When Electronic Cigarette Storage Becomes Problematic
Vaping with Julia – The eCig Stand Edition
ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE – The Giveaway has begun!
If your vaping consists of a simple cig-a-like starter kit with prefilled cartomizers, the need for storage and organization of your vape gear is minimal. Even with a couple of extra batteries and a few spare packs of cartomizers, a nightstand or desk drawer is plenty. But, what if vaping is your hobby?
Serious Vaping Serious Storage
If being disorganized, sloppy, and forgetful were Olympic Events I would have enough gold medals to fill a huge room (just ask Keira!). Naturally, I would misplace many of them, accidentally throw a few away, and most certainly stub my toe with one or two on a daily basis. Yes, I’m that bad. It drives Keira crazy.
Since I’ve taken up the hobby of vaping more than two years ago now I’ve collected a lot of vape gear, eLiquids and other vaping paraphernalia. That by itself isn’t a big problem, but having it all disbursed into various boxes, baskets, shelves, and drawers throughout the house (and office), I’m often hunting for a certain tank, clearomizer, or eLiquid because I’ve forgotten where I last used it.
Apparently I’m alone in this massive Mess-O-Rama because I’m often asked about eCigarette stands or other methods of keeping all this stuff organized. Me of all people! It seems to me that there should be some way to keep all our vape gear organized and at-the-ready, without having to spend our way in to oblivion . So I began looking into the niche market of custom made stands, and what I discovered was pretty amazing.
First, I discovered that most custom woodworking people in the United States have not yet caught on to the explosive growth of the vape community. Whatever companies are in business, they are few and far between. The waiting list to even get a stand made when you find a company, is forever, and the prices are outrageous.
Several months ago I contacted one company in order to buy and review a ‘stand’ and all I received was an ‘update’ email every couple of months telling me that the guy was still way behind his other jobs but would soon have positive news for me. It, the positive news, never came. After searching still more potential leads I came up empty each and every time.
Small Stands – Mountain Oak Vapors, ProVape, et al
There are some companies that do make small ‘stands’ that can hold a couple of mods, maybe a couple of bottles of eLiquid, but that’s about it. Mountain Oak Vapors have them in stock once and a while, and ProVape sells them specifically made for their ProVari. The last time I bought a ProVari, a few weeks ago, I also purchased 3 “blocks” to place on my desk, my nightstand, and Keira’s nightstand. They are beautiful little blocks with the ProVape logo laser-etched on the side, and sell for just $24.95. Still, they were nowhere near as large as I needed/wanted.
Enter the French
One evening while I was reading and posting on Twitter I saw a tweet from someone called @eCigStands. I told John about them, and we both began looking into what they had to offer.
We, mostly John, opened a dialog with the one of the owners of eCigStands, Sue, and we wound up buying a nice big stand that just might be big enough to allow me to keep all my gear and all my eLiquids in one place, all neatly arranged and laid out beautifully.
The three of us, John, Keira, and myself, spent some time looking over the gallery of photos Sue has up on the website (http://ecigstands.com) and we finally came together on the one you see here in the photos.
After placing the order we made the decision to buy another one for a Spinfuel Giveaway. Once they arrive we’ll arrange the giveaway and then Keira and I will place our order for two stands, one for John and one for Keira. I get the one that’s coming in the next week or so.
When we learned how much these stands were going to cost I thought there was a miscommunication. I didn’t know if we were being quoted in francs or US dollars, but whatever it was it just looked too inexpensive. As it turns out, the price was in US dollars and the cost for each deluxe custom made, hand made stand, with two draws and enough cutouts to serve my needs and then some, was just $141, plus $65 shipping from France to the US. I couldn’t, and still cannot, believe how inexpensive they are compared to what I was quoted from an American woodcutter.
So, anyway, I wanted to share this with you and bring it to your attention. John had asked Sue to send us photos, as the stand was being custom made for us, which I am sharing with you now. Just take a look at how beautiful it is! (for a larger photo, visit the gallery on ecigstands.com)
One lucky reader will win one of these, so stay tuned for details that will come a couple of days after the stands arrive. I want to photograph one decked out with all my mods and my favorite eJuice, so you can get an idea of how much this stand can hold, not to mention the two drawers underneath for storing cables, and other vaping accessories.
I’m on pins and needles waiting for this thing. And the entire staff is excited about giving one of them away to a Spinfuel reader. Then we’ll order more for the staff.
Oh, I came up with some questions for Sue. I asked John to send them to her so I could include a short interview with her when I went public with this, and the photos. Below is that interview.
One last thing; you can order from eCigStands any time you want. We did not get special pricing, or even a discount on shipping. These are the actual prices. Certainly you will not find this kind of craftsmanship and quality for less than what we paid. In addition to the fantastic pricing, we can tell people our stands were custom made and shipped from France. Like the Statue of Liberty!
Have a great weekend, and when the stands arrive I’ll post more photos and get the Giveaway under way.
Interview with Sue from eCigStands
Julia: How long have you been building e-cigarette stands and accessories?
Sue: It all started back in March 2013 so it will be a year now.
Julia: Why did you decide to start building e-cigarette stands?
Sue: Well in March last year I decided to give up cigarettes …… again ……. A friend of mine was using an electronic cigarette and was telling me how great it was and how it had helped her to stay off the cigs so I thought I’d try one too, I had nothing to lose. I ordered one online and it arrived and everything was great, until I realised I had no where to put it when I wasn’t using it. I’d lie it down and it would leak, I’d stand it up and it would fall over, it was very annoying and I was worried it would break.
So I asked my husband Martin, who is a qualified carpenter with over 25yrs experience, if he would make me a wooden stand to put my ego in, batteries and a few juices. He came back with a gorgeous little stand which was perfect for what I needed. This prompted us to look on the internet and to our amazement, there were hardly any stands on the market, and so ECig Stands was born. Initially, we made a few Mahogany and Oak ones and put them on eBay. They all sold out within days !! As Martin was busy with his carpentry business, making French windows, doors, stairs etc., he didn’t have much free time to make stands, but when he did he would make a batch and I would put them on eBay and Etsy, they sold like hot cakes, we were so excited.
Unfortunately, due to the financial pressures in the EU, work for Martin started to dry up, people just weren’t spending money on their houses, so we made the decision to push the stands more. We launched our website www.ecig-stands.com in June 2013, joined lots of vaping groups and forums, and started to spread the word about our stands. By this time Martin had also switched from cigarettes to electronic cigarettes, so we felt comfortable chatting to fellow vapers about stands and vaping in general as we were both now vapers ourselves. People started to ask if we could make custom built stands with their specific holes, even built in drawers!! So Martin did his magic and started to produce some amazing hand crafted stands.
The business has just grown and grown from there, and it’s now our full time job. It’s amazing, I deal with the Customer Service side of things, dealing with customers, taking their specifications etc., Martin builds the stands and I varnish, felt the holes and base, pack and send. We’re both loving it and thankfully we’ve got a great relationship so working together is a dream and we make a great team!! And of course, it’s bringing in an income, if we didn’t have this business we would definitely be homeless by now, so thank goodness we turned to vaping!! 3. How many models do you offer now?
We haven’t a clue to be honest as every stand is different and customised to the individual customers’ requirements. We have basic models like the drawer with three tiers, or the four drawer with three tiers, but as we make them to suit the customer with their specific holes, slots etc., it’s impossible to say how many models we have.
Julia: Are each stand made to order? Do you ever sell from inventory?
Sue: We do have some premade stands on eBay and Etsy, but the majority of our stands are made to order as people want a stand that works for them and hence want specific holes etc. We have a wholesale list for shops etc. who buy bulk, but again these are made to order so they have the option of choosing hole sizes, wood etc.
Julia: Do you build custom designed stands? If say I had a design I wanted built, could that be done?
Sue: Absolutely!! We love hearing from customers with their own designs, and it also helps us to know what people want in a stand so that we can then incorporate this into future stand designs. There’s nothing more rewarding than someone contacting us with a design they’ve got in mind, and then producing it for them, it’s really exciting for both the customer and for us!!
Julia: Which model, or style is the most popular?
Sue: Again it’s really hard to say. There are a few designs that we sell quite a lot of, eg. we get a lot of orders for the design of the stand you’ve ordered, also for the 1, 2, and 4 drawer stands with tiered top, but there’s always something different on each one, maybe we’re asked to double the tier width to fit more holes in, or add a pipe stand, or make the necessary adjustments so they can feed their charger lead into the stand so they can charge their batteries whilst in situ, it’s really hard to say.
Julia: How long will it take to build the Spinfuel Stand?
Sue: Well to actually build it from start to finish would take a maximum of two days, then two coats of varnish would be another two days as we like to leave 12 hrs between each coat of varnish to ensure a perfect finish, so 4 days in total.
Julia: How many hours, on average, does it take to build a stand like the one we ordered?
Sue: The actual construction time is around 8hrs, then a couple of hours for varnishing and an hour for felting so around 11hrs in total.
Julia: Do you know if bottle sizes are different in the US and Europe? If so, how would US customers know what size to tell you they want? Is there any lee-way in the size of holes drilled into the stand?
Sue: From experience bottle sizes are the same, but there’s always an exception. As a rule we always ask the customer to measure their bottles so that we can drill the hole to suit. We always ask the customer to confirm the diameters of mods, juices etc as there are so many on the market now, and we’d hate to do a hole the wrong size!! We usually drill the holes 1mm bigger for a comfortable fit, but if the customer wants the hole larger, for example so they can fit 10ml bottles in and 15ml bottles, then we do it. Basically, what the customer requests, the customer gets.
Julia: What was the biggest stand you’ve made to date? Can you tell us about it?
Sue: Yeh sure, the biggest stand we have made to date was a mahoosive 8 drawer stand for a lovely guy called Dan at www.vape-nation.co.uk. He contacted us and asked if we could have a Skype conversation so he could explain exactly what he wanted. After numerous discussions we came up with a custom designed 8 drawer, tiered and flute stand with a spool incorporated into one of the drawers for his wire. The stand was constructed in three difference woods, Walnut, Ash and American Oak. It was gorgeous!! Dan decided he wanted to have specific handles that he had seen already, so we sent him the stand without handles and then he added them and sent us a photo of the finished product at his home, I’ve attached a photo. Dan also wanted his stand personalised, so we put a decal transfer of his company logo on the flute section of the stand, and his website along the front of the stand. We have to say after we built it and varnished/felted it, it looked absolutely stunning!!
Julia: How would a US Customer go about ordering a stand from you?
Sue: It’s easy, they can either contact us via our website contact form www.ecig-stands.com, email email@example.com, Facebook www.facebook.com/ecigstands or Twitter @ecigstands, we’re everywhere haha!!.
All they need to do, as with any customer, is tell us the design they are interested in, whether it be one we’ve made before which are shown in the ‘Gallery’ section of our website (these have design codes for easy reference), or one they have designed themselves, the holes/slots etc they require and wood preference. We then send them a price including shipping and an estimated time for completion. If they wish to go ahead with the order, we add them to our order list. Once the stand is made we send them a photo of the finished product, its really that simple.