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Vape – Til Death Do Us Part

Vapers Helping Vapers

Being a part of the vaping community since almost the beginning has been an eye opener for all of us at VaporSearchUSA.  As we get a chance to speak with manufacturers, juice makers, distributors and store owners we have heard countless stories that we truly enjoy about the pains and pleasures of the vaping industry.

We felt it necessary to provide a forum for the Vapreneurs (Vape entrepreneurs) to tell us their stories.  This is that forum.

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Email us now by clicking the link above or use Blog@VaporSearchUSA.com if you have a story to share! Include the context of the story, contact info, and anything else you think we may need to know.  We will get back to you soon!

  • Reuven Tenam’s Story Part Five: Be Careful of Easy Answers

    Vapers Helping Vapers

    For my sister to manage a store she needs access to money. I get her a debit card with the instructions to purchase only what I approve and to pay people who are helping to put the store together while I am gone.

    Since I know nothing about the vaping world, I am looking for a consultant to help me. So, I put an ad in CASSA for this help. I get a call from a guy in Florida and he says, “I read your add and I think I can help you.” We start talking. This gentleman, who will be nameless for legal reasons, played a very big part in this story.

    We start talking every day starting in February. By the time I get to Asheville we are the best of friends and we still haven’t met. He writes a blog about vaping, he is teaching me everything he knows at that time, he was vaping for 3 years already, and all he wants to do is work in this industry. Now, I never really had a website so he says, “I will build you a website and handle all your social media. I will build you the site for 650.00 and for 50.00 I will start your FB, Twitter and Reddit account.”

    “Reddit? What is Reddit?” I ask. So, he tries to tell me but I am too busy and I trusted him.

    Fast forward to April; I went on vacation to Florida with my family and left my sister to put the store together with my instructions.

    This is what her boyfriend was telling me while I was in Florida, “Your sister is taking things home from the store; flavors, hardware, etc. She is buying stuff without telling you.”

    I am amazed. I told her to stop and she said, “I am buying what we need. Don’t worry about. I will show you the receipts.”

    “Ok,” I said, “but, be careful.”

    I get back to the store at the end of April and doing the final touch ups to the opening. I hire 3 people plus my sister. I open May 12 2014…

    What happens when the store opens? Find out more next week!

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  • Reuven Tenam, A Vaping Entrepreneur With a Story to Tell…Part Four

    Vapers Helping Vapers

    Reuven, a Vape Shop entrepreneur decides to start his Vape business in North Carolina. As many of us do, he looked for logical answers. In his case, that was hiring his sister to run it. Make sense? Well, you be the judge!

    I pack up the truck with all the merchandise I bought from China, and bottles from the US, and I ordered flavors and so on. I get to Asheville at the end of February and I finally see the location!

    I like it, sign a lease, and start putting it together.

    From that day when my sister and I started putting it together, things went bad. It turns out that my sister has a lot of issues:

    • She never sleeps, stays up to 4 am, and wakes up 10 or 11 am. I find out she has no sense of time. I’m surprised because she used to work for a call center handling problems for a time share company

    She was the manager of that dept. So when I questioned her about retail she said it’s easy, “I handled multiple transactions on many different levels.” At this point I figured, “Let’s just put this together.”

    All we did was fight over flavors and merchandise. She said that, “I am a computer wiz,” (full of it I found out).

    I said find things such as we need a merchant. She finds a company called Smartwerkx.

    It’s completely not what I need; too expensive and too complicated.

    I put those responsibilities in her hands so I gave them $500.00 as a deposit for training. Waste of money!

    When we finally opened the store she spent 2 weeks trying to install the inventory in the system. They would not help us and all they wanted was a lot of money to sell us the register and the draw. They gave me a merchant to setup the credit card sales and that person had us sign an agreement and then never came through with the printer and the system.

    The one good thing my sister did do was to introduce me to Leslie. She’s my manager to this day. I met Leslie in March and she was going to handle my marketing. She used to work with my sister but they both ended up getting fired…I should have known!

    All my sister did was argue with me and act as if she was my boss.

    Now I am paying her $350.00 a week.

    In March, I go back and forth between New York and North Carolina two times buying furniture and show cases. All this time I am running my plumbing company.

    In April, we are putting the store together and I go back and forth 10 days there and 2 weeks in NY.

    Finally, the store is together. It took lots of time, lots of money, lots of choices, None the less, it’s done.

    Next week, let’s see what happens.

     

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  • Reuven Tenam, A Vaping Entrepreneur With a Story to Tell…Part Three

    Vapers Helping Vapers

    Now my wife is not happy about this because she thinks my sister is crazy; a liar and a thief. Ha, I should’ve listened…or maybe not. It’s still too early to tell.

    I finally got the ball rolling.

    It’s now December before she finds a location. She says it’s good…I said shoot me some pic’s. I look at and it does look good. Its 1200 square feet of new building at $1200.00 month rent. All I have to do is start to build some walls, a couple of rooms, and put the place together.

    I figure, all together, $25,000 max investment less merchandise with 3 months up front rent.

    Here is where the issue with the space: The landlord wanted 3 months plus the last 3 months rent on the lease for a 3 year lease. I don’t mind the 3 months up front but I won’t pay for the back end of a lease even though it was a very good location.

    Search continues and two more months’ pass. Is my sister even working this?

    In February she finds another location. Its 1600 square feet, fully built, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, 3 complete rooms. All I have to do is assemble furniture, show cases, some odds and ends, and build a clean room for juice…making which for me is very easy.

    I looked at the pictures, she liked it, and I said, “Let’s do it.”

    Now that Reuven has found a location…What’s Next? Find Out Next Week!

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  • Reuven Tenam, A Vaping Entrepreneur With a Story to Tell…Part Two

     

    Vapers Helping Vapers

     

    Reuven Tenam, is like many of us, a Vaping entrepreneur. Last week he shared the first installment of his personal story. This is the second part!

    Boy was I busy…buying merchandise, cleaning supplies, bottles, flavors, and creating contacts. While I was doing this in Brooklyn, in my home, I was also looking for a location in my area.

    It occurred to me that maybe I should look into possibly finding a franchise to work with. I’m looking around and the only company that contacted me was Mad Vapes. They offered licensing only. I asked to meet with someone and they set up a meeting the COO…not in New York, but I’ve got to go to Charlotte for that person to show me around. I said ok.

    I booked a flight, told my sister about it, and she came to Charlotte to meet with me and the COO. We toured 3 stores and they took me to their retail building and wholesale building.

    It was invigorating and after that day I was hooked.

    My sister and I went back to Asheville where I spent that night and the next day we created a plan.

    One thing my sister said is that I should consider opening a shop in NC because tax laws are cheaper and regulation, “…may not affect you as much as this is a tobacco growing state.” I left the following day back to NY and thought about what to do. I weighed out the pros and cons to opening in NY or NC:

    1- NC, cheaper rent

    2- Sales price point on all products will be the same in either state if I want to sell a lot.

    3- Space for rent much larger in NC.

    4- People are a bit kinder and more acceptable in NC.

    5- I am running a plumbing company that is not going away and my son who works for me is coming into his own so this can work in NY.

    6- NC, there are only 3 shops in the whole town and only one was nice. I couldn’t miss, I thought!

    7-I hire my sister to manage the store so I have 2 people I can trust while I travel back and forth, and I can stay in my sister’s house when I am in town.

    8- Asheville is a beautiful town; great food, atmosphere, and I love the mountains.

    It took a few days and I decided to open in Asheville. And that’s when I should have shot myself in the head, (Jewish slang.) LOL

    So now I told my sister to start looking for a location, and this is what she said, “I have a job looking after this old woman and the family pays me $12 hr. You need to pay me at least $200.00 a week for me to do this so I can devote all my time to this and I can quit my job.”

    I’m thinking, “Are you kidding me?” Never mind, I don’t remember how much she was getting a week in total but I agreed. It’s my sister I help her she helps me, right?

    What did Reuven decide?We will have more of Reuven’s story next week!

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  • From The Beginning, An Autobiographical Account Of One Vapor’s Journey To Create A Store, Brick and Mortar and Online

    Reuven Tenam, July 29th, 2015, VaperSerum.com

    Since I am not a writer all I can do is start from the beginning. 

    October 2013, I have been vaping for over a year and making my own juice for the last 8 months. I started vaping Memorial Day weekend 2012, and I remember that day like it was yesterday.

    At the time I was smoking for 32 years, not a heavy smoker, around 1/2 a pack a day and at times even more, depending on how my day was going. At the time I had my job/career, and I was a small business owner. To this day I still do plumbing here and there.

    As I started vaping I noticed the need to smoke become less and less. One day, in October 2013, I am looking to buy juice and some hardware online when I thought to myself, ‘Why not open a vape shop in Queens or Brooklyn’?” At that time there were maybe a couple of shops at best, so I figured now would be a good time.

    I remember looking at the screen and saying, “I can do this!” At that time, I was doing DIY juice and I liked my stuff.

    I thought to myself, “How hard can be to sell it?”

    The answer is: It’s hard and extremely time consuming to make it really good to resell.

    At that time, my sister, who lives in Asheville NC, and I were talking and starting to get to know each other better. For a long time we led completely different lives and really never had any kind of relationship; practically strangers. I am the older brother and I haven’t seen my sister in 4 years, and when we did see each other it was due to a family event. Otherwise, there was no communication between one another.

    I started speaking to my sister near the beginning of 2013 because I figured enough was enough. I am now 51 and she is my family. Just to let you know, my sister never has money, is always broke, is a divorcee with a daughter in college, and a son in high school. I won’t go into those details.

    Now my sister and I are communicating a lot and I am feeling good about her. It’s been too long since I have been able to say, “I have 2 sister’s!” (My parents and my other sister live in Florida and I communicate with them regularly.)

    On the day that I decided to get into the vaping business I called my sister, she got excited.  From that day forward I started putting things together. 

    See next edition for more on this story…

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