliant.  And if you think your wardrobe or fashion style won’t allow you to be self-reliant, think again.  Wearing the latest in fashion doesn’t mean you have to be any less prepared than someone who lives a survivalist lifestyle.

In addition to the website, Style Me Tactical can be found on Instagram and Facebook.

Photos: Courtesy of Style Me Tactical

 

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Chad McBroom
Chad McBroom is the owner and founder of Comprehensive Fighting Systems, and specializes in practical empty-hand, blade, stick, and firearms applications. Chad is a regular contributor to RECOIL, ITS Tactical, Black Sheep Warrior, BladeReviews.com, and other tactical publications. He is the author, coauthor, and contributing author of several books on blade combat and the martial arts. Chad is also a blade designer and knifemaker, who uses his extensive knowledge of edged weapon tactics to design and create some of the most versatile bladed weapons on the market.

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