Sorry, I’ve been MIA. I’ve been on the road for the last few days for what amounted to a vaping expedition. Wednesday, my friend Rob popped in from San Diego. He recently started a new business called Envision Vapor. The company offers beautiful glass vaping tips that are competitively priced. Rob and I ventured out to Glendora to check out Planet Vape, a recently opened vape shop with a classy “parlor” vibe. After that, we hit up three Los Angeles vape shops (Viper Vapor, The Vapor-Mart, and Vaping Ape LA). I introduced him to store owners and he generated interest in his tips. While Rob is certainly a dashing fellow, Envision Tips sell themselves. I’m stoked that his new business is off to a successful start. Stay tuned for a full review on these tips in June.
It was lots of fun hanging with Rob. As vaping enthusiasts, we spent a huge chunk of time chatting about mods, atomizers, e-liquids, and more. Both of us are huge marks for Ahlusion e-liquids and we both know a bunch of Ahlusion fanatics. Several of them were mentioned throughout the day, making it feel like they were on the road trip with us. All of us started vaping in order to quit smoking, found a company that makes fantastic e-liquids, and connected because of those two things. It’s cool that those commonalities led to two people enjoying a 10-hour road trip together during their first real-world meeting.
Yesterday, my buddy Paul and I drove to Irvine to visit Five Pawns. This is a relatively new e-liquid company that makes some truly excellent juices. Some vapers have given the company heat for its pricing. After chatting with the company president and learning about the business model, I believe that the controversy is unwarranted. Five Pawns isn’t about competing with the numerous vendors that sell e-liquid online. The focus is on retail, which is why the company’s online prices ($27.50 for a 30ml bottle) seem high. It doesn’t want to undercut its retail partners, so its online prices are the same as what you find in stores. Compared to online prices, $27.50 is definitely high, but it’s inline with brick-and-mortar prices. I’ve seen 30ml juice sell for $20 to $25 in stores. Considering that Five Pawns e-liquids use premium ingredients and packaging, $27.50 is a reasonable retail price.
Five Pawns has an awesome tasting room at its Irvine headquarters. It hasn’t officially opened yet, but the grand opening will be in a few weeks. Obviously you can try the five e-liquids Five Pawns currently offers, but you can also try the “Reserve” line, which is currently being steeped in barrels. I got to try some while I was down there and it was absolutely delicious. The tasting room will also be used for flavors that the company developers. In that respect, it reminded me of visiting a vineyard that lets you sample wines that aren’t available in stores. The room has a great layout, full of comfy chairs, great bar space, and signed Shepard Fairey prints. It’s a super-cool space and I hope to make it back down for the grand opening.
Oh yeah, I filmed a few spots on Five Pawns while I was down there. Stay tuned for an interview with the company president, as well as a video feature on the tasting room.