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Lipstick, wallet, keys and GUN: Designer launches handbag line for women who carry concealed weapons. . . and business is booming

A Dallas designer has created a handbag collection for women who want to carry their handguns next to their wallet.
Kate Woolstenhulme, founder of Designer Concealed Carry handbags, offers styles that start at $269 for a canvas carrier and go up to $4,200 for a crocodile version.
Fashionista reports that the bags have dual-locking zippers with a holster that allow the owner to quickly grab her weapon - but also stop it from flying out.

Carefully concealed: Designer Kate Woolstenhulme carries one of the bags she designed for women who want to carry their guns with their wallets
She tells the site that sales this year are up 30per cent.
Woolstenhulme, who was trained in fine arts, worked in the aviation business for 16 years in Dallas before moving to Miami, Florida in 2006.

She noticed that around the 2008 election, there was a movement toward getting firearms.
Concerned for her safety, her husband bought her a Smith & Wesson 9 millimeter for Christmas. But after signing up for a Florida concealed carry permit, she quickly realized that the upscale handbags could not safely hold or lock a firearm.

Glamorous guns: The $4,200 Tailored Shoulder bag is made of Caiman Crocodile (left) and features a pocket shown with Beretta's 9mm Nano (right)

Functional fashion: Woolstenhulme designed styles like the Parade (left) with features that would allow women to safely conceal their weapons (right)
'At the time, the handbags that were out there were done by holster-makers who are really into function, certainly, but not style.'
'I looked and looked-I even bought two or three fashion handbags and tried to modify them, but it didn't work,' she told the site.

Growing industry: As more and more women carry weapons manufacturers are marketing new products with lighter frames, custom colors like pink and even a Hello Kitty gun

'So I decided to try and make something that is fashionable for women who don't want to leave their personality at the front door. I went to a handbag manufacturer and produced four styles.'

Self protection: Woolstenhulme wants women who carry weapons to have a stylish option
She says that many of her customers are law enforcement officials or women who aren't comfortable carrying firearms.
Women who aren't packing heat could use the locking pocket to secure an elderly parent's medication, for example, or hide a passport.
Manufacturers have increasingly geared gun advertising toward women by marketing special firearms models with smaller frames and custom colors like pink.
Gun experts say that more and more people are carrying concealed weapons due to a changing political climate, and a desire to be in control.
Thirty-seven states now provide concealed-carry permits if an applicant meets legal requirements, like not being a felon.
Woolstenhulme explains that she's not pushing for women to carry guns - she just wants to offer them a stylish option.
'I was a college student when Ted Bundy was out plucking women. Back then, we all took a judo class. Women have to have something for self-protection,' she explains.
'It's the woman's choice, and I applaud that,' she adds. 'We can't assume that someone is going to take care of us.'
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