This is the first post of a new Q & A series where fashion insiders and big boss CEOs will give us the low down on what it takes to run a company and to be just as fabulous as them!
Q. Who is Andi Atteberry?
A. Well, hmm, I am the creator and CEO of blingsting. I grew up in the Midwest and attended Arizona State. I have lived all over the place, most recently in New York City before moving blingsting to Dallas, TX. I am 34 years old and have the sweetest dog ever named Baxter. I love yoga and sparkles and design everything we do at blingsting from the products, to the website, to the packaging, to our hot pink office, to what we say and how we say it. It’s a dream job!
Q. What is Bling Sting?
A. Blingsting is the cutest pepper spray ever and probably the best idea I have ever had!
Q. Why did you create Bling Sting?
A. My dad kept bringing home the ugly, masculine looking pepper spray for my mom and I. We hated it and would just throw it away, as we are both very girly and like things to be cute. My mom proposed that we bedazzle it, and my dad came up with the name ‘blingsting’ and I knew at that point that I could sell lots of it, and most importantly get girls excited about their personal safety. I knew if it was packaged like something you would buy at Sephora, and it was priced right, it would take off. Girls love things in nice packages and we spend money for the packaging, we can’t help it.
Q. Each spray has a different name, how did you pick them all?
A. Stuff like this just comes pouring out of me with very little effort at all. Thirty four years of practice of being a girl, I guess! I always like looking at the nail polish colors when I am getting my nails done, so I figured that we could name our colors, too. I think having cheeky names makes people smile, which is so important for this brand. I want people to have fun with my line. It goes back to being a family business, and in my family, you get made fun of and have to be able to laugh at yourself at all times, so everything we do has a sense of humor behind it.
Q. You are working on a new product, what is Ahh!-larm?
A. The Ahh!-larm is our newest product! It’s an adorable, glittered, heart-shaped alarm that clips to your purse, backpack, keys, leash. The idea is that if you feel threatened or need to attract attention, you pull the pin and a super-loud, super-annoying alarm goes off, kind of like a panic button on a key fob. I made this really because I wanted younger girls to have something to carry, as you wouldn’t give a tween a blingsting – but you can give her the Ahh!-larm. And of course, older girls can carry it too. You can never have enough sparkly safety stuff in my opinion! The product has already been picked up by Francesca’s and Stein Mart, as well as hundreds of boutiques across the country.
Q. You have taken self-defense to the next level, what has the feedback been like?
A. It’s been amazing! On one hand, I always knew it would be because it’s a good idea that we have kept simple and executed well. On the other hand, I am still in awe of how fast we have grown our customer base and the fact that major retailers are picking us up. It’s been an adventure and I am still amazed that we have made a profitable little company from selling sparkly pepper spray. So far so good!
Q. Why is it important for women to protect themselves?
A. Well, for obvious reasons, as you just never know what can happen. I look at pepper spray like I look at insurance. You hope you never have to actually use it, but if you do, you are glad you spent the money. Of course pepper spray is only one small part of personal safety and won’t always be the answer. It’s better to make good decisions about what you are doing, where you are going, and to avoid dangerous situations altogether. You know, like parents always say.
Q. Where do you see you and your company going in the next five years?
A. We plan to keep on growing, as fast and responsibly as we can and continuing to introduce new safety-related products that girls love. There is so much opportunity for us that we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. I come up with new product ideas all of the time, so I will continue to design cute stuff and get it to our customers.
Q. Where can you buy Bing Sting products?
A. Our website, blingsting.com but our products are carried in hundreds of retailers across the country. National retailers include Francesca’s, Kitson, Ace Hardware, Bass Pro Shops, but also local boutiques, salons, car washes, hunting shops, we are sort of all over the place!
Do you want to win your own Bling Sting Pepper Spray?!?! Head over to the ‘Contact’ page, fill the form out with your info, and you may win your very own super sparkly, Bling Sting Pepper Spray… In Fashion Talk pink of course!