With five retail locations around Louisville and Shepherdsville Kentucky, Up N Smoke has been proudly serving their community for over a decade. Up N Smoke provides customers with a wide range of products at prices that are fair and reasonable. From vaporizers to pipes and CBD to storage containers, the shop has something for everyone and every budget. Known today for their knowledgeable staff and truly judgement free zone, the brand continues to grow a loyal fan and customer base. In addition to their retail locations, the brand also encompasses a booming wholesale company.
“In August of 2007 we got our start at the flea market in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. We had small booth and were selling incense sticks and incense burners, tapestries, and sage products,” begins Brandon Douglas, Operations Manager of Up N Smoke. “In October of that same year, we moved to a different spot in the flea market with more space and better walking traffic. Our new spot was prime real estate. We decided to add a shelf of glass pipes one weekend and they sold out. So, the next weekend we added another shelf and they sold out again. Eventually we were selling out entire cases of pipes, so we decided to shift our focus and include pipes in our booth. We’ve never looked back,” he continues.
From there, the business evolved and the first retail location was opened in Shepherdsville, KY. The retail location allowed them to display quality products in a large space all week long.
Up N Smoke is owned by Chad Wade. Chad’s experience in the smoke industry prior to Up N Smoke has be instrumental in helping him as he continues to navigate the industry.
“In 2002, Chad started out as an independent cigar wholesaler. He supplied cigars to retail stores throughout Louisville, KY as C&J Cigars. Through his dedication to our clients, our business grew quickly and today we are proud to say that we are one of the largest nationwide wholesalers in the state,” explains Brandon.
Each retail location of Up N Smoke is unique. The team works hard to make sure the locations fit into the local communities seamlessly. They want their customers to feel at ease when they walk through the doors so they work hard to make each location comfortable and inviting.
“All the stores are set up in a way that makes them unique to their area. We have local artists help us with murals in the shops and we do our best to pull out little details of each neighborhood to incorporate in to the storefront, which is something our customers really appreciate. When they come in, the atmosphere is familiar and it makes them comfortable right when they enter the shop,” he mentions.
The Barret Ave location for example has green walls and has a giant space mural on the ceiling that was completed by a local tattoo/graffiti artist. The Middletown location features white walls, grey carpet, and a more modern design so it fits right in to the high-end shopping center where it is located. The Newberg Rd location used to be a bank and still includes the vault with the original door. The vault is used as a showcase and customers can shop inside of it – a unique feature that customers don’t see at just any shop.
In addition to a wide selection of products and tailor-made locations, Up N Smoke is a top pick in the area for customers due to the extremely knowledgeable staff. The staff is friendly and passionate about serving their community. Their goal is to help customers find what they need and build relationships with those they serve. Up N Smoke has strong roots in the community and they continue to strengthen them each day.
In an industry that changes quickly, Brandon points out just how much he loves the fact that no day is ever the same.
“This industry is changing every single day. In a lot of industries, you get up, go to work, and come home. You do the same thing day after day. In the smoke industry, that is not the case. I love how fast new products come out and I love that I get to meet new people and form new relationships every day. We’ve seen some dramatic changes over the years, it’s fun and can also be challenging, but we love a challenge,” says Brandon.
Even though the industry has seen some major changes over the years, Up N Smoke is loyal to their brand and customer base. So even though they are flexible and adapt to the times, they stay true to their roots and their brand. For that reason, customers that have shopped with them since day one, can still visit the locations for incense like they did in 2007 at the flea market.
“We tell the truth and we never lie to our customers. When customers come in looking for something, we lay out all the options for them. If we have something that is cheaper, but does the same thing, we always present it as a choice. At the end of the day, we want our customers to come into the shop and have the best experience but also find the best deals,” explains Brandon. “Ultimately if they want the more expensive option or want to splurge for the name brand, that is their decision – but we try to stay very transparent and honest when it comes to what is available,” he continues.
Looking forward to the future, the Up N Smoke team is excited to see how the industry will grow and change. They look forward to continuing to form relationships with their customers and bring new and exciting products into the stores. To learn more about Up N Smoke visit their website www.upnsmokeonline.com, follow them on Instagram (@upnsmokeonline), like their Facebook page (@upnsmokeonline), or subscribe to their YouTube Channel (Up-N-Smoke Syndicate).