FARMVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Women looking for a little something different can find it at a gun boutique just down the road from Rocky Mount in downtown Farmville.
Jessica’s Gun Shop opened on the corner of Main and Wilson streets last month, filling a vacant building and bringing products to Farmville that otherwise may not exist.
Jessica Pickerell, 28, has been shooting for the past 10 years and has worked in several gun shops. She aspired to one day open her own shop that was geared toward women.
“It’s tough being a woman and going into gun shop,” Pickerell said. “It can be intimidating. I opened my shop coming from a woman’s perspective. Buying a gun for women is like buying a car. We are looked at differently, talked to differently.”
Pickerell said her shop alleviates that stigma. She hopes men and women will feel comfortable in her shop to make a sound purchase.
“(Owning a gun) is a safety thing,” Pickerell said. “It doesn’t hurt to have one.”
The New Jersey native lives in Greenville with her 4-year-old son, Matthew, and her fiancé, Mike Nanney, a Farmville native who works in the shop with Pickerell.
Community support for the gun shop has been strong, Pickerell said.
“Everyone here is great, and I have a close relationship with the Farmville Police Department,” she said.
That relationship was well noted at the shop’s recent ribbon cutting, attended by Farmville Police Chief Donnie Greene and several officers.
Pickerell and Nanney looked around Pitt County for an ideal location for the shop. Greene connected the couple with Farmville commissioner and real estate developer Jamin Dixon, who showed them the downtown vacancy.
“I think everyone will feel welcome walking into Jessica’s,” Dixon said. “This business is fantastic. I recently heard Farmville described as a ‘garden and gun kind of town.’ (Jessica and Mike) did an excellent job on the renovations. The shop is so welcoming, and they have a great inventory and are expanding (its product base) daily.”
The shop carries a wide assortment of guns, including handguns, rifles, shotguns and more, plus gun accessories, like hearing protection and ammunition. The shop caters to special orders as well.
“Prices vary, cheaper guns known for jamming can be found at a pawn shop,” Pickerell said. “We carry quality, reliable firearms like Glock.”
Jessica’s Gun Shop is “filling a need,” according to Judy Gidley, the director of the Farmville Chamber of Commerce.
Farmville Mayor Bobby Evans agreed.
“This shop is playing an important part in the diversity of Farmville’s shopping climate,” Evans said. “I appreciate your effort to renovate this facility.”
Farmville Commissioner Hunter Walters is thrilled to see a downtown corner shop filled.
“Thank you, Jessica for moving here. Thank you, Mike for having faith in Farmville and thank you Jamin for the work on the exterior of the building,” Walters said.
Jessica’s Gun Shop, at 3736 S. Main St. in Farmville, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday. For more information about products, call 252-228-8168.
Information from: Rocky Mount Telegram, http://www.rockymounttelegram.com