Located in New York, NY the local smoke shop iVape has been impressing customers since they first opened their doors in 2013. It’s not easy to make it as a smoke shop in today’s industry, let alone exceed expectations, but this New York shop is doing just that.
After a long history in the smoke shop business, iVape owner Abbas Dezmak decided it was time to open his very own shop.
“There were a lot of smoke shops around here, but when I looked around, I felt like no one was really doing the industry justice. These shops weren’t giving people the right items, they weren’t spending the money to invest in quality products, and there weren’t really any shops that stood out. I wanted to make something really special. A place for collectors, a place for those who vape, and those who smoke. I wanted to have a little bit of everything,” explained Abbas.
Armed with a passion for the industry and a desire to supply his community with quality products, Abbas created iVape and first opened doors in 2013. Since then, the shop has been extremely successful.
The path to success by no means came without bumps in the road. When the store first opened it was in direct completion with many other smoke and vape shops in the same area. Being the new kid on the block, Abbas had to work hard to get the iVape name out there.
“It was hard for people to recognize us and what we stood for when we first opened. They had no idea what kind of products we had or what services we offered. So we worked really hard on our displays, lighting, maintaining a clean shop, and then spreading the word,” said Abbas.
To get their name out there, Abbas and the iVape staff heavily utilized the world of social media marketing. They manage an Instagram account and Facebook page. These platforms make it easy for the shop to share content and keep up with their customers in real time. Taking the time to get quality shots for their social media pages has really paid off and kept their customers engaged.
Working in the smoke shop business isn’t easy and it’s definitely not for anyone. You have to be willing to give your all each and every day to rise above your competition. You have to work to build a trustworthy reputation that will keep your customers coming back time after time.
“In this business you really have to work hard. All the time. When you are dealing with so much competition, customer service will make or break you. It needs to be a top priority. Your customers come first, they are the ones that show you love. Make sure you are giving back to them, catering to them, and giving them what they want. Be nice and it always comes back to you,” stressed Abbas.
In order to make sure each and every staff member fully understands the iVape customer service standards, Abbas requires them to shadow current employees upon hire so they can pick up on how to talk to customers and learn the language that the shop uses. This method of training guarantees that each and every staff member will not only give customers great customer service, but also that customers will receive the highest level of service every time they walk through the doors – no matter who they talk to or how many times they stop in.
In addition to great customer service, iVape likes to go above and beyond for their customers. They hold events at the shop to give back to the people who keep their doors open. This year’s 420 event for example did just that.
“The event offers a 20% discount, goody bags for everyone, 50 pies of pizza, and more. It just a fun event for everybody to come by and hang out, meet each other, and network a bit. It’s a great way to give a little bit back to our customers. We just try to create a really fun atmosphere so people can enjoy coming here,” said Abbas.
The New York smoke shop holds other events throughout the year on Black Friday, 710, and other big sales days. It’s great way to give back to the customers and has turned out some decent sized crowds. These events allow the community to get to know Abbas and all the iVape staff on a much more personal level and form friendships with customers. By taking the time to make those connections with customers, iVape really sets itself apart from other shops in the area. Shop events are a great way to build up a trustworthy reputation. They allow you to interact with customers in a way that is a bit more in depth than the day to day sales relationship. It gives customers a chance to really get to know the staff.
“Once people really get to know you, especially the customers that you know on a first name basis, they get really comfortable and they enjoy coming by. It feels like they are just coming by to say hi or chat. Once that relationship is built up, it’s something that just keeps on giving back. The people we get to work with are the best part about this industry. They are always so cool and super nice,” said Abbas.
Beyond working to form relationships with his customers, Abbas also enjoys the relationships he is able to make with his glass artists as well. By carrying such impressive glass work, there is a lot of traffic that is driven to the store front just to check out what’s new.
“We’re really proud of the collectables and glasswork we carry. People just love them. There are people over here taking pictures all day long,” mentioned Abbas.
Taking time to find glass artists is a part of the job that Abbas enjoys. He travels to as many conventions as he can. From Las Vegas and Denver to the Glass Expo in Dallas, Abbas has found that this is a great way to network directly with the artists and form lasting relationships as well as see the work in person.
One of the most important factors in iVape’s success is the perfect blend of products they have available. Abbas and his staff have worked hard to carry a little bit of everything for everybody and it has really paid off. Whether you are a custom glass collector or just diving into the vape world, iVape is a one stop shop for it all.
It’s easy to see why iVape has been successful. With an experienced owner who is hands on every day, a well thought out inventory, attention to detail, and customer service that goes above and beyond the status quo, iVape will continue to be successful in the years to come and is a testament to the fact that hard work really pays off. SVBS