23 Years - What an Adventure It Has Been
When I was 24 years old I started my entrepreneurial adventure with a hemp clothing store, and without a clue. Four out of five customers that ventured into my store didn’t buy anything, but they all asked for a pipe. Well, it didn’t take great intellect to figure out if I was going to lengthen my departure from the corporate grind, I’d better sell some pipes!
There were no headshops or businesses that sold pipes legitimately at that time in Southwest Washington. Adding to my resolve was the fact that I could not afford to buy heating oil for my rental house in November - Winter was coming! Nights in a sleeping bag with blankets on top is a motivating circumstance. After only four months in retail I was on the verge of closing shop.
And that is how the Smokin Js headshop came to life. The obstacles and police pressure to close are stories for another time. The victories and triumphs along the way are storied for another time. In the end, this was the beginning of a 23 year adventure.
What was born in those early days was a creed that would propel me to this day. First, respect every person that could be a potential customer. Every transaction and person matters, even the smallest and most unassuming. Second, listen to the customers. They will tell you what they want, and that will help you stay in business.
Today, even though 23 years have passed, I still feel like the adventure is just getting started. I take great pride in the business I have built, and the people that it has helped along the way. From employees to local glass artists, the Smokin Js platform was built to sustain a community. The slogan “Real People, Real Service, and Real Quality” means a lot to me. It starts with me, but it flows through employees and artists that feed the Smokin Js ecosystem. And all of that is built to serve you in the end.
So thank you. Thank you for participating in our great community. Thank you for everything you have done for me, and the people within the Smokin Js sphere of influence.