Gear, Parts and Accessories

Concealed Carrie: Fashionable Carry for Women

Concealed Carrie is a women’s concealed-carry handbag manufacturer based in Roswell, Georgia. Concealed Carrie’s story began when Tom and Leslie Deets decided to visit a firing range in the Atlanta area a few years ago. Tom’s prior experience in law enforcement, his strong endorsement of the right to bear arms, and his mission to promote safety through education convinced him that the best protection he could give his family was to equip them to protect themselves.

But there was a problem. While learning about firearms proved to be beneficial for Leslie, she was not impressed with the concealed-carry options for women that were currently available. She wanted the ability to protect herself without giving up her sense of style.

To accomplish both, Leslie founded Concealed Carrie. As a self-proclaimed fashionista, Leslie launched into a self-study of the current trends in women’s high-end handbags and came to the conclusion that there was a demand for a better solution. A concealed-carry handbag that offered the utmost in both quality of material and style was needed.

She first came up with the product line after attending a ladies’ defensive handgun class, and later, a concealed-carry class. In both cases, she said, “I was struck by the women who came to class wearing holsters strapped to their bodies or toting less desirable military-style concealed carry bags that were far from feminine. “Women want to feel more empowered,” she said. “But why should they be forced to compromise fashion for function?”

It wasn’t long before the idea took off. The product line was launched in October 2012 with sales far exceeding initial forecasts. Concealed Carrie sells a variety of handbags that wrap removable and adjustable holsters inside rich leather exteriors. All-leather styles include an ostrich print computer carry-all, $299; a smooth-leather computer carry-all, $289; a fashion-forward leather crocodile-printed Hobo, $269; smooth-leather totes, $249; and the very popular distressed brown leather satchel, $299.

Just before Thanksgiving, the Cheaper Than Dirt! Chronicle got a pre-production sample of the Brown Leather Satchel to examine. We loaned the bag to women from the age of 21 to (ahem), somewhat older, and they were all impressed by the level of quality and style. But our test team also had a few questions for Ms. Deets.

— Cheaper Than Dirt! Chronicle Staff

CTD: As we’ve discussed, the audience for this newsletter is 99.9% percent men, many of whom are solely focused on function when they think about carry solutions. So why will they care about fashion in concealed-carry bags?

Deets: Don’t they want their women protected? In the wake of widespread mass shootings in movie theaters, shopping malls, and other public venues, it’s no wonder that more and more women are looking for ways in which to protect themselves. Firearm sales overall continue to climb at a rate of about 15% a year, and sales to women are even higher. Women are taking the initiative to prepare themselves to defend and protect. Now they can do it in style.

CTD: If a man reads this and is thinking about buying a Concealed Carrie Handbag for his significant other for Christmas, is that overstepping his bounds? Our testers said they would appreciate the gesture, as long as the bag wasn’t schlock. Still, a lot of men have trepidation about venturing into the world of handbags without a guide. Will a Concealed Carrie product make men look smart and thoughtful, or not so much?

Deets: Anyone who wants to promote safety and security for those they care most about looks smart and thoughtful. If handbag selection is overwhelming, then perhaps a Concealed Carrie gift certificate is the solution. Then she can select the handbag that’s right for her.

CTD: Our team was impressed with the quality of the Brown Leather Satchel Handbag. “Smooth, substantial, even color, nice feel,” were among the comments. However, they said that if they’re the kind of women who will worry about the leather, they want the fittings to go with it. They said their other high-end bags have stainless, brass, or aluminum fittings. Our testers looked at the plastic fittings of the pre-production model on the ends of the carry strap and the pewter fittings on the bag itself and wondered if those would be changed to metal in the post-production models?

Deets: The subtle aged-metal hardware is what sets the satchel apart and adds to the distressed feel and look of the leather. All Concealed Carrie hardware is metal and has passed all necessary trade testing.

CTD: Are all the purses set up for cross-draw extraction? That is, right-handed women would wear the satchel on the left hip?

Deets: No, not all of the styles offer cross-body draw. For example, the crocodile Hobo and the smooth leather totes are equipped with shoulder straps only. The satchel and computer carry-alls come with a removable adjustable shoulder strap allowing for cross-carry draw. It’s really a matter of preference.

CTD: When we timed both methods of extraction, we averaged about 5.6 seconds drawing from the top to laser on target and 6.7 seconds to laser on target drawing from the side zippers. Our testers would be more comfortable with laser on target in about 4 seconds. Any advice on how to speed that up?

Deets: It’s great that you really put the product through its paces! My best answer is … practice.

CTD: Our testers said that the Brown Satchel Handbag was heavy, even unloaded. It tipped the scale at 3.25 pounds with nothing in it. Is the weight a trade-off for the great leather quality?

Deets: The Brown Leather Satchel is our most substantial handbag in regards to weight. The soft distressed leather is abundant and richly detailed. Alternative styles are lighter in weight. For example, the tote weighs in closer to 2 pounds.

CTD: Our testers uniformly prefer to carry bags like the Satchel and Tote with two handles over the shoulder, and wear the handbag under or behind the arm. And worn like that, it seems like the Satchel is the right height to allow easy access to the front zipper, where you can reach the gun. Is that the best way to use the bigger models?

Deets: I carry over my shoulder as well. I like to know that my firearm is close to me at all times and just a holster draw away. The computer carry-alls also offer a removable adjustable cross-body shoulder strap much like the satchel for those who want options.

CTD: Our testers like to be able to slide the purse onto a shoulder with one hand, but the strap length on the Satchel made that difficult — about 12 inches tall from buckles to the top of the strap. Instead, they had to slide the left arm through the handles, then pull the purse up with the right hand. Are the straps longer on some models than others? Or is clearance between the top of the bag and the handles greater on some models?

Deets: The length of the straps on the satchel have been extended slightly since the pre-production model was completed. All models and measurements are based on current industry standards and the most popular styles.

CTD: Our testers said the detachable strap was too long to allow easy access if worn straight down from one shoulder. Of course, this will vary from person to person, but on all three of our testers, the bag hung too low. So to access the compartments, they had to use one hand to lift the bag and the other to unzip the compartments and grab the gun. So, is the Satchel designed to be worn messenger-style, across the chest? Or would you consider using an adjustable slide strap on the carry strap so that the satchel can ride higher and the strap tail doesn’t hang loose? Also, will you eventually offer different colors? Black, brown, and navy are staples for coordinating with other clothing, our team said.

Deets: Concealed Carrie is always open to input and suggestions as to improvements, especially as we introduce new lines of products. Currently, the satchel and computer carry-alls are designed to be worn cross-body for added comfort and security. You may also carry them comfortably with the adjustable strap removed and over one shoulder.

CTD: Our testers worried that they couldn’t wear the bag where they had a choice of how to get the gun out of the bag. For example, if the front of the satchel is worn facing the leg, that makes getting into the top difficult, because the flap is pinned against the leg. However, the side zippers are exposed. And if the side zippers are worn inward, only the top is accessible. And the gun and holster orientation in the Velcro-lined area has to be adjusted for one or the other. So, in sum, will women have to choose one orientation and train for that?

Deets: It’s always best to train so you feel the most comfortable and most empowered. The removable Velcro holster can be positioned in any direction and will accommodate any sized handgun. All handbags allow for left- or right-handed user preference. That’s what makes Concealed Carrie unique when comparing us to other brands on the market. We’ve tried to think of everything.

CTD: We tried several different pistols and revolvers in the satchel. Snubbie revolvers and small, flat pistols like a Kahr PM9, Springfield XD-S, SIG Sauer P238, and Kel-Tec P-11 seemed to be the right size to pull out the front. On the upper end, our testers also carried handguns as large as a Colt Python 357 Mag with a 6-inch barrel. The bag was also big enough to accept a KG9, but the fit was too tight to remove readily. In both cases, we could only get at the larger guns from the top flap. During your testing, did you find that a certain gun size or thickness seemed to work best?

Deets: Yes, the smooth leather totes and computer carry-alls have the largest firearm compartments and will accommodate most handgun sizes. The brown leather satchel, as you mentioned, is designed to better fit a low to midsize caliber, while the leather printed crocodile Hobo has a slightly smaller compartment and would better service a .22 or .38.

CTD: What’s the largest handgun you’d recommend for the Satchel or Tote?

Deets: I currently carry a Walther PPK .380 in both the satchel and the tote. However, I know of other women who pack their Glocks into the same styles of their Concealed Carrie handbags.

CTD: The Hobo is the only product in the line that has an exterior compartment for the gun? Is that because the handbag is smaller —12.5 inches long and 3.5 inches wide — so there wasn’t room inside for a gun?

Deets: Both the crocodile printed Hobo and computer carry-alls have exterior firearms compartments. The double zipper allows for the carrier to position the access according to her preference. The Hobo’s top flap, while trendy and stylish, made it difficult to effectively draw from the top of the handbag. The computer carry-all keeps the firearm separate and securely stored in an external compartment since the main compartment of the handbag houses a computer, files and personal items that would make firearm extraction cumbersome. It’s all about security and safety and the most effective design.

CTD: Our testers said that, initially, men in their lives urged them to carry, and after training, they were glad they did. And they agreed that they know women who, even after training, would resist carrying because they don’t want to give up a favorite Coach purse or a Michael Kors bucket. Can a Concealed Carrie interlocking “CC” logo someday have as much cachet among women carriers as Coco Chanel’s two interlocked and opposing “C” letters has in haute couture?

Deets: I hope so! Women who are likely to purchase a Coach or Michael Kors handbag are who we believe will want a concealed-carry option that meets the same fashion standard, and they are not willing to compromise.

CTD: The price point of Concealed Carrie compares to styles offered by today’s leading designers. Are they worth it?

Deets: Yes, while you can’t put a price on protection, you will also find that Concealed Carrie compares and exceeds in quality and style to the current all-leather concealed-carry options available. The abundance of function and fashion detail speaks for itself.

CLICK HERE to find Concealed Carrie bags on Cheaper Than Dirt.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (46)

  1. Creative article , I was fascinated by the facts – Does anyone know where my business could possibly obtain a template ATF Form 1 (5320.1) example to fill out ?

  2. I’ve been looking for a good concealed carry purse. And while I will pay good money for a firearm, I find it hard to pay upwards of $250 and higher for a purse to carry it in. I will have to use a waistband holster first. Sorry ladies, I completely respect your right to chose what works best for you to feel safe, but I just can’t pay these kinds of prices for a purse. Believe me, I am a card carrying, concealed carrying woman and I am all about safety, but I just don’t understand why a concealed carry handbag has to cost over $200. I appreciate the reinforced strap, and the special compartment for the handgun. I just can’t pay these prices so I will continue to look for a price effective option for myself. I’m wondering why bags couldn’t be made of something other than leather that is more cost effective and still durable. Good luck to all and I hope each finds what works best for them. I will continue to search.

    1. While I think these are really nice, I have to agree. I can’t bring myself to pay 200 for one either.

  3. I love the look of these bags! I have been making do with designer purses for awhile now, but most of those styles are not appropriate for concealed carry. As someone who watches all the New York, Paris, London, and Milan fashion shows, I can really appreciate this product.

    I agree with many of the above posters that say that carrying on your body is the best alternative. Unfortunately, I am not blessed in the chest and I enjoy wearing tailored clothing. Looking like a “shlumpy buffet” isn’t an option. Show me how to conceal my gun in a pencil skirt or shift dress and I will forgo the purse. Until then, I think I need to order a few of these stylish handbags.

    On a side note, the price point on these bags is much more reasonable than Coach bags that are made in CHINA.

  4. Hi Diana,
    Thank you for your interest. The straps are not reinforced. We’ve had discussions on the matter, however it changed the look of the handbags and made them look heavy and thick.

    I trust that this answered your question and hope that you will continue with your purchase of the hobo. It’s beautiful!

  5. Leslie, can you tell me if the straps on your purses are reinforced with wire, to protect against the “slash and grab”?
    I really like the looks of your Hobo bag.

    Thanks,
    Diana

  6. Hi Dawn,

    Thank you for your interest in the line. As a matter of fact, we are working on a less expensive line called ” Carries Closet”, however we are just in the beginning stages of design.

  7. Love that someone id finally giving the ladies some alternatives and options. However, these bags are WAY TO EXPENSIVE for me. I can’t afford a Coach purse, nor can I afford a Concealed Carrie. How about an affordable Concealed Carrie?

  8. Check back with the website and if you don’t see it by months end, let me know and I will take care of your request personally.

    Have a great day!

    Leslie Deets/
    Founder/ Owner

  9. Leslie,
    I am very excited to hear this will be available in black in the near future. It is a beautiful bag and I would love to have one. Is there a way to be put on a “wait list” or “notification list” when they will be available for presale?

  10. Hi April,

    Thank you for your interest in the line. As a matter of fact, I just received a prototype of the satchel in black and it is beautiful! We plan to photograph it and post it on the website within the next week. Pre-Orders will be available soon for a discounted cost of 15%. MSRP is $299. They should go into production soon and will be available late spring or early summer.

  11. Being a Coach snob and seriously considering changing to a CCP, I would love to see the; Concealed Carrie Carry Compartment Satchel Leather Brown CC1205ITA purse, in a black leather. I like the way it looks though I have not seen it in person. Any chance of this happening? I think I would be first in line to purchase this item in black.

  12. Thanks, Leslie. I have seen those photos, but really there’s only a photo of the concealed section of the interior; none of the rest of the bag. I was hoping for shots of the entire interior.

  13. Hi there,

    This is a spendy bag. Can you provide pics of the interior? Spending $300 on a bag without seeing the inside ain’t gonna happen. 😉

    Thank you!

  14. Hi Gretchen,
    YOU GO GIRLl!
    Thanks for the support. I agree, if we as women can’t find an alternative that works best for us, then we won’t carry which leaves us unprotected and unprepared.
    Feel free to visit the website at http://www.concealedcarrie.com for more pictures as requested.
    best,
    Leslie
    Founder/ Concealed Carrie

  15. I’ve been looking at CCW purses for about a month now, trying to get just the right one for my needs and wants. The industry is sorely lacking in fashionable, functional purses for women to carry their firearms in. I believe you’re headed in the right direction, although I would also like to see more detailed pictures of the inside, dimensions, etc. Also, to the men on here commenting that we are being irresponsible for choosing a purse as a carry option, if you would cease to encourage us women to prance around in tight jeans and mini skirts, perhaps we WOULD be able to carry on our person more often! Also, for the past 5-7 years, I haven’t found a pair of jeans that have a rise past my hipbones, the back pockets are buttoned close and most don’t even have front pockets anymore! There are simply not enough options for women to carry unless they’re in “mom jeans” and a flannel shirt every day! With the addition of cross body and slash resistant straps reinforced with wire, this is a useful option for women, especially women like myself who never leave their purse out of their sight or off their body. Isn’t it better to have a bag than not to carry at all? I think YOU are the ones being irresponsible saying we aren’t competent enough to carry in a purse!

  16. Leslie, I am VERY interested in your denim jacket. Is it available yet….if so, where can I purchase it?
    I like your purses but they are too large for me and the weight is hard on my shoulders.
    Thank you for you help,
    Ellen

  17. Hello,

    I am in hopes that you could help us out with a donation of a women’s camo purse or any conceal purse to put on our “Women In The Outdoors” table at our upcoming Fundraising Banquet on March 23rd for the National Wild Turkey Federation.

    The NWTF Cedar Hill, MO chapter is embarking on our annual fundraiser banquet. We are a chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation located in Cedar Hill, Mo. We raise money throughout the year to promote the hunting heritage and ensure a successful future for the wild turkey.
    Our organization is requesting a donation to help alleviate the rising cost of hunting and heritage. Our mission is to promote the hunting heritage and the continued success of the wild turkey through fundraisers, special events that promote good woodsmanship and by passing on the love of the outdoors through our children. We are reaching out to organizations such as yours for a donation of your choice we can raffle off during our fund raising banquet. The NWTF continues to raise funds to donate to the Conservation Department, school programs and research programs across the area. We are planning our event for March 23, 2013 at Deer Run Golf Course in House Springs, MO.
    NWTF is a non-profit organization. The organization is exempt per section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The assigned EIN (Employee Identification Number) is 57-0564993

    The Big River Gobblers sincerely appreciates your donation and is thankful organizations such as yours are willing to assist in positive youth programs. For any donations mailed please send to the following address:

    Big River Gobblers
    c/o Bob Ingram
    2648 Old Mt Hope Rd
    Lonedell, MO 63060

    For any further questions or concerns you may contact Bob Ingram at (314) 280-9516 or bingram@adb-us.com.

    To learn a little more about our group please click the link below as it is one of my proudest moments as we were able to hand out 132 turkeys for families to have while struggling in a time of the year that should be joyful.

    http://www.currentnewsmagazine.com/turkeys-make-for-a-very-merry-christmas/

    Thank you for your consideration on donated items, and/ or sponsorship for our fundraiser,

  18. Hi Leslie, I checked out your website. If I’m going to spend that kind of money on a bag, I’d like to see a lot more photos of every compartment of the bag, what it looks like with the various closures opened up – how it “works.” Also the dimensions and weight, strap lengths. Keep up the good work!

  19. HI Brooke,
    You are not the only person with questions regarding the inside of our bags. We plan to post pictures on the website within the next few days. The firearm compartment in all our handbags is separate from the main compartment and includes an adjustable removable velcro holster allowing for personal preference in regards to directional drawing from the holster.

  20. Thanks for your response. I do have one more question. Is there some place that I could go to that I could see pictures of the inside of the brown satchel and the inside of the concealed carry pocket? And does it have a removable and adjustable holseter like I saw on one of the other bags?

  21. Hi Brooke,
    Thank you for your positive input. Currently the clothing line consists of a denim jacket for spring with hopes of more to come depending on interest levels. We will post it on our website once it becomes available. Please feel free to check back or provide your contact information and we will be happy to notify you of its arrival.

  22. I am so happy to see that there is a very fashionable and perfect concealed carry purse. I am in love with the leather satchel and will be making a purchase soon. I am very interested to know when the clothing line will be debut. If the purses are so perfect I can only imagine how great the clothing line will be. Thanks!

  23. Hi Marilyn,

    Thank you for your interest in our line. We are very excited about its launch!
    And yes, they are as good as they look 😉

    Just wait until you see our line of clothing!

    I look forward to hearing from you and discussing the line with you further. Please feel free to contact me directly at leslie@concealedcarrie.com.

    best,

  24. Hi Leslie,

    I will be fifty this year and for the first time, feel the need to own a pistol and have concealed carry. I have purchased two, both XD’s, one full size and one subcompact. I don’t have the concealed carry permit yet but will apply shortly. I am interested in the purses, I’m a purse woman for sure. I bought two, one from Montana West that will only handle the subcompact, one from Gun Totin Mama’s. I do plan to carry on the body as well, the purse will be use when no other option because of a function I may be attending, will work.

    All that said, I’m interested in carrying your line or being a dealer. I see a need for your purses, especially for ladies who are reluctant to carry and ladies who tend to buy nice purses. Please contact me and thank you for your efforts.

    Marilyn

  25. Hi Stacy,

    Thank you for your interest. We are very excited about our launch! I would suggest either the Tote design or the Computer Carry All for your firearm. They both have the largest compartment and easy access.

    Enjoy!

  26. Leslie,
    I love the look of your purses because they are not only functional but stylish. I have a 40 caliber Beretta Px4 Storm (3″barrel) and was wondering which purse would you recommend?
    Thanks,
    Stacy

    I am also looking forward to your clothing line.

  27. Hi Wanda,

    Thank you for your interest.
    Currently we are working on a clothing line for women who want to carry on their person, without actually strapping a firearm to their body. Please continue to check back at ConcealedCarrie.com for the introduction of new products.

  28. I have been looking for a way to comfortably carry a gun on my person and also for a way to carry a gun in the car that is easy to get to but out of sight. I am always looking for ideas but so far have not liked what I have come up with. Please let me know when you have new products that would meet those needs and I will pass it along to my friends. Thank you

  29. Hi Nick,

    I know that it’s difficult for a man to understand why a woman would pay as much for a firearm as they would for a handbag. It’s a girl thing. Some of us value fashion as much as function. Without one, there is no other which leaves us unprotected and unprepared. Quality and detail come with a price. There are less expensive options available for those who wish to spend less. Now there are options, for those who are willing to spend more to have what they ultimately want.

  30. I also believe that they are priced out-of-reach of the average female gun owner. A purse that costs as much as a Ruger LCP hardly seems worth it in my opinion. These are made for suburban housewives with too much extra cash.

  31. While I personally prefer to have a firearm on my person some ladies aren’t given that option due to perhaps their work environment.
    A handbag is a way to go rather than having nothing at all. You should always be aware of your surroundings, having said that you
    would hopefully have an idea or sense when something isn’t quite right. In fact some times it’s easier when in a suspicious situation to
    have your hand on your gun in a handbag rather than when it’s concealed on your person “in my opinion.” I have seen a lot of products
    for ladies on the market, these handbags have a strong presence of style, reliability, durability, and luxury. The price is high yes as is any
    quality product out there.

  32. I wish an affordable, small crosbody would come out thats function, light and fashionable for those times when on-body carry isnt an option.

  33. Hi Don,

    Your wife sounds like someone who will be very interested in the future lines of Concealed Carrie products. While we plan to introduce new options in the handbag industry, just wait until you see our clothing line!

    best,

  34. My wife has wrestled with the “how to carry” question for a long time. She has had to settle for a handbag carry, but really wants to find some alternative to carry on her body. There is just not too many options, she is not “large chested” so her XD 9 mm will not hide well with a bra type holster and is not willing to give up her curves in clothing that will conceal a waist holster. The handbag, although not ideal, is better than nothing (by far).

  35. Hello Shawn,

    I agree, utimately the best solution is to always keep your firearm securely stored and accessable only to the carrier. The truth is however, no matter how much you preach regarding body holsters, there are women much like myself who are simply not comfortable with strapping a firearme to their body. Isn’t it better to be prepared, even if it’s not in your opinion ideal, than not prepared at all?

  36. Never ever under any circumstance carry your sidearm in any manner not completely and securely attached to your body, and never in what is the target for most crimes committed against women. It takes just the blink of an eye for a bad guy to run up behind a woman and snatch that purse right off her shoulder. Now he has your money, your credit cards, and your gun. I have women in my CCW classes all the time talk about some new purse or bag or something that want to make carrying more comfortable or more fashionable, and it drives me crazy. If you are going to carry a sidearm into public it is your responsibility and yours alone to ensure that it cannot be taken from you and used against the public.

  37. HI John,

    I understand your trepidation concerning cost. It’s true, our product line is priced higher than most, however it’s comparable to the more recognizable names such as Galco and Coronado and their all leather styles, yet exceeds their level of quality and detail. Without personally viewing the line for yourself, I can understand your concern. Up close, you’ll quickly recognize and acknowledge the differnce.

    best,

    Leslie

  38. the price of them handbags are just TOTALLY out of line,!!!! That’s just a straight up RIPOFF,!!! John & Laurie Zemanek.

  39. Thank you for allowing me to share our new product line with your readers. I look forward to any input and comments.

    best,

    Leslie Deets
    Founder/Concealed Carrie

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