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Julia Hartley-Barnes Talks to Clinton Legg of G2 Vapor
SPINFUEL: Welcome to the pages of Spinfuel eMagazine. We are delighted to welcome you to this first, of hopefully many reviews. Would you like to introduce yourselves to our readers?
G2 Vapor: Hi my name is Clinton Legg and I am the creator behind the G2Vapor liquids.
G2 Vapor: I am the CEO/President of Liquid Art Inc. which is the parent company of G2 Vapor.
SPINFUEL: How did you decide on the name for your company? What does G2 mean?
G2 Vapor: This is a question I get asked a lot! In creating liquids you will have multiple versions of a formula in the pursuit of the perfect mix. I like to label each one with short hand tags so that I can keep track of them. G2 was the final formula for well the G2 eLiquid. When it came time to give the company a name it was what kept popping in my head. So I named it G2Vapor or G2V for short which also stands for Good 2 Vape.
SPINFUEL: Who or what inspired you to get into the business of creating and selling eliquids?
G2 Vapor: Three years ago the eliquid selections on the market were nowhere near as vast as what we have today. After purchasing hundreds of bottles of liquid, and never finding anything that satisfied me, I set out on a mission to learn DIY and create my own liquids for personal use. I come from a strong background of DIY in every aspect of my life thanks to my father. His motto was instead of relying on others learn how to do it yourself. After what seemed like months of failed attempts I finally created some liquids I was proud of and let friends sample them. One thing led to another and I sent some samples to Jason at ElectronicStix and the rest is history.
SPINFUEL: What is the local and state situation like with respect to electronic cigarettes? Is there talk of banning or taxing there, or are they still in the dark about what they want to do?
G2 Vapor: We just recently had a big win in the courts where they tried to lump vaping in with tobacco in regards to banning it where tobacco use is banned. We have a very strong local community comprised of vendors and consumers alike.
SPINFUEL: Is vaping popular your in your area?
G2 Vapor: It’s growing by leaps and bounds. A year ago you would be hard pressed to find a vape store. Now it seems as though we have them popping up everywhere.
SPINFUEL: Are there any vape festivals or shows in your area? If so, have you attended any?
G2 Vapor: We have local meets that I try to attend when possible and we are lucky enough to be close to some of the larger vape conventions including Vapercon and Vapefest. I attend at least three conventions every year including Vapercon, Vapefest, and Vapebash.
SPINFUEL: So you must enjoy the travels and adventure of attending these conventions. How active are you in the vape community?
G2 Vapor: I try to stay very active in the vape community. Without this community I would not be sitting here answering these questions. I feel very blessed to be in the position I am in and always try to give back to the community.
SPINFUEL: When you came to the decision to launch G2 Vapor how many ‘flavors’ did you have to start with? What were they?
G2 Vapor: When I launched the company there were two liquids: G2 and caRnY4.
SPINFUEL: Just two? Wow. Is there a common theme running through each of your flavors? Do you have certain traits you wish to instill in every flavor?
G2 Vapor: I wouldn’t say I have a common theme but I would definitely say I have a style of mixing that is recognizable in the liquids.
SPINFUEL: Yes, I would definitely agree with that. You offer a G2 Vapor line and a Prime G2 Vapor line. You can briefly tell us the difference between the two?
G2 Vapor: The G2 Vapor line is the original line that was introduced. After creating 6 liquids in the line I felt like I really needed to challenge myself and take things to the next level. So I set out to tackle some of the most difficult liquid profiles in the market and G2 Prime was born.
SPINFUEL: We vaped two of the four Prime G2 flavors, Vazilla and Drunk Monkey. It was actually those two flavors that got our publisher interested in making a cameo in our team review. He loved them both. Your Prime G2 Vapor line is also bottled differently, we love the unique bottles. They look like old-timey medicine bottles that were sold in covered wagons in 1800’s. Are they working with your customers as well?
G2 Vapor: Customers love the unique look of the Prime bottles, it really helps them stand out and people are proud to show them off.
SPINFUEL: Are your eLiquids pre-steeped before shipping out to customers?
G2 Vapor: All of the liquids are made in bulk batches and steeped to perfection before bottling. It has always been my goal to provide a liquid that is ready to vape and consistent in flavor profile every time you purchase it.
SPINFUEL: So, right from the mailbox to the clearomizer then? What’s the best way, in your opinion, to ‘steep’ eLiquids at home, if someone had to?
G2 Vapor: The best way to ‘steep’ eliquids is to simply give them time. Put it away in a cool dark place and let time work its magic.
SPINFUEL: Most of the eLiquid labels we review have an online ordering system on their website. We noticed that you do not. Is there a reason why you want to sell through retail outlets and wholesale rather than online ordering from customers? Is that something you might consider in the future? How might other retail vendors, many of who are ardent readers of Spinfuel, contact you about carrying your line in their store?
G2 Vapor: From the beginning my goal has always been to focus on the eliquids and achieving the highest quality possible. By utilizing established vendors in the market we are able to focus on that goal by allowing them to focus on the retail aspect. It has also always been my stance that brick & mortars are key to the vape community thriving. We focus on wholesaling to vendors that have a brick & mortar store not just a web store. If they do not have a brick & mortar we like to verify that steps are being taken to establish one in the future. It is not out of the question to one day sell the liquids directly from our website, but for now we are still trying to get ahold of the current volume at which we are growing.
SPINFUEL: What type of have tamper proof seals are you using?
G2 Vapor: The bottles have clear tamper proof bands on the lid and neck and currently the 1oz bottles have child resistant caps. The 15ml bottles will be switching over to child resistant caps in late April as I had to contract a manufacturer to make them specially since currently nobody produces a child resistant cap for glass 15ml bottles.
SPINFUEL: With regard to eliquid labels, how much information should be on each bottle? Ingredients, nicotine strength, flavor, lot number, batch number, and so on. What do your labels contain?
G2 Vapor: I think it’s very important to provide as much information as possible to the consumer so that they can make an informed purchase and feel secure with the product. Currently all bottles have a born on date, batch number, ingredients list, warning label, and UPC code.
SPINFUEL: Could you describe your facility for our readers?
G2 Vapor: We operate out of a 3000 sqft facility in a professional business park. The setup includes offices, lounge area, 3 clean labs and a warehouse.
SPINFUEL: Where is your ‘mixing’ area, and would you consider it a sterile environment, free of dust and contaminants? Is it a sealed area?
G2 Vapor: The mixing area is lab 2 that is solely devoted for mixing all of the liquids. Both main labs are sealed off from the outside and have industrial exhaust systems that completely empty and refresh the air in the labs 6 times every 30 minutes. There are plastic curtains at all entry points along with “sticky mats” on the floor. Free from dust and contaminants is the goal.
SPINFUEL: That’s terrific! How do you make sure your mixing tools and containers are kept clean and sterile?
G2 Vapor: In lab one, which is the entrance lab to the main two labs, there is a commercial stainless steel three bay sink which allows all reusable lab ware to undergo a three step washing and sterilization.
SPINFUEL: How many people do you have mixing eLiquids, and how do they transition going from one flavor/recipe to another?
G2 Vapor: I am currently the only one that mixes liquids as it’s still an area that I feel is the most important and I want to make sure that it is done correctly.
Spinfuel: So you are the ‘artist’ behind them all. Nice. Do you have an “opening” and “closing” procedure every day? Are there steps taken each morning to get the place open and ready for mixing?
G2 Vapor: Yes, the first steps are to unlock all of the lab doors, turn on the lights and exhaust system. Mixing does not take place on a daily basis. As mentioned earlier everything is mixed in large batches to ensure consistency and proper ‘steeping’.
SPINFUEL: Restaurants use what they call the FIFO Rules in the kitchen, for their raw food products. Do you use a similar rule for your ingredients? If you do, could you describe it? (FIFO = First In, First Out)
G2 Vapor: All ingredients are labeled as they come in and rotated in a FIFO fashion to ensure freshness.
SPINFUEL: Excellent. Now, let’s talk about nicotine for a bit. Tell us about the nicotine you use in your juice. How does an eLiquid company such as yourself learn to trust their source for nicotine? How do they trust the nicotine’s purity?
G2 Vapor: Seriously it’s taken quite a while to secure a source that I am 100% confident in with regards to a consistent product that has no undesirable traits of an inferior product. We buy pure nic directly from the manufacturer and cut out all ‘middle men’ which means we know exactly how fresh it is and do not have to worry about how long it has been sitting on a shelf. The nicotine we utilize is also FDA approved for inhalation.
SPINFUEL: Does the G2 Vapor crew wear any type of special clothing when they are handling nicotine and other ingredients?
G2 Vapor: Yes cleanroom cover-ups are utilized in the labs along with nitrile gloves at all times.
SPINFUEL: Since you mix in batches and not everyday, on what day to do you mix, and what happens while you’re mixing?
G2 Vapor: Liquids are mixed normally on Monday while the rest of the crew runs the labeling machine, labeling all of the bottles that need to get filled and shipped for the week.
SPINFUEL: When coming up with new flavors, how do you determine what flavor to work on next? Is it pre-planned, do you follow your customers purchasing trends, do you keep an eye out on message boards to see what kinds of flavors are being talked about, both positively and negatively? Or is it something else?
G2 Vapor: Some of my best liquids have been ideas from a customer or friend that has wanted a certain liquid and couldn’t find it or having tried multiple versions on the market and couldn’t find one that satisfied them. It’s also my never-ending imagination that tends to wake me up at 2am scrambling for a piece of paper to write down the ingredients for some idea that popped in my head.
SPINFUEL: So some of them come to you in dreams. Boy, that is a remarkable passion for your company and your customers. Is there a method to the decision to create a new G2 eLiquid or Prime G2 eLiquid?
G2 Vapor: Ten. I feel that a line should have no more than ten liquids in it. G2 is almost done, Prime still has room to grow.
SPINFUEL: Interesting. No more than 10 flavors per ‘line’ gives you the freedom to create other lines though, like the Prime line. What types of hardware (mods, tanks, cartos, etc.) do you use when testing your liquids? Is there a setup you favor for testing? For instance, if you were to test a new flavor’s vapor production, throat hit, and the cleanliness of the flavor/taste, or it’s authenticity to the flavor you’re creating, is there something like an iTaste VTR and iClear30s (off the top of my head, truly) that you will use as a ‘medium’ for judging a new recipe and how it will perform across the various hardware setups?
G2 Vapor: I often get asked this and the quick and short of it is, from day one all the liquids have been designed on rebuildable attys. I found they give the purest, cleanest taste and really do not mask or hide certain non-desirables that a carto or clearo might. If it holds up to the array of ohms that is thrown at it on an rba then it usually always performs great in a carto or clearo etc.
SPINFUEL: What are the standard PG/VG ratios you use in your G2 line and Prime G2 line?
G2 Vapor: Since the bottles are not made individually but in large batches all ratios are preset and do not deviate. The G2 line is a 60vg/40pg ratio and the Prime line is a 70vg/30pg ratio.
SPINFUEL: How long will YOUR eJuice last if properly stored? And what does ‘properly stored’ mean to you?
G2 Vapor: Eliquids have an approx. lifespan of about a year. But realistically if stored in a cool dark environment they really can last much longer.
SPINFUEL: Many eLiquid brands tweak the recipes of their eLiquids from time to time. If you ever need to do that how do you notify your customers of a change?
G2 Vapor: My parents always told me the best house is built on rock, not on sand. Months are spent creating each individual liquid so that it is finalized for release. This means making sure to use reliable suppliers for ingredients and allowing the liquid to go through multiple beta testers. Build a house on solid ground and there’s no need to change.
SPINFUEL: Our position on regulating eLiquids includes spot inspections by the same people that perform restaurant inspections, to insure a certain level of cleanliness and proper storage of ingredients and materials. First, how do you feel about this kind of inspection, and second, if a food inspector were to walk in to your facility today, how well do you think that inspection would go?
G2 Vapor: I welcome these regulations and my doors are always open to an inspection. I think one of the scariest things in the market right now is the amount of liquids that are mixed in someone’s house or basement with no cleanroom of any sort. I strive to always make sure we would receive an A+ if an inspection should ever happen.
SPINFUEL: While we’re on the topic of ingredients and inspections, in the food service industry a restaurant owner is required to post their most recent inspection results on a wall that can be easily seen by all the customers. We (Spinfuel eMagazine) believe that eLiquid companies should be required to do the same thing. We believe that the company should be required to photograph the official report and post the photo on their website. Is that going too far in your opinion? Would you object to such a rule?
G2 Vapor: Not at all, anything to ease the mind of a consumer is a step in the right direction.
SPINFUEL: In your opinion, what makes a good eliquid? In other words, what order of importance are flavor, vapor, and throat hit in your eLiquids?
G2 Vapor: There are factors of liquid that can be changed simply by the device you are using. For example, a dripper with large air holes and low ohms is going to produce more vapor than a carto. I try to focus on the things I can control, which is flavor. We actually just went through a corporate name change, which is Liquid Art Inc. The tag line for it is clean. pure. taste. I think that sums up best what we strive for.
SPINFUEL: Are you concerned about the FDA ruling coming soon? Do you have any gut feelings about which way the FDA is leaning; toward more taxation or banning?
G2 Vapor: I think anyone involved in this industry is concerned about the FDA to some extent or another. This is probably the greatest advancement for helping people to stop smoking which kills people every day. My gut feeling is at this point banning is not an option, they are going to tax.
SPINFUEL: Do you think most companies in this industry can stand the heavy tax burdens that some politicians are calling for?
G2 Vapor: To be honest until we know for sure what and how they are going to tax this industry I don’t think anyone can say for certain that they can brush it off.
SPINFUEL: Lastly, why should our readers try G2 Vapor?
G2 Vapor: Everybody is always on the search for their ADV (All Day Vape). I would like to think the time and passion that has been put behind each of these liquids will provide you with at least one gem you have been hunting for.
SPINFUEL: Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers while you have their complete attention?
G2 Vapor: I just would like to thank all of the people that have allowed this dream to come true. I feel truly blessed to have met so many amazing people and to be able to create something that people enjoy is what makes me excited to get up and go to the G2 facility every day. And I also want to thank Spinfuel for taking the time to really get an in-depth feel for the liquids they review, it’s a refreshing approach.
SPINFUEL: Thank you! And thank you for taking the time to talk to us today, and to allowing us to review your liquids. We look forward to doing a sequel very soon.
Clinton Legg and Julia Hartley-Barnes – March 2014