Four years ago I quit smoking… with the aide of a trusted invention, I set about to end my days of outside “smoke breaks” and strange trips to the mood swing- for good. I’m talking about “Blu” Electronic cigarettes. There was a familiarity to it…despite it’s updated sharp black coating and the mysterious blue shine of the pseudo “cherry,” Blu’s were the closest thing to smoking without actually doing so.
It was time, I thought, because the hammer had finally come down on cigarette users…even in the sanctity of Smoke country. Once thought impossible, North Carolina was enacting a passed law requiring smokers to get off of their asses and join the rest of the country in the smoking section; located conveniently outside of your favorite restaurant, bar or public hold up.
But not this Blu… this thing was the Steven Seagal of the smoking world… that bitch was above the law. You had to charge the blu- and that seemed more up-to-date. You had to buy cartridges…and that seemed like smoking ritual.
Four years ago Blu E cigs was my promise of a new me; a better me, ready to look beyond the dirty ashes and muck filled car windows.
But within days I was smoking…
And there I was outside…
Those cartridges? Too expensive to not feel quite like a cigarette…
That Blu light? Some unwanted question censor device that led to a million un-needed questions.
Suddenly the charging was a pain in the ass and the physical using of the device was too much a pain in the throat.
But before I was done with the Blu Cigarette I had an epiphany: “What would a Store full Of Electronic cigarette’s look like?”
I had never heard the term “vaping” and was completely unaware that a culture was emerging from the DIY attitude of frustrated e-cig users. But my spidey senses were a-blazing. If years in the sales culture had taught me anything it was that; every fad could be adapted to the kiosk business. I envisioned an electronic cigarette utopia of young people in crisp blue shirts; shouting at passers by from their kiosk in the sky…
“You, you, miss!!! Do you smoke? Here try this.”
The thought brought tears to my eyes. Who was this “Blu?”
This Blu was quickly in the trash can. The company that owned Blu at the time told me that I would not be able to franchise a location, they didn’t do them. Oh, what little even they knew. I saw the writing on the wall, I had told my best friend and he was actually reserved on it. I spouted the profit margins, told him our business would be the returning customers for cartridges, batteries, chargers, upgrades. We looked at each other and suddenly realized the eerie similarity of the future e-cig business and that of Cell Phone sales. And we were right on the money.
Lo and behold, 2 years later our first “mom and pop” e-cig store opened up, and here we are today with 50 or so within a 25 mile radius of our city. Still, no one has really tapped into the mall kiosk idea, and it’s about 2 years away. We knew that. We still know it. Instead of coming up with our own kiosk, which we could easily have done, we chose a different route.
We didn’t even know what The Vape Association was when we created it. We knew what it could be, and we have since changed it’s nature multiple times. It’s an evolving business that rely’s on the stores and consumers equally. It exists because Mooch and I make it exist, and it’s confirmed by our many customers and stores; who have faith and believe in what we do for them, and for us. The TVA has, and is, and always will be a business; never forget that.
The TVA was born because we believed it could be. We decided what it was, we invented the concepts; we invented the rules, and we went to the masses. We work harder then anyone truly knows, and put in more hours then we probably should.
I believe in this thing so much so, that yesterday I resigned my 2 year position with ADT, a coporate company with benefits, phone bill allowance, gas reimbursement, the whole 9 yards. Why? Because the laws of attraction had brought this to my front door, and I wanted to put my life into it. I decided to heed the advice I had heard multiple times “Mind your business, not someone else’s” and mind my business. I say mine, but its ours. Its Mooch’s and Mine. Its all of our dreams we have ever had about success rolled into one entity. His dream was music and writing, mine was entertainment. With the TVA we can do it all.
The TVA Show:
2 Years ago we decided we needed a podcast. Today, we have the number 1 podcast in vaping; and we hope to reach the people in the world who don’t vape, but just want to be entertained.
Why is the TVA Show so popular? We believed it would be. We believed people wanted to listen, and they do. I believed that shaking hands with people would lead to relationships that would help our business, and in come some of the most famous people in the Vaping Community, talking about our brand, our show, and telling people how awesome it is.
It is truly humbling.
But what I have learned, is that through our sheer will, and work hard attitudes, we have turned a little facebook group into a growing community for all; a hub for communication of our customers and store affiliates alike to join in conversation. Where people can learn about specials in the world, can learn where to buy things cheaper; can get entertained, and find a place they choose to check out more then their own facebook timelines.
That’s me. My regular timeline gets neglected. I’d rather see whats happening in the TVA. It’s what I do. It’s my full time job, and I love every fucking minute of it.
You can be a part of what we are doing. If you are a store, you can sponsor us, we would love to tell the world about your product. If you are a consumer and want to get discounts, you can join the TVA; we made it cheap enough for everybody. If you wanna be in on contests, we run them all the time; we have the ability to give away free stuff because of the amazing stores and businesses we deal with. It’s the will power and attraction that has brought this to us, to pay forward to you.
If not for all of you being so welcome to our ideas, then we wouldn’t keep creating them.
Our next endevour, VapeMania 14, is in the works. The dates are all but set in stone. And we believe it’s going to be HUGE. We know it will. And as the Laws of Attraction keep proving themselves to us, we know we will see a lot of you there! 2014 has just begun kids, let’s have a fantastic year together.
The Freeze is one of the team members behind VaperSlam and VapeMania – his views and opinions are of his own and not shared with the sponsors, vendors, or attendees of the conventions. His opinions are not shared with The Vape Association, LLC or any other entity. Copyright 2014.