March is Women’s History Month and to celebrate I wanted to take some time to get to know a handful of ladies working at Guns.com.
Guns.com’s Accounting Manager Melissa Kropelnicki is the powerhouse at the helm of all things numbers. Kropelnicki chatted with me from Burnsville, Minnesota where Guns.com’s headquarters reside.
Guns.com: So, Melissa, when did you sign on to Guns.com and what brought you here?
Kropelnicki: I joined two and a half years ago and it was because of the great business plan. It was something out there that nobody else was doing. It was so innovative. I had the opportunity to start at the very bottom at the beginning and help work and create our process. I’ve been able to watch the company grow and develop. That was a really exciting opportunity for me…And guns.
Guns.com: Haha! Of course! Guns are a perk to any job. So elaborate a little on what you do day-to-day for the company.
Kropelnicki: To put it simply, if there’s money coming in or money going out, it goes through me. I’m in charge of all accounting processes and month-end reporting as well as financial reporting to the executive team. We record all sales and do other data tracking.
I also help out around the office, boosting morale and ordering supplies and snacks for everyone. We jokingly say my title is Mom because I take care of everyone.
Guns.com: Every office needs a mom! I think what is really cool about what you do is that you get to interact with everyone — from the marketing team in Richmond, Virginia to the editors and writers spread out across the States.
Kropelnicki: Not everyone at Guns.com gets to do that but I get to work with every department. I work with customer service, marketing, operations, business development, content — it’s great! I’m never stuck just doing accounting by myself in my own little world. I get to interact with everybody all the time to keep things running smoothly.
The whole team — from Virginia to the remote workers — is so great and I seriously enjoy working with everyone here.
Guns.com: The people are pretty fantastic and all willing to work together which, I think, has helped with the success of the site so far.
Kropelnicki: I’ve worked at companies before where it’s a challenge to get everybody on the same page or working towards the same goal. I think we do that really well here. We’re growing so quickly and our sales have been getting to the point where it’s hard to keep up. It’s a great problem to have.
Guns.com: So let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about you outside of work. Where did your relationship with guns begin?
Kropelnicki: I grew up in a hunting family. My dad hunts everything. My brothers and sister hunt but I never did. I never did hunter’s safety and never went hunting. My husband kind of talked me into going shooting at my sister’s farm. The first time I ever shot was with a 12-gauge shotgun. I was like, “This is really fun” and I caught the bug. I started shooting with my husband. We’d do range dates together. Eventually, I went shopping for my very first handgun. That was about six years ago.
After I bought my gun, I took a women’s only class with my sister. They taught me everything about the gun and having that knowledge behind me made me more comfortable. Now our family is part of a gun club. We take our kids shooting. The kids have learned gun safety and how to properly handle guns. My husband and both my daughters now hunt. I still don’t but they go out turkey and deer hunting.
Guns.com: That’s really awesome that it went from you learning to shoot to now it’s a whole family activity.
Kropelnicki: Yeah, we’ve been buying our guns through Guns.com and we just got our daughters a little Ruger 22 pistol.
Guns.com: Ruger has some nice little plinkers! That is the trouble with working for a gun company is the temptation to buy is always there, just dangling in front of your face. So kind of piggybacking off of working for a gun company, do you ever get people who are surprised or confused by the fact that you work for Guns.com?
Kropelnicki: Yes. So when I first started here, we really struggled to find a bank and credit card company that would take our business. When we moved into our current building, the business next door wanted us to move. They didn’t want us here.
Most recently, I was buying some flowers and candies for our photographer to do Valentine’s Day themed photos. The florist greeted me and asked what I was looking for. I told her I need a couple of dozen roses and she asked what the occasion was. I said a photoshoot and handed her my Guns.com credit card which has our logo and “Guns.com” on it. She looked at it and asked, “What kind of photoshoot is this?” I told her, “It’s going to sound strange but guns.” She said, “Yeah, that is strange.”
But I think occasions like that are a great way to educate people.
Guns.com: That’s one of my favorite things about the job and why I frequently sport our merch. I love talking to people about what we do and why guns are cool.
Kropelnicki: I feel the same way. We, of course, have that grey logo shirt with “Guns” across the front and my kids and I wear that out and about. Some people might have a problem with that, but I welcome the opportunity to have a conversation about guns.
Guns.com: Absolutely! We’ve come to the end of this interview but is there anything you want our readers to know about you or Guns.com that we haven’t covered?
Kropelnicki: I think one of the most important things about Guns.com, and what really attracted me to this place, is the culture. It seems like every day we are changing our technology and making improvements to make the site better, to make gun purchasing easier for everyone and to make selling easier. I think that is something we do best — updating and making things easier and more affordable for people.
Our We Buy Guns program is through the roof right now! I just signed 49 checks this morning. I signed so many my hand hurt. When we first started it, we were getting maybe one gun a week from customers. Now we’re getting hundreds of guns a week.
Guns.com: That is awesome — both for the people wanting to offload guns without the hassle and also for those of us shopping on the site looking for cool or rare items as well as affordable used models.
Kropelnicki: Yeah, it is so awesome. I love it!