Katherine Gibbard (10 February 2016)

R&K Stockcraft Ltd is a country gunsmith’s shop in Stony Stratford that has been operating for over thirty years providing services to the shooting community. Katherine Gibbard along with her husband, Wayne bought the establishment two years ago and they are the directors. The idea to purchase and own a gun store came from her husband who has been passionate about shooting since the age of seven and was introduced to the sport by his grandfather.

Katherine had no prior knowledge or experience in the gun industry. She transformed the business as a whole to catch up with the latest technology. Most importantly she assured all key clients and suppliers that their business is valuable to R&K, as well as the shooting community who were initially sceptical about a woman running the show.

She has a strong and determined character to see plans executed in a systematic and logical manner, skills gained from her previous work for Paragon Automotive. She has introduced technology to link different sections of the business for ease of information flow. Also, an Annual Open Day to promote the business by interacting with customers and showcasing the latest products. A £1,050 starter package for beginners and a service warranty for customers’ guns to assist in attracting more members of the shooting community.

What differentiates R&K from other gun shops is their knowledge and experience in their field. Passion, hard work and lessons learned from notable failed attempts along the journey have proven to be the key to success for Katherine and growth of R&K. In the foreseeable future she plans to gain a shooting ground, create a system for top customers to become product testers and continue to introduce more women to the sport through Femmes Fatales.

Based on a report by Lindiwe Chakhala