By Hannah Lester

Rodney and Kristie Stariha began their business by providing firearm transfers. Which grew to selling guns at shows and eventually opening a brick-and-mortar gun shop in Smiths Station.

“We started with just one table at a gun show and we ended up going from that one table in 2012 up to five and six tables by 2016,” Kristie said.

Flat Iron Arms is located at 9483 Mullin Rd, in Smiths Station.

One of the challenges the couple faced as they started their business was that the market for firearms is very narrowed.

“It took a year just to find a place [to have the storefront],” she said.

Eventually, however, they found the right spot in Smiths Station.

“My son was going to Philadelphia Baptist Church’s preschool and so I would drive by our future store every day taking him to the preschool,” Kristie said. “I just thought, that would be the perfect location, it’s got good parking, good traffic, smaller community.”

The store is going on five years now.

“Having the gun show experience and also already having the four years of building up inventory helped a lot,” Kristie said of getting the business up and running.

The two considered continuing to sell at gun shows after the shop opened but doing both was too difficult.

“We tried to do it where he stayed at the store and I went to the show and somebody stole a gun … you have to have two people there watching everything.”

Having the storefront has allowed more customers to find them, Kristie said.

“Just being friendly with people,” was how the business found its customers in the first place, she said. “… We have a pretty good following there.”

Kristie said that being located in Smiths Station has worked out well and that the community is supportive.

“I have a real sense of pride in being a part of the community,” she said. “I like being able to make the donations to the different groups, the different schools and the little league teams.”

For more information on Flat Iron Arms, visit the Facebook