In three words, how would you describe your style?
Fearless, fast and free… I have been told that I take way too many high risks in life but that it’s understandable as a symptom of my lived experience. It’s not a negative but rather something to be desired. I have always lived life in the fast lane. Anywhere from drag racing to racing motorcycles, or just my appreciation for high octane fuel, race rods, rat rods and speed. I will take a trip on a whim and I have never met a stranger. In my childhood I was a prisoner to many things and I fought hard to find freedom and to learn to be my own boss and master my own mind and outcomes but I respect that fact that freedom isn’t free and I trust in a God who clears my pathways to keep me safe. He’s always “got my 6”.
How do you feel when you wear BulletGirl Jewelry?
I feel empowered and understood and justified. It’s a visible way to open conversations with people about the power behind the piece. Seeing a bullet made into a beautiful piece of jewelry is a conversation starter for many! And it’s a great way to bring beauty into the typical bias conversations about guns and safety and violence and shine light on the benefits and brotherhood that the proper use of arms possesses.
Can you please share your career path journey with us?
I have worked as an emergency room/trauma nurse around ten years and as a forensic nurse for eight. I also work as a private investigator and a personal protection officer, as well as an armed commissioned security officer. I also testify as an expert in state and federal courts promoting justice with the utilization of science and data. Life is at my fingertips in more ways than one career wise, so it’s important that I stay educated, trained and up-to-date in every aspect. Needless to say, I wear many hats in my career. In the trauma center I see how these weapons have been used by people to harm but also, I see how they have been used to defend, help and save people.
They say, ‘to whom much has been given, much shall be required’.. that also goes for harnessing the power of a pistol! In order to use this powerful tool for good you must be properly trained and maintain your skills and education and maintenance in order to be safe, effective and a good steward of the power you behold.
You're a sex trafficking survivor and important part of the Houston20. Can you share with us what you love about the organization and what major projects you're excited to see over the coming years?
I love being involved with multiple charitable organizations and consulting with governmental and non-governmental agencies. One of the organizations that BulletGirl supports is the Houston 20. That is one of my favorite organizations, not only because the woman who started it was my getaway driver in my first undercover operation in Houston, but also because it is made up of so many women with a heart for justice. The organization helps victims of sex trafficking in all aspects of their journey. I love that BulletGirl donates a portion of proceeds from their jewelry line to support them.
If you could give one piece of advice to young women about their safety and self-protection, what would you say?
It’s so important for women to learn about the dangers of this world and how to be aware of them and avoid them; and in cases where danger is imminent or inevitable, to know what to do to protect yourself. You can’t live life pretending like everything is beautiful and perfect- because it’s not. In order to stay above the dirt, you have to be diligent and do everything you can to be a good steward of the life you are given every day. And that means learning basic skills and personal protection even if it’s just taking a self-defense class.
If you are afraid of a gun and are not trained on how to use it, you shouldn’t be anywhere near it unless you are behind a qualified person who is holding it to protect you. As a society we need to stop hating on guns in general and realize that the people who properly use them for protection and spend a lot of time, money, and effort honing the skills to harness that power are doing it for good reason.
You train school administrations, teachers, parents and students on how to keep kids safe in the digital age. What are some of your top tips?
A lot of harm that happens in this world doesn’t always start in the physical world on the street. It starts online. The grooming process of children is a skill that predators excel at and is hard to identify. It is also one of those areas that nobody wants to talk about. So I educate in order to bring awareness and deliver it in a palatable manner so people can implement the training into their process to keep their kids safe. Predators are everywhere and the cyber world is a dangerous field that you need to be trained in and aware of in order to protect yourself and your family.
What makes you feel most confident and empowered in your everyday life?
When I can use my power that I have gained through my life and experience to be able to empower others. To achieve “success” and be “at the top” as many might say is great, but the important thing is when you get there you can’t forget to reach your hand back and pull others up there with you. I try every day to turn the pain that I went through in life into a powerful purpose. And for me, that means mentoring and motivating as many people as I can and lifting people up. Everything in life happens for a reason and I try not to waste anything. When I’m in a place that I can help others and move people forward in life and connect people to be able to create more goodness in this world, it makes it all worth it.
Which BulletGirl collection resonates with you most and why?
It’s hard to choose which collection is my favorite because I love them all but if I had to choose one I would say Vesper. This collection takes the size of the bullet and makes miniature to fit into smaller elegant pieces. It puts into perspective that big scary bullets can hold beauty at their core. It’s all about perspective and scale. In this collection there’s also bracelets that are handcuffs made into bangles. I have those and when I wear them it’s a symbol of freedom from the chains that once bound me. It’s an outward display of being wrongfully “cuffed” in life where I was surrounded by fear, danger and pain and turning that into the beauty of wearing them myself. It shows myself and the world that my chains are gone, I’ve been set free, and I hold the keys to my future and freedom now. I have taken back control.
What's your life motto?
My life motto is ‘be kind to everyone you meet’ because you never know the battles they face. As a child I went through so many hardships in the foster care system; I went from being homeless and abused to becoming a fierce forensic warrior. When people look at me they see a perfect life and peace and joy. But when I reveal the truth behind my smile it teaches them about resilience and fortitude. Nobody would ever expect it, but I went through what I did in life and I don’t owe anyone an explanation. I know my story and my pain and I know the “why” behind what I do. But I also know the “how” behind my expertise. So I always give grace to people because you truly don’t know what internal struggles people face or what life is like at home even when everything on the outside looks perfect.