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Understanding that we live in an increasingly dangerous world, Andi Atteberry’s father came home with pepper spray for her and her mother — as any concerned and protective father and husband would. The problem? These clunky, masculine-looking keychain pepper sprays often got stashed in a junk drawer or glove box to be forgotten, rather than relied upon in the event of an emergency.
Andi and her mother jokingly remarked that if the pepper spray were more fashionable, then more women would carry it regularly as opposed to stashing it in a drawer on their way out the door. What started as a running joke for years between the tight-knit family when Andi’s father coined the term “Blingsting”, quickly became a seed that would ignite the idea for a thriving business.
Upon leaving her sales job in New York City at the age of 29, Andi remembered the concept of “Blingsting” and found a renewed sense of inspiration. After running the concept by the now co-founder and CEO Gabe Mazzone, they made the bold decision to both leave their jobs, take the leap and go for it.
Working from Andi’s simple sketch, they got straight to work on producing their first samples. Neither holding any formal product development or manufacturing experience, the initial development phase took some time to work out the kinks. In 2013 the first samples of the flagshipproduct were completed, Blingsting’s signature rhinestone-covered pepper spray.
A few months later, Cosmopolitan ran a feature article on the pepper spray, and what happened next what completely unprecedented. Orders began flooding in one right after the other, and it was then that they not only knew they were on to something — but they knew they were helping women protect themselves.
While they were given just as many no’s as yes’s along their journey, the trajectory of the company drastically changed in 2016 when the nation’s largest retailer picked up their keychain pepper spray product and sold it in approximately 4000 of their stores nationwide.
Blingsting is now headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with two assembly and distribution facilities located in the upper Midwest. The overwhelming success of Blingsting has allowed Andi to turn a random idea into a multi-million dollar business, equipping women with the functional yet fashionable tool they need to protect what matters most.
Trusted and carried by over 3 million women to date, Blingsting has become a national staple in women’s safety accessories and self defense. Products are sold on the company website and nationwide in mass retail locations including Walmart, CVS, Office Depot, Amazon, Ace Hardware, and the Home Shopping Network. Additionally, Blingsting holds a network of thousands of small specialty boutiques who sell the products with pride, precision and purpose.
Blingsting disrupted the very outdated and boring non-lethal self-defense industry. By leveraging on-trend designs and integrating them into both the products and the packaging, Blingsting’s collection of safety products stood alone as the only women’s-focused brand with nationwide distribution. Blingsting remains the only brand of personal safety products that is sold in boutiques; simply because of the focus and fresh design, clever and upbeat marketing, gift-ability, and adaptability. Blingsting continually pivots its aesthetic based on what’s trending in fashion, giving the company a distinct edge over its competitors while appealing to women of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds.
Notable Celebrity Customers and Media Coverage
Blingsting’s sparkly pepper sprays have captivated everyday citizens and celebrities alike. The sleek and compact products have been seen on the keychains of celebrities including Jessica Alba, Selena Gomez, and Jennifer Coolidge. (these were not paid placements)
Harnessing national media media attention from world-renowned outlets including Glamour, The New York Times, The New York Post, US Weekly, The Today Show, The Doctors, and many more — Blingsting is proud to be featured for its functional fashion, innovation, and commitment to safety.
It is no secret that our world is getting crazier by the minute. Committed to keeping women safe at all costs, Blingsting will continue to create trend-driven safety accessories that keep women safe and engaged in their personal safety. Looking ahead, Blingsting’s focus is to expand the product line and consumer reach to bridge the gap between safety, awareness and accessibility for all.