We had the good fortune of connecting with Fifty Shades of FDE and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fifty Shades of FDE, what do you attribute your success to?
Being relatable to your audience. I try my best to show those who follow me through my blog, written reviews, social media posts that I have the same point of view when it comes to whether a product will work for their needs. That and being a positive, good human being helps. There’s so much negativity in this world so I try to be a positive influence so that it shows people that it is okay to do so.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My primary job and career is in the Law Enforcement field. I have close to a decade and a half of service with a large agency in California. I have always been a firearms and gear enthusiast. I like to use tools and figure our what works best for certain tasks. I always do a ton of research into products I use. That goes for everything I use in life, especially tools that I use for work. I used to read a lot of magazines for my research and then I started building my own experience doing my job as a Law Enforcement Officer.
I started a blog and then an Instagram page. @fiftyshadesoffde started off as a joke, FDE stands for Flat Dark Earth, a color, a sort of tan finish that you see on firearms. It is extremely difficult for it to match, hence the fifty shades due to the numerous variations of tans. My Instagram page is a hybrid page, meaning that I post my own Original Content along with Reposts of other Content Creators on the platform. I always give credit to those I repost. So that makes me a Content Creator as well as Curator.
Coming from the Law Enforcement Community as well as the Gun Industry has it’s challenges. Two of these communities/industries are very misunderstood in many ways to the general public and are demonized, hated by those who simply are misinformed or are just ignorant to these fields outside of hearing what they do from the news media.
I try my best to portray both of the communities I represent in a positive light and to do that, I need to help educate people. Law Enforcement Officers or LEOs as well as Gun Owners are people too and that is often forgotten. We all are human and are doing our best. No one is perfect and we all have bad apples, in every single industry or community, the difference is that the two I am a part of gets in front of headlines all of the time with people who have no experience in these fiields, always chime in with their opinions.
I personally think a lot of what’s wrong today is that people feel like they need to show others that they know everything and have all the answers. The truth is, nobody knows everything and that it is totally okay to say that you don’t know something, but would like to learn. Do your own research, look at multiple angles and viewpoints, then formulate an opinion.
I digress, we all are subject matter experts (SME) in things that we have a lot of experience with. For my brand, I am a SME in quality firearms, accessories and gear. I use it for work as well as everyday practical uses. I make sure that I relay all of the important information andfeatures of the products that I review so that my readers can make an informed decision whether a certain product will work for them before they spend their hard earned money on them.
While I am working on my reviews, I send my feedback to the companies who make the products and sometimes I assist them with improving their products.
I have built many relationships with great companies over the years and it has been dream come true to be involved with so many of them.
Right now the biggest challenge is social media censorship. I absolutely do not sell firearms illegally or ever promote such things. Instagram has their community guidelines and I follow them, however I constantly have my content taken down and even had my account shut down for a few days because their algorithm just assumes that I am violating their guidelines. The review process doesn’t work really well. I won’t get into too much, however it is extremely frustrating to deal with.
I will always press on and keep at it. The more people I can reach, the more information they will have in the Law Enforcement and gear world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take my friend to any of the indoor or outdoor ranges in the area. FT3 in Stanton for indoors and Angeles for outdoors are my favorite ones to go to. I enjoy good food and there’s so many options in Southern California. The newish Rodeo 39 area has a lot of good options there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife is also an entrepreneur and runs her own small online business. I help her with her shop and she helps me with her insight and knowledge as well as my on the spot photographer whenever I need it. We’re true life partners and we do pretty much everything together and it makes it all more fun and enjoyable.
My best friend, who got me into this industry, Jeff Edmonds of Muzzle Flash Media. Jeff is a professional photographer in the industry and asked me to be a model years ago and we’ve been great friends since and it helped me get into what I do now.
Sara Liberte Photography Muzzle Flash Media