Around the end of 2011, long time smoker Craig Majors, the current owner of Liquid Vapor Lounge in Oklahoma City, picked up his first e-cigarette with the hopes of kicking his habit.
“I had seen e-cigs around, but 2011 is when I finally gave them a shot. They did work for me, but the one I was using was poorly designed. The battery would go out a lot and the atomizer stopped working – it was a lot of maintenance and it quickly got expensive,” explains Craig.
After spending much more than he wanted every week on maintenance alone, the Oklahoma City shop owner started to question if the process was worth it. He knew that vaping was keeping him from smoking and ultimately allowing him to lead a healthier lifestyle, but the unreliable e-cig eventually proved to be too much of a hassle and Craig turned back to cigarettes.
“I thought vaping was a great idea and it was working, it just wasn’t worth the trouble. So I went back to smoking. Shortly thereafter, I went to the doctor for bronchitis and they requested I get my lungs checked out because they thought something else was going on,” said Craig.
Craig then headed to a clinic where the doctors x-rayed his lungs. What they found was startling. The doctors told him that he had air trapping in his lungs, which can be the first sign of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. After a few more referrals and doctor appointments Craig got news that he did not have COPD, but he was still shaken by the close call.
“The same day I found out the news, I headed to see a friend that owned a vape shop in the area and he hooked me up with a quality starter kit. That was the first day I didn’t smoke,” recalls Craig.
Once he kicked his cigarette craving, Craig wanted to share his success with everyone and made the decision to open a vape shop. In April 2013 the Liquid Vapor Lounge officially opened doors and has been successful ever since.
“We aren’t just a standard vape shop. We have a large selection of quality hardware that covers those who are novice vapers and the vape aficionado customers as well. We also have a great line of house e-liquid. We do not mix in house. We wanted to make sure that the e-liquid we carry was first and foremost – safe, and second, we want our line to always be consistent. We get our e-liquid from a company that specializes in house lines and we know that our e-liquid lines will always be safe for our customers,” says Craig.
By working with and building a relationship with an e-liquid supplier he trusts, Craig can insure that every customer that walks in the doors of Liquid Vapor Lounge is receiving safe and reliable products. Creating a brand that customers can expect quality from has been a major factor in his success.
In addition to paying close attention to the products the shop carries, Craig identifies his great location and the shop’s customer service practices as the two other reasons for his success.
“It’s honestly a trifecta of things that have got us to where we are today. We have a great selection of products, a great location, and we offer excellent customer service. Those three things really set us apart from others in the area,” he says.
Customers flock to the Oklahoma City shop because they know they can expect quality and they know they will find honest help and advice. Liquid Vapor Lounge was also one of the first in the area to offer a build station. The staff has a designated space where they can sit down with customers and help them put together exactly what they need. Customers come from all over just to have builds done in the shop.
Customer service for the shop goes beyond when the shop is physically open. Customers can stay up to date with shop news on Facebook and Twitter and get questions answered there as well.
If you are a vapor shop owner and you have fallen on some tough times Craig suggests checking to see if there are better locations for a shop in your area. He has a great location and attributes much of his traffic to that alone. Being visible to potential customers is key factor obtaining new business. But beyond that, customer service should be a priority at all times.
“Customer service is king. Pricing is important, location is important, and what you carry is obviously important – but the way you are going to keep people buzzing about your shop and coming back in is heavily based on how to you treat every person that walks through the doors,” explains Craig.
Craig is also very involved with the Oklahoma Vapor Advocacy League (OVAL) which keeps people up to date and involved with bills and legislation regarding the vapor industry. By taking the initiative to stay up to date with vapor regulations, Liquid Vapor Lounge is immediately set apart from other shops in the area that may not take the time to stay educated with the most current news. Having an owner who cares about his customers and the industry as a whole – not just the bottom line – will pave the way for the Oklahoma City shop to be successful in the years to come.
“I want people to be safe. And I want shop owners to preach safety. We
So what’s in the future for Liquid Vapor Lounge? Cloud and trick competitions with live music and a guaranteed good time is certain. And maybe some expansion. No matter what the future holds, one thing is for sure, Craig and Liquid Vapor Lounge will continue down the path towards success. The shop was built from the desire to help others lead healthier lives and continues to thrive because customers known they are getting much more than just vape products when they walk in to the shop. They get a great relationship with people who love what they do and care about the safety and health of the people they serve. SVBS