As a lead flavorist in the eLiquid market [because I am one of the few Flavorist that actually vape] I am asked several times a day what does a person need to get started? With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado (yes we flavor that too) and the fact people across the globe are figuring out nicotine and other legal compounds can be vaped – the social aspect is wonderfully vibrant and vapor lounges are opening at record rates across the United States to the tune of at least 4,500 just in 2013.
The medium used to vaporize nicotine is the same medium used to distribute medicine in asthma inhalers – propylene glycol. I like propylene glycol because it is antimicrobial and I feel have helped my lungs be puss free [being an ex smoker] as well as vegetable glycerin as a humectant for my lungs, restoring elasticity I may have lost during 20 years of smoking. It is fairly well known that smokers lungs can loose elasticity due to smoking – so this is my personal opinion. I have no data to support my position other than my education working with compounds.
I feel I added ten years to my life when I switched from such highly addictive cigarettes to vaping and I am VERY pro ecigarette. I also feel vapor lounges are by far more safe than alcohol type bars where people leave highly intoxicated. I lost two cousins to a drunk driver and no one can tell me that a bar is a safer social environment than a vapor lounge. People want to gather and what a better endeavor than a vapor lounge. So for many reasons I am pro helping people get such a good business started.
How to Open a Vapor Lounge or Start and eLiquid Business
1) Most people want a brick and mortars store but a web site should be pivotal. It is low overhead and if your store has to move, your customers have a central place to find you. Or, if laws change, the laws may not have changed for customers in other states. You can do a whole web site for a couple hundred dollars and that would be my first priority. Plus, most brick and mortor stores now have a web site for good PR and a show of power.
2) A good name is focal to any business. You’ll need a logo, and artwork to go with a great name…and artwork can be used for both a local store and website. I love Fiverr.com because you can have just about anything made for $5. This is because talent from all over the world offers “gigs” on Fiverr and five dollars is a weeks pay in some countries. All of CandyFlavor.com was created by Fiverr talent for under $100. So on Fiverr you can order artwork, content, editors, drawn art, photo work [such as drop product backgrounds-my biggest pet peeve about web sites,] product videos, (yes attractive people discussing YOUR product for $5) and even help with social media – Fiverr is POWER on a shoestring. Often I will hire several artists to draft a concept and pay them all $5. Then I will move forward with the one who really grasped the concept and order more gigs from them. And I do look at their ratings and cancellations as not to waste my time. Gigs with no ratings usually means the vendor has not even checked in. Be opened minded. A short video can secure your YouTube Account for example – and you don’t need to buy any equipment or even know how to make a film.
Examples of the power of Fiverr
3) When you get your artwork and concept down – the actual liquid production is easy. Most of my customers have a drum of PG and a drum of VG on hand and usually blend at 1:1. Most buy a drum of Propylene Glycol from BulkApothecary.com I like Soaper’s Choice price on Vegetable Glycerin and I order that by the gallon because it is easier to manage in a gallon size, and drum is not much more of a savings. Right now a drum of PG is $597 and you can get 15% more off that with an order over $250. Cute bottles like our clear Boston Rounds can be bought on WholeSaleSuppliesPlus.com and 10 ml needle bottles on eBay or China. I feel eBay is faster although more expensive. Hardware is usually China and I do not get into hardware much.
4) Flavor. Naturally I am going to recommend a flavoring blending kit that it took me ten years to develop. No one else has anything like it and normally I would not sell that intellectual property – but I love the vape market and people trying to break into it so much. The kit is here at Candy Flavor dot com and reviews also on this WordPress site. Again – the nice flyer about the kit on that landing page was created by a Fiverr artist. This is because variety is power and I understand it can be so expensive to buy each flavor. Twenty years ago I HAD to buy each of 200 flavors before I even knew which ones really moved. No one in the flavor market would ever show their hand or really help me need less. This kit helps you only need a base 40 flavors to create many.
5) Your formula. Your eliquid formula is usually 50:50 PG and VG. These amount to PENNIES as far as your cost and why the business is so profitable. Broken down an average formula is 40% PG, 50% VG and 10% Flavor [which counts as PG] so you are at 50:50 which is what most people sell as eliquid. The rest is nicotine and plant based nicotine is best-but will be a small portion of your formula. Your flavor is always PG based. There is no such thing as VG based professional flavor because it cannot solve 90% of flavor compounds. So anyone claiming they have VG based flavor is usually not being truthful. VG is where you get your “smoke” and PG often a throat hit thing. *At our labs we all just do 90% VG because we like the humectant and do not care for the throat hit. VG also adds sweetness but as much as we use can get thick and sticky after a half day of vaping.
6) Nicotine. As I mentioned plant based is best. Get diluted because pure nicotine is highly dangerous. Prices vary but the best prices I have heard are coming from eLiq dot dom. I do not know them, but I hear e-Liq dot com has great prices on nicotine and that market fluctuates. We don’t have to pay for ours as we service major bottling operations. :)
I find this article on How to Open a Vapor Lounge helpful as it gets more into the permits and regulations. Although the article was written at Cannabis Culture it still embraces the same spirit of vapor lounges.
I happen to live six miles away from the first Vapor Lounge in the United States and the UK which is Totally Wicked. I really like those guys and it is just coincidental that I am so close and service 10% of the global vape market flavoring. I go over to their lounge just to socialize with other vape lovers and test new flavors with them.