FARMINGTON — A new Farmington business owner is catering to one of the fastest growing groups of gun owners in the country: women.
"Woman shooters have grown by five million in the last five years," said Robin Blanchard, who owns KimoVista Solutions, along with her husband, Gordon. "We are growing by leaps and bounds."
The store, located at 4250 E. Main St., Suite G, sells handguns, shotguns, batons, mace and other personal protection items to all customers. But Robin Blanchard said she especially wants her store to make female customers feel welcome.
"I don't care if they don't know anything about a gun. I want them to feel welcomed," she said.
The store employs two staff members, Rio Salazar and Daphnie Cummins, who both worked at other local sporting goods stores before joining KimoVista Solutions.
On Tuesday afternoon, Salazar helped Rishawn Esmiol, 25, of Farmington at the store.
"It's all very organized," he said after looking at the handguns.
Gordon Blanchard said the store sells high-end handguns from manufacturers like Ed Brown 1911 and Nighthawk Custom. He noted one of the store's handguns retails for $3,500.
"These are guns you might read about and see pictures, and here you can actually find them here and look at them," he said.
The store also carries shotguns, like an SRM 16 round, a semiautomatic 12 gauge and ammunition.
Robin Blanchard said her new business, which opened about a month ago, reminds her of a flower shop she owned about eight years ago. When she owned the shop, she searched the prices of flowers every morning because they were sold and bought like a commodity, with prices rising and falling daily.
She said buying ammunition is a similar process.
"I know it sounds crazy, but ammunition is like a commodity," she said.
Cummins said .22 caliber rounds have been in high demand, and a box of 500 rounds can cost about $70.
Robin Blanchard said she and her husband have thought about opening a store like KimoVista for the past couple of years. The couple have visited many gun stores in the region, and, Robin Blanchard said, nearly every time, "they would wait on my husband."
Attendants paid attention to her husband every time, no matter how much attention she showed, Robin Blanchard said.
As a result, she wanted to open a personal protection store geared toward making women feel comfortable.
But she said running KimoVista, named after the popular theater in Albuquerque, has taught her be mindful she is still learning.
"Every day is a learning experience. The day it's not, it's all over," she said.
KimoVista Solutions is located on 4250 E. Main St., Suite G in Farmington.
The business is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
For more information, call 505-325-4303 or go to the company's Facebook page.Erny Zah is The Daily Times business editor. He can be reached at 505-564-4638. and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @ernyzah on Twitter.