SPINFUEL: How long have you been creating eLiquids?
Andrea: I have only been mixing eLiquids for just under a year. Actually- I had more trouble figuring out the hardware & equipment than mixing! I know it seems such a short amount of time- but prior to mixing, I was working in the lab in the medical field with diagnostic testing and pharmaceuticals. I always found that field a little boring- because there is absolutely NO room for creativity. When I started to play around with making flavors for myself- I was just elated, because I can incorporate my scientific background with my natural artistic whimsy.
SPINFUEL: What was the first flavor you created?
Andrea: The Espresso and Arctic Cowboy would have to be neck and neck. I tend to have bursts of creative energy, so I may not create anything new for a month, than have 5 ready to test after an inspired weekend.
SPINFUEL: When did you decide to go into business?
Andrea: When I began getting repeated requests for e liquids from vaping buddies! That was probably the beginning of May…and it became quite time consuming! I think it was at that point that I realized “Yes, I REALLY can DO this!” And I was gripped by the NEED to do it.
SPINFUEL: Why did you decide to launch your own line of eJuice? How difficult was it to decide which flavors to launch with?
Andrea: I launched my own because I found that there were so few flavors out there that I liked. I want to be able to create a piece of fine art, to taste different notes and to keep me INTERESTED! I couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, so I created it. Plus, I wanted to know EXACTLY what is in the eLiquid I am vaping!
It wasn’t too difficult to figure out which flavors to start with- I just started with what I found I enjoyed vaping!
SPINFUEL: did someone, or some thing inspire you, to “go pro”?
Andrea: I am inspired by so many things, just little things, every single day. I can’t point to one specific inspiration- it was more a myriad of things that came together to really propel me here!
People seemed really appreciate my mixes, and I thought I could make more complex blends for those finicky vapers (i.e. me!)
SPINFUEL: Do you have any resellers at the moment who are stocking your eJuice?
Andrea: I have just reached the level where I am prepared to do that! The prospect is very exciting!
SPINFUEL: Can you, briefly, tell us a little about your “process” when mixing up a batch of eJuice for the Plume Room?
Andrea: Once again- I must play coy! I will say that I mix only in glassware that is sterilized between each mixing session, and that I have a dedicated laboratory. After working in the medical lab for so long, I am very well versed keeping my lab area safe & clean, both for my customers and myself. I also follow SOP every time I mix.
SPINFUEL: American made eJuice is becoming more and more popular with each passing day. Why do you think American Made e-Juice is so important to Vapers today?
Andrea: I think there are a number of reasons for that. First, we ALL want to know what is going into our eLiquid. I think buying American made makes it much easier to discern what ingredients are going into it. Is it USP grade? Does it contain diacetyl or any contaminants? We NEED to know what we are vaping- most of us stopped smoking to get AWAY from both known and unknown contaminants and carcinogens.
I also think that many people are much more aware of how important it is to support our economy. Don’t get me wrong- I adore some of my Chinese suppliers, who help make the batteries and other things available, but I hope, as the awareness and acceptance of vaping grows, that it will be an option (and financially viable!) to stock only American made hardware and eLiquid.
SPINFUEL: How do you decide on which flavors you’ll attempt to create for the Plume Room?
Andrea: Sometimes it is pure whimsy! More often, though, it is a specific request. Mochaccinofrappalicious? Sure! I can do that! Ha I actually came up with the Marlboro & Newport Types as custom blends for a new customer. (He still orders them!)
SPINFUEL: How long does it take to go from an idea to the final product?
Andrea: It may take a day- it may take a month. My flavors are all layered, and I always make sure they are beta tested BEFORE and AFTER steeping by different BETA testers. The Peanut Butter Crème Pie I just released has been a work in progress for about 4 months. I simply WILL NOT release a flavor I don’t find to be high caliber! (Much to the annoyance of some of my BETA testers!)
SPINFUEL: Do you use any ‘beta’ testers when you are creating a new flavor?
Andrea: Oh my goodness, yes! I have one who tests EVERYTHING, (Thank you!), and about 5 others who I send things to. (They will probably all tell you that I am a ridiculous perfectionist. I have been known to send emails saying- “No, I don’t like any of them! Throw them ALL out!” Yes- it has to meet my standards, and I am sure the Mad Scientist in me has driven some of them to drink! Thank you ALL!
SPINFUEL: Can you tell us a little about your background? How long have you been making eJuice?
Andrea: I am going to be coy here-because I will sound like a complete NERD! But, I have degrees in the Science field.
SPINFUEL: Safety is a huge factor today, especially in the eJuice trade. Tell our readers what kind of measures you take to make sure that your e-juice is safe to consume? The Plume Room has excellent labs.
Andrea: This is of UTMOST importance! I handle every vial of eLiquid just as I would have handled a medical specimen. We are INHALING the final product; there is NO such thing as TOO cautious. I have a dedicated lab filled with equipment that is only used for the making and storage of eLiquid. Refrigerators, freezers, tabletop rotators, water baths, etc. My nicotine, Propylene Glycol and vegetable glycerin are all bought from reliable and trusted sources, than are given lot numbers & recorded. I always wear PPE and sterilize the glass bottles that I mix in prior to every use. As I grow, I hope to be able to mix larger batches of eLiquid for those who want a “standard” blend and give them their OWN lot numbers. (Of course, I will always do custom mixes, as well!)
In the future, I also hope to have GS-MS testing done on every batch of finished eLiquid.
SPINFUEL: How important is it to use pharmaceutical grade PG, VG? Do you use distilled water? Are there any “filler liquids” in your juice?
Andrea: There is simply no substitute for pharmaceutical grade PG & VG.
What constitutes each grade is quality and purity. The difference between food grade and pharmaceutical grade is one of how much of other substances are present in the product.
There are several criteria by which pharmaceutical grade are judged. The product must be in excess of 99% purity with no binders, fillers, excipients, dyes, or unknown substances. That is the only grade I find acceptable.
No filler. Not ever. I WILL use a few drops of distilled water to thin eLiquid for customers on request. As a general standard, I do not. I find that thinning removes a bit of the richness.
SPINFUEL: Is your nicotine also American made?
Andrea: Yes. Everything that goes into our eLiquid is American made.
SPINFUEL: Where do you source your ingredients? Locally, online, US only?
Andrea: US only. Our tobacco is grown in Kentucky and the Carolinas.
SPINFUEL: How can you make sure that your flavors are always consistent, that each batch delivers the same flavor and nicotine levels?
Andrea: My recipes are tried and true. I also test vape each batch. There was one occasion, where I actually vaped a batch the second time, and felt the sweetener was off. I resent the eLiquid to the customer that received that batch. But I buy the same nicotine and flavoring from the SAME supplier every single time. The only eLiquid type that may have a tad bit of variation would be my house-extracted tobaccos. These are also made EXACTLY the same way every time, however, like seasonal fruit, not every leaf of tobacco is going to be the same. I think the variation is an intrinsic quality, not a fault. I think my customers would agree!
SPINFUEL: How many flavors do you offer today? Which are your favorites?
Andrea: I have 18 flavors available right now. I am constantly working on new ones. I know that I could have a much larger selection if I would lower my flavor standards a bit, but I simply refuse to sell anything but what I consider the best.
My favorites alternate between Toasted Turkish Twist and Summer Peach right now. Next week- I may like something different!
SPINFUEL: Why should our readers buy their e-Juice from you?
Andrea: 3 words Sum it Up: Quality, Service, & Passion.
SPINFUEL: Where does the future take The Plume Room
Andrea: I hope to begin selling my juice at various brick and mortars, and, if I can do it and still keep prices reasonable to my loyal customers, I may move to a brick and mortar myself!
SPINFUEL: Lastly, is there anything you would like to say directly to our readers?
Andrea: Yes! Thank you all so much for your loyalty and support! I am honored to be able to serve you!