Over the past few years, The Vape Lab has truly made a name for itself. The Kittanning, Pennsylvania vape shop welcomes all vapers – new and advanced. The shop works hard to provide excellent customer service, quality products at affordable prices, and honest information on every item they sell. Since opening their doors in 2014, the shop has continued to grow while constantly impressing customers along the way.
After taking up vaping to leave cigarettes behind in search of a healthier lifestyle, Walter Wright and his fiancée Holly Freshwater, owners of the Vape Lab, discovered they had a passion for the industry itself.
“In 2013, I tried to quit smoking,” explains Walter. “But shortly after, I went right back to smoking. However, after my family experienced a tragedy, I knew it was time for me to start leading a healthier lifestyle. So, I gave vaping another try. Once I started spending so much time in vape shop after vape shop, my fiancé Holly suggested we open a shop of our own. And that’s how we got into the business, we wanted to share our experience with everyone,” he begins.
The Vape Lab offers a comfortable, friendly environment and welcomes customers that just need to drop in quickly as well as those that want to come in and hang out for hours.
“Our shop is really laid back and we make a point to greet each person that walks through the doors. We always check in with each person about their most recent experiences. We truly want to get to know everybody. I think that is what our success has ultimately been about. We are personable and want to be an honest resource for our customers,” expresses Walter.
When customers walk into the Pennsylvania shop, they never feel awkward our out of place. Whether it’s their first time into the shop or the hundredth, they will be greeted the same.
“Even if I have 5 people at the counter that I am working with, if someone walks in the door I always make a point of saying hello and letting them know I’m here if they have any questions. I never want our customers to be uncomfortable about being in the store. Working in this industry is such a fun experience. I love getting to work with people and being there for their journey. I just absolutely love this industry,” he emphasizes.
Walter and Holly’s passion for their customers and the industry shines through to the team as well. The Vape Lab team is what makes the shop unique and stand out amount the rest. The team is very knowledgeable about all the products in the shop and places a heavy importance on educating those that come through the doors.
In addition to its great team, The Vape Lab is also known for its extensive juice line. They take into consideration recommendations from customers, staff picks, and Walter’s research. There is always something new for customers and with such big selection, there is always something for everyone as well.
“Before we officially decide to add a certain flavor to our shelves, we test it ourselves for a while and take it to the customers too. We let a few try it and get a general consensus on whether or not to carry it. Our customers are our best asset when deciding what flavors to carry,” says Walter.
After just two quick years, some space two doors down from the shop opened up, so Walter and Holly decide to take advantage of the available larger space and move the shop to the bigger location that would better suit their needs and growth.
“In our first location, if you had five people in there at once, it would be crowded,” he laughs. “It was so small. Our new location can handle a lot more. Now if we have 75 people in here, we still have plenty of room. Our ability to grow so quickly is all about how we treat our customers. We treat everyone who walks through the doors exactly how we would want to be treated,” he adds.
After the initial success with the shop, the pair decided to start a juice line as well. The line is called Schticki E-Liquid and features some fun, dessert-like flavors. The Vape Lab takes pride in their e-juices and produces them in an extremely controlled environment using only the purest VG/PG and the best nicotine. With Schticki, customers are guaranteed to get the most out of every bottle produced. Their entire lineup offers some great flavors at unbeatable prices.
“We started as a very small shop, and now we have big shop and a vape line. It’s been a fun process and I’ve really enjoyed it. We owe a big part of our success to a local wholesaler here, Kingdom Vapor. Those guys are amazing, and I could not have got this start without them. They are fighting for our industry right now and leading by example. I’m impressed by their company and their advocacy work every day,” adds Walter.
Walter and Holly’s hard work and passion have paved the way for The Vape Lab to be a hit. Their support from local companies like Kingdom Vapor, amazing shop staff, and even their customer base have really propelled the shop to the top. Customers come back again and again for the quality products, fair prices, customer service, and warm welcome. Even as the times change, and the industry continues to evolve, one thing is certain – The Vape Lab will be around for years to come.
“As long as you love what you do, nobody can stop you from doing it. Even when times get hard and there’s a new tax or new law, if you love this industry, you’ll find a way to make it work,” says Walter.