June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Brunswick shop looks to address self-defense needs of women

BRUNSWICK — Lisa Cook doesn’t think guns are just for guys.

The 44-year-old mother of four carries a pink .22-caliber Walther semi-automatic pistol on her hip every day and a .38 Ruger pistol in her purse.

Lisa Cook strikes a pose in Lady Finger Point N Pull in Brunswick. Cook’s store features gun accessories, self-defense items, jewelry and other gifts for female gun enthusiasts. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY LOREN GENSON)

“I always have at least two guns on me wherever I go,” she said.

Cook said she’s been comfortable with guns her whole life, carrying her first gun at 18 when she lived alone.

With her warm smile and short stature, you might never guess Cook is packing heat under her pink fleece jacket — and that’s just the point.

The Litchfield Township resident is hoping her new gun and accessories store, Lady Finger Point N Pull, 1676 Pearl Road, will cater to women who like to shoot and hunt but want to feel feminine about it.

“Just because we shoot doesn’t mean we want everything a drab olive green and black,” she said.

Cook is offering accessories, including purses with gun holsters, floral print gun bags, jewelry and clothing designed for women who are proud gun owners and shooters.

There’s also a collection of self-defense items, including Mace spray designed to look like lipstick and keychains with a sharp point meant to be used to ward off an attacker.

Cook also has applied to be a gun dealer and hopes soon to offer guns in a variety of colors, including pink, rainbow, red and blue.

She got the idea to open the shop after she couldn’t find any accessories for herself.

“I’d go to the (shooting) range and there’d be women sometimes with pink guns. I’d say, ‘Where did you get it?’ The answer was always ‘online,’ ” she said.

About a year ago, she started purchasing accessories on the Internet and storing them in her garage. When she stocked up enough inventory, she opened the store at 1676 Pearl Road.

This isn’t Cook’s first foray into business. She is the owner of Neat Freak, a cleaning business in operation for 15 years in Medina County.

Part of the push to open Lady Finger came from personal inspiration after losing her friend, Joyce Carrow, to breast cancer two years ago.

“That’s the other reason for all the pink around here,” Cook said. She said she chose pink for the interior and exterior of Lady Finger Point N Pull to bring awareness to the illness that claimed her friend.

Cook also has fought her own battle with cervical and uterine cancer. She won her first bout with cancer 20 years ago, but it came back over the summer. She beat it back again, but the medicine made her too shaky and sick to shoot for a while.

“I just didn’t feel safe using a firearm,” she said of the difficult summer. “I had to make decisions that were painful, but I made them and I survived.”
Now that she’s feeling better, she’s decided to move forward with opening the store.

“It just reminded me that life is too short not to go for it,” she said.

In addition to guns and accessories, Cook also is a certified firearms instructor offering classes to women at the shop. She teaches a “first steps” course, basic pistol training and the 12-hour concealed-carry permit class.

She sets the class times based on what’s most convenient for her students.

“People are busy, they work, they have kids,” she said. “We’ll sit down and get a time to get the class in.”

Since opening the store, Cook has had a steady stream of women stopping by to sign up for classes. She said there’s an appeal to learning shooting skills from a woman.

“Every training course I ever took was a man,” she said. “Sometimes the positioning is different, and as a woman I can understand that and maybe explain it better to other women.”

Cook said she welcomes men into her classes but hopes that the courses appeal to women looking to learn more about guns.

Christinia Phillips brought her 18-year-old daughter, Julia Michalewicz, to Lady Finger for basic pistol training earlier this month.

Phillips said she hopes the training will give her daughter more experience with guns, since Phillips keeps three guns in their home.

“She’s out on her own driving by herself, and I want her to know how to use a gun,” Phillips said. “We also have guns at the house, and if I’m going to own a gun, it’s responsible to know how to use it.”

Phillips said it is also less intimidating to learn from women in a small setting.

“I think I just feel a little more relaxed,” Phillips said. “This is our thing; it’s sort of a girls’ day.”

Noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Cook will celebrate the grand opening of her shop.

There will be a raffle and Wadsworth resident Chris Cerino, who was featured on the History Channel’s “Top Shot” show, will be the featured guest.

Cook has taken Cerino’s shooting courses and said the two have become friends.

“We just developed a good relationship, and he loved the fact that I always showed up with pink on,” she said.

Contact reporter Loren Genson at (330) 721-4063 or lgenson@medina-gazette.com.

Grand opening

Lady Finger Point N Pull, a shop catering to female gun enthusiasts, will celebrate its grand opening noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. There will be refreshments and a drawing. Special guest Chris Cerino from the show “Top Shot” will attend the event.

For more information, visit Lady Finger Point N Pull on Facebook. Shop hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For information on classes, stop by the store at 1676 Pearl Road in Brunswick or call (330) 460-6770.

Loren Genson About Loren Genson

Loren Genson was The Gazette's senior reporter. From August 2012 through September 2015, she covered Brunswick city and state and national government. To contact The Gazette, call the managing editor at (330) 721-4065.