My cigar journey started 11 years ago in Las Vegas. I was at a lingerie trade show attending the first time as the owner of my own business - the @lingeriejournal.
It was stressful and I felt stranded. I didn’t know as many people in the industry back then and after the show as everyone huddled together at bars and restaurants I found myself on the outs.
I remember standing on the Las Vegas Strip calling up my girlfriend (now wife) and telling her that I was honestly feeling pretty damn lonely with nothing to do. She said, “Why don’t you try something new?”
As she finished the sentence my eyes locked on the signage for an indoor Sky Diving center. And right next door was a #cigarshop. I thanked her for the advice and said to myself, “Fuck it. Let’s goooo!”
A few minutes later I was suiting up to jump onto a giant three bladed fan (there was a safety grill) and had a TON of fun flying through the air!
My next stop was the cigar shop. I walked in and I remember loving the smell of tobacco in the air. I was honest with the shop owner and let him know that I’ve never smoked a cigar in my life and would love his recommendation.
To this day, I can’t remember what my first cigar was, but I do remember not being to sure about it. I do remember that I didn’t inhale or get sick right away. It was an OK experience and it stuck with me. I tried a few sticks here and there afterwards.
Fast forward two years and as part of my bachelor party, I spent an afternoon with my best friend @mozzmanzoor at the @natsherman townhouse in NYC smoking @arturofuentecigars Short Stories and playing pool in the #humidor. Fucking awesome experience.
After that, I didn't pick up a cigar for awhile. Two years ago I started getting the entrepreneurial itch to try something new. I remember the great experiences - however few - I had with cigars and decided to get back into it.
For a year I mulled around what I wanted to do and I finally settled on selling accessories and incorporating my love of art into one business. And that's how @vicemerchant was born!
And I have to tell you...I'm having a ton of fun doing this!