Meet Mt Baker Vapor – Michael’s Story
I tried my first cigarette 13 years ago, I was 14. This is an all too familiar story for a lot of us. I didn’t care for it much and didn’t pick up the habit at that time. Fast forward a year, and I was hooked.
On August 23rd, 2012 I lit the last cigarette in my final pack and picked up an extremely over priced ego-c starter kit. The investment was daunting at roughly $120 but turned out to be one of the best purchases I had ever made. $120 isn’t that much money in retrospect, however for a poor college student at the time it’s amazing I could even muster up the funds. Who would have known the journey this exciting piece of technology would bring into my life?
I am one of the lucky ones, the moment I loaded that first bottle of Ry4 into my tank I knew I was done with cigarettes. There was no backsliding for me; I was done. Being a smoker for 10 years was not an option, it was a title I could not afford to receive and I never did.
I soon discovered a huge world of people like me making the switch, /r/electonic_cigarette was a huge resource for me. I spent hours combing through posts and asking questions. Through this resource, I soon found Mt. Baker Vapor who offered much lower prices on juice than I was currently paying, and with the added bonus of being based in the same town I lived in. MBV was a warehouse only at the time. However, I visited them once to address a battery issue I was having (turned out to be user error). This is the day I met James Thompson. James was alone at the warehouse and chatted with me for a few hours about vaping, his story and the business in general. His passion was apparent. I instantly became a loyal MBV customer. It helped that James hand-delivered packages to my front porch the day after I placed my order.
Six months into vaping I had gotten a lot more serious. I was still vaping my MBV juice, but instead of the ego-c I had moved on to a Provari and carto tank. I was browsing Reddit when I saw that MBV was hiring and knew I had to apply. I was offered a job in February of 2013. Things were a lot different back then. It was just me and 8 other guys on staff who did it all: mixing, packing, shipping, deliveries, and customer service.
Mt Baker Vapor was originally just a job to have while getting through college, however the passion for the industry was too contagious to leave. As we expanded, it became more and more apparent that we were a part of something special, and I wanted to be around to see it all pan out. One day while doing customer service I came across an email from Jamison Land that would change my direction in the company. Jamison is Beefcake the Mighty from the popular metal band Gwar. Jamison was inquiring about MBV providing endorsement opportunities. Being a huge fan of the band, I requested that I headed this project. I worked on this project on my off hours and eventually built an endorsement program for MBV featuring bands such as Gwar, Whitechapel, Lamb of God, and Steel Panther. This launched me into my marketing path at MBV where I had the pleasure to work hand in hand with Jamison Land and Nick Ries, who is head of R&D at MBV, to create the line of Gwar Fluids.
These days I still maintain these endorsements but have also moved on to head the marketing department at Mt Baker Vapor. In this department I work with many talented and passionate individuals who truly care for the industry and community just like me. My passion for the industry continues to grow as I approach 2 and a half years detached from being a smoker. It’s amazing to watch the industry grow as a whole, and watch individuals on their own unique path of making the switch. Whether someone is lucky like me and the switch is seamless or they transition gradually it is equally rewarding to see them turn what once seemed like an insurmountable task into one that is truly obtainable.
It’s amazing how in life small moments can have huge impact. I always knew that quitting cigarettes would positively impact my life, but I never imagined it would be to this degree. Quitting cigarettes didn’t just change my health; it shaped my life in many more ways. The amount of friends I have made in the industry is overwhelming. I have a job that is amazingly rewarding, and I am able to do things I would never have thought I would be doing.
I am so excited to watch the industry and community continue to grow as we make this journey together. It’s very rare to find something that unifies so many diverse individuals but if you are reading this you have found it too.
Something to think about:
What unforeseen aspects of your life were changed by making the switch?
Vape on my friends!
Written by Michael Sullivan
Marketing Director at Mt Baker Vapor