It’s a tired old cliché, I know. “Couple leaves behind successful careers in petroleum engineering to open vape shop.” Classic pie-in-the-sky fantasy romanticized by Hollywood for ages. But I get a crazy feeling that we can actually do this, you know?
Just imagine it. The future sprayed before us in black-lit neon graffiti, like our own nicotine-free fairy tale. Us investing a grand total of $1,500 to get the store off the ground. It becoming wildly popular inside of a week. Raising a family, growing old, handing the business down to our children once they’re old enough to be douchebags.
We’ll call the place “Sweet Vape Hut,” or “Country Kitch’n Vap’n,” or “Platinum Vapez.” Something down-home and cozy that’ll really stand out in a strip mall between an H&R Block and a Boston Market.
And we’d stay faithful to the culture of vaping, the pure A-hole pastime we always talked abut it being.
Our store will serve as a tribute to the early vape shoppes of Fall 2014 — before the industry went all commercial. Just a glass case for the mech mods, shelves lined with homemade e-juice, and a suspended 40-inch plasma screen to display hideous marketing messages we’ll design ourselves in PowerPoint.
Sure, it’d be a mild nuisance, building a business from scratch. We’d have to find advanced variable voltage tech to compliment the basic starter kits. We’d need to attract a loyal clientele of cloud chasers, marker-types, and confused meth heads. Plus, we’d have to invent new names for the e-juice hybrids after we run out of popular cereals to add z’s to.
But deep down, I know this is the right path for us. We’re entrepreneurs at heart. And I’m so tired of the rat race. So sick of the petroleum engineer grind, with its hollow six-figure salary and soulless above-average benefits package.
They’ll be vape detractors along the way — there always are. But we won’t listen to the naysayers with their "negative market projections.” Or the trusted financial advisers and their crippling statistics for long-term growth.
Let’s not forget about another starry-eyed couple that defied the odds: Your grandparents, who followed through with a kooky little plan to open and operate Pensacola’s number one pet rock distributor from June 1976 until later that June. Or my old man, who successfully ran the region’s premier Pog emporium for nearly three generations of Space Jam Slammers.
Will this all happen overnight? The more I think about the logistics, yes. We should be able to have everything up and running by tomorrow afternoon.
So why not make an honest to goodness go of it? After all, this is our pipe dream, and I will not watch it go up in dank Cap’n Crunk vapor like so many insanely plausible business ventures before.