Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Ugly Sweater Day

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2012

Smokin Js has been in business for 15 years.  We have many traditions and timely specials, but we always try to look for new things to have fun and promote our friendly staff.  Megan 'Tha Cheese Barron' Mac inspired a new traditon recently at Smokin Js.  We have started our annual Ugly Sweater Saturday at Smokin Js.  The fun event went down on Saturday the 22nd this year, and our crew and customers had a great time with the promotion.
 
I want to thank every customer that came in and celebrated Ugly Sweater Saturday with us.  We plan on doing it again next year with new twists and promotions ... stay tuned!

King George and Josh Tug of War with a Monster Bub

Jay with Tmo who went with the Beggar Ugly Sweater

Katie and Jeff were in the spirit of Ugly Sweater Saturday

The Cheese Barron brought a 3D Ugly Sweater


Tmo & Ariel in their Ugly Sweaters

Friday, November 23, 2012

Free Glass Pipe December Give-A-Way

WIN THIS $300 PIPE !!

 
We are doing it again!  We are giving this custom hand blown glass natural perc bubbler away for free to a lucky member of our email list.  This custom $300 piece comes with multiple reversals and a custom matching glass stand.  The overall feel of the piece is like a space ship.
 

All you have to do to win this pipe is be a member of our email list, and open our December 16th email.  It's that simple.  You must be 18 or older to win.

Each month Smokin Js gives away free product to a lucky member of our email list.  Once you open our monthly email you are automatically entered to win our free monthly drawing.  But don't just open our monthly emails, check them out.  Each month we feature things like new products, sales specials, glass blower features, product tutorials, and coupons.  It's easy to sign up.  Just text SMOKIN to 42828 and follow the instructions or enter your email address in the box below.
 
 


Below are some of the prizes given away to the email list in the past year:

 
 
 
 
 
Once a monthly winner is randomly selected we email them.  The winner has 72 hours to reply to that email.  Once the 72 hours are up then we move on to another randomly selected winner, and so-on and so-forth until a winner responds and receives the monthly prize.  We ship all smoking related prizes via adult signature (21 and over).  You must be 18 years of age or older to win.  We will accept photo ID to prove age over 18 years of age to negate adult signature.
 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Washington: Marijuana Legal

Tonight Washington voters made an emphatic vote to legalize marijuana.  With 55% of voters casting their ballot in favor of Initiative Measure #502, Washington has truly become the Evergreen State.

Voters in Colorado also approved a similar measure, joining California as the most progressive states regarding marijuana laws.  However, a lot of questions now enter the public forum:

1.  Federal Law:  Marijuana will still be illegal under federal law.  Sporadic and seemingly random federal busts in California in the past few years have left its citizens wondering where the line in the sand is that puts a marijuana marketer or producer on the federal radar.  The supreme court ruled against the state's right to legislate medical marijuana laws ... Will there be a new court battle over the recent Washington measure?  How will Washington State seek safeguards against federal crackdowns?
2.  Regulated Guidelines:  Although marijuana is now legal, the Washington measure puts in place a regulatory system that attempts to separate cultivation and marketing, or production and retailing.  Licenses would be purchased through the Liquor Control Board as the law is currently written.  Does this agency have the manpower and know-how to regulate this new industry?  The Washington State Liquor Control Board would also be set with the task of rule making and enforcement.  The law does not legalize the growing of marijuana for person consumption.  Will police now be directed to seek and arrest illegal personal grows, or does the new system allow for people to pay for the license to grow without the intent to sell to a licensed retailer?
3.  New DUI limits:  The Washington measure creates a new blood test guideline that confirms marijuana intoxication.  Many medical marijuana patients believe this limit is far too low.  Who will be the deciding legislative authority on the marijuana DUI level, and will it be studied and debated?
4.  Cost:  The new Washington measure seeks to separate the production and retailing of marijuana with a 25% tax at each step along the chain from production to purchase.  Will the new price of legal marijuana be able to compete with grey/black market marijuana?
5.  Law Enforcement:  The new law is expected to save law enforcement time and money by freeing them from enforcing petty marijuana crimes.  This premise is met in stark contrast from the very fact that the new law will only be successful if law enforcement is involved in helping with regulation.  The new Washington State measure alleviates one enforcement task, but it creates another.

In the end this is a historic vote for Washington State.  On December 6th, it will be legal for citizens to possess an ounce of marijuana.  Nobody can take that away from the citizens of the Evergreen State.  However, now begins a year long process where the state will try to adjust and finalize the rules behind the marketplace it is trying to create and regulate.  Many people thought the new measure was horribly written and wrong-headed, but it is now law.  There will be many twists and turns ahead, much like a well rolled joint. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Featured Blower: Lucas Paulazzo "Family Glass"


I believe in the karma of a glass pipe.  At Smokin Js we try to find quality people, not just quality glass.  We think it's important for our customers to know that the glass pipes they purchase from us come from a good place, made by good people, crafted with good intentions.  We don't buy products off any artisan traveller passing through the area.  We take time selecting our glass blowers and make sure to build a solid relationship with them.  This process shows through in the quality and consistency of Smokin Js glass pipes.

Our featured blower this winter is Lucas Paulazzo.  All of Smokin Js Paulazzo Pieces are on sale until the end of the year.  He has been working with borosilicate glass since 1998.  Lucas is one of the most 'chill' characters I work with.  I looked up the term "down to earth" in a slang dictionary the other day, and sure enough Lucas' picture was associated with the definition.  The most endearing characteristic of Lucas Paulazzo is his dedication to his family.  He is based in the mountains of Southern Oregon with his beautiful wife, two children, and a new-born baby on the way.  Lucas counts bee keeping and organic farming as his main hobbies away from the torch.  All year long the Paulazzo family tends to their orchard, garden, and bees.  When the zombie apocalypse comes, the Paulazzo family will be among the survivors.
 
Lucas has another passion that "drives" him perhaps more than glass blowing or cultivating his family's food .... He is a hardcore Volkswagen enthusiast.  He was bitten by the "bug" at the age of sixteen, and he hasn't been able to recover since.  He finds a Volkswagen to be the perfect mode of transportation deep into the woods to go camping, making the trek up the mountain to go skiing, and hitting the river banks for a swim.
 
Glass blowing ... down to earth ... organic farming ... chill dude ... bee keeping ... Fahrvergn├╝gen ... I think we might be in business with a modern day hippie!

As laid back as Lucas may be away from the torch, he takes a far more aggressive stance on the torch.  He studied scientific glass blowing at Salem Community College under Joseph Luisi.  Over the years he has developed many styles, but instead of making every kind of pipe, he develops unique and innovative products and sticks with them.  Even though Lucas has reached a HIGH level of glass blowing, he has not let it go to his head with inflated prices.  Some of Lucas' pipes are Smokin Js most popular products because the pieces are innovative and technically sound, but yet have a respectable and value conscious price.  With that being said however, Lucas has been ramping up his skills for some serious head pieces.  He has started a series of natural dome percolating stand-up water pipes that blend all of his creative talents and years of experience.  Smokin Js is fortunate enough to be able to offer the first piece in the series as the grand prize for our New Year's drawing (pictured bottom).  More details to come.
 
"I appreciate those that take pleasure in my creations.  I am thankful I can keep turning the glass."  Lucas Paulazzo.
 
Hand Blown Glass Bubbler Full Dichroic Reversal by Lucas Paulazzo
Amazing full dichroic multi piece reversal bubbler. 
 
Hand Blown Glass Dedicated Oil Bubbler by Lucas Paulazzo
Innovative dome percolating dedicated oil bubbler.
 
Hand Blown Glass Sherlock Pipe with Dicroic Reveral in White by Lucas Paulazzo
Fantastic white/dichroic reversal beaded sherlock pipe.
 
Inside-Out Hand Blown Glass Shark Pipe with magnifiers by Lucas Paulazzo
Ultra thick beaded and inside out fumed shark pipe.
 
The big one!  New Year's drawing grand prize.  Sick.
 
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Raw Display Contest & Free Prize

Did you know that Smokin Js gives away a free prize every month to a member of our email list?  We draw a random person from a list of subscribers that open our monthly email.  Totally free, no strings attached!

This month we have an ulterior motive behind the free prize.  Herbal Bar Industries is the manufacturer of Raw rolling papers.  We have proudly purchased from HBI for over 13 years.  HBI created an annual contest for the retail store with the best Raw display.  This is the first year that Smokin Js has participated, and we are very proud of our entry.  The entire Vancouver Smokin Js crew had a part in our display:  Jeff, Tmo, Lucy, and Katie.

The free email list prize this month is a Raw rolling tray, a Raw Rolling mat, a 300 pack of Raw organic rolling papers, a pack of Raw cones, a Raw large t-shirt, and a Smokin Js doob tube.

Below are a few of the photographs Smokin Js submitted to the Rawthentic Raw rolling paper display contest.  Wish us luck and we will keep you posted ;)

This is the full shot of the Smokin Js Raw display

Elks smoke too don't yah know

We found Sasquatch snowboarding on Mt St Helens

Raw train coming through Smokin Js town

 Please take advantage of our free monthly give-a-way and join our mailing list.  You will get a monthly email featuring everything from new products to blog articles.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

2012 High Times Medical Cannabis Cup

What's so cool that its ready for the history books after only one year?
Seattle's very own HIGH TIMES Medical Cannabis Cup!  This epic event left nothing to the wayside. This cannabis cup is what it's all about. It's the true pinnacle of medical marijauna and where the future will take us with newer technologies and a standard of pure quality that says "this isn't some stoner hippy shit..." It's not pot at this cup. It's legitimate medication and it was in every kind and medium you could imagine. 
Hi, my name is Tmo. I have been a medical patient for a hand full of years.  I live with a
neuroligical disease that leaves me in great medical need. So if the meds aren't phenominal, they aren't very effective. That being said, even Reggie is better than a pill.
 
High Times kicked off the Medical Cannabis Cup with a party for all VIP ticket holders, AKA .. ME!  Thank you Smokin Js!! It was a Friday night concert that started late evening and went through the night. There were a great variety of musical guests, and all were enjoyable.  Conspirator headlined the evening and blew the doors off.  Since the "official ceremonies" haden't started yet, a wide variety of personal stashes being blown to the medicinal Gods made the "atmosphere" just right. Any smoker, medical or not, this was just the best way to break ice and get into the idea of what was to come throughout the weekend. Dorothy, it was obvious we weren't in Kansas.  This was a Cannabis Cup Evergreen Sate style!  On the monitors (where sports usually play) were all the Medical Cannabis Cup entries, in high definition photos of buds, concentrates, medibles, and more. Eye candy everywhere.
 
Does it look smoky?  HT Med Can Cup 2012 Kick Off Concert
 
From Saturday on, there were true pro's that gave seminars on extraction, bringing the typical home body grower, up to dispensary quality and reducing vital waste loss. Trash to stash.  There was glass blowing, new products, and activism seminars. Everywhere you could see "the movement" happening. Dread locks and white collars doing the same thing. Together even! The weekend's activities were very well organized, clean, and professional. I haven't been to a HIGH TIMES event before, but I was a VIP for this one.  VIPs with current medical papers were treated like Gods! Tshirts, gift bags, easy access to everything, no security hang ups. They rolled the carpet out.
 
Have you ever wondered, who judges what, who's the lucky people that get to say "this is better than that other one", the judging, taste testing and use of new products? That was me! And every other VIP! So yes it was very hard work for me to try everything and get my votes in. Am I bragging right now? Hell yes! I said it was epic. No lie. So it's not one person's vote on winners of the competitions. It's us, the people, and we are heard.
 
I hope I get to go next year too, but I have to thank Smokin Js for sending me to this event. It lets us see what's out there and who's out there on a much more personal level than just business as usual. We want you to know and see us in the forefront of what's new and best in quality. Not only that, but I just had a ton of fun.
    
 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We hit the triple nickel. Thank you for 15 years!

Smokin Js is 15 years old!!  I (Jay Fratt) established my company in August of 1997.  I wanted to take the time to write a blog article thanking all of you for the support and inspiration throughout the years.


Est. 1997
Established 1997

After 15 Years
After 15 Years

I have met some amazing people over the years.  From customers to vendors, and competitors to employees, my business has brought innovative, interesting, unique, and brilliant people to my door.  I started my business to be more than a headshop or a glass shop.  I wanted to innovate a new retail concept that had unique gifts and products for every member of the family.  Currently my store concept contains over 2000 products (even online;).  At Smokin Js we strive to bring you a HIGHer level of service, and a HIGHer level of quality.  I incorporate valuable customer feedback with years of experience.  If it wasn't for you, Smokin Js wouldn't exist.  Keep coming, and I promise to keep working hard to serve you.

In celebration of our 15 year anniversary we are offering some of our most popular products at 15% off in August.  The sale products are in the "special offers" section of our web site, and available at our physical retail locations.


The most common question people ask me is how I got started in business?
I was 23, and unhappy working as a program engineer at a local plastic manufacturing plant in Vancouver, Wa.  My first business that I owned and operated on the side, The Informed Investor, a stock market investment newsletter was struggling, but I knew working for myself was the way I wanted to go.  I often say that starting your own business as your primary source of income is like jumping off a cliff, and you have to find out if you have a parachute.  I gave my two weeks notice at the plastic plant and started preparing Northwest HEMP Bizarre, a hemp clothing retail store.  Yes, 23 year olds think spelling words wrong is cheeky;)
I had no experience with retailing, but I knew how to listen.  Four out of five customers would come into my store and look around, ask if I sold pipes, and leave.  After six months of business, I could not afford the gas to heat my rental home.  The writing was on the wall, I needed to change gears and offer a product that wasn't readily available at that time.  Vancouver Pipe & Tobacco was born, the oldest alternative pipe & tobacco store in Southwest Washington.  Oldest at birth because there were no alternative pipe & tobacco stores in Southwest Washington at that time.  Immediately my business met pressures from the police who tried to shut my business down siting local laws on the sale of paraphernalia.  I vigorously defended my business model, business practices, products, and myself to the mayor of Vancouver and the commander of the local police force.  Every business owner and market pioneer faces adversity and moments of trepidation, I was no different.  People often wonder why we are so conservative with the way we sell our products at Smokin Js.  These beginnings showed me that you can stand firm against political pressure if you are responsible and do things the right way.  We follow all the strictest laws in the sale of our alternative pipes and products so that we can ensure our survival no matter which way the political winds blow.  This business practice can clearly be seen today with our web store, where we only ship alternative pipes and products via adult signature (21 years of age).  We have no desire to sell alternative pipes and products to minors, and we prove it every day, month, and year with our business practices and policies.

Another question I am often asked is what my favorite piece is?
That's easy.  I love my original Jah Creations hand blown glass water pipe purchased in 1997.  Just like Smokin Js, my piece has been owned and operated by me for 15 years!
  This pipe and I are becoming antiques in the glass industry;)

Thank you thank you thank you.  I love my customers!

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Dragon Shooter Steamroller

In my 14 years experience there has been one hand blown glass pipe that has epitomized my goals as a retailer: innovation, quality, and price. The Dragon Shooter Steamroller is an invention, an affordable heady, and one kick ass steamroller all in one functional hand blown glass pipe. Smokin Js has been selling the dragon shooter steamroller for over 10 years!

This Dragon Steamroller has Shooter in the name for a reason.  Our pipe has a secondary carb hole!  On the side of each Dragon Shooter Steamroller is a tiny carb hole specifically engineered and designed to cool the smoke and shoot it into your lungs.  Think about a regular pipe that fills with smoke until you release the carb and then the smoke goes into your lungs.  Our "Choker Hole" on the Dragon Shooter allows a little bit of air into the cylinder while you are smoking that shoots the smoke into your lungs.  This tiny stream of air also helps cool the smoke before it gets to you.

The Choker Hole adds a cool secondary effect to the smoking experience.  When smoking with the Dragon Shooter Steamroller you can plug and unplug the secondary carb to create cool smoke effects inside the shooter.  We have been able to create smoke swirls, waves, rings, and other effects.


Check out this video of Jeff showing off the Dragon Shooter Steamrollers by Gus Glass Studios

This super cool pipe could fetch outrageous prices, but not when you are buying from Smokin Js!  We have two glass blowers that make our dragon steamrollers:  Gus Glass Studios and Garrett Cooksey.  Garrett makes our smaller mini version that comes with the very affordable price tag of $44.99.  For a pocket Dragon Shooter Steamroller, that is a great price.  He also makes a large bubbler for ONLY $129.99.  Gus Glass Studios makes several different sizes and models starting at $59.99.  Our most popular Dragon Shooter Steamroller is the Gus Glass Studios Double Dragon which is made from beefy tubing and has two dragon heads.

We have segregated our Dragon Shooter Steamrollers in our Special Offers section on the Smokin Js web site.  When ordering you can always request colors in the comments box at checkout.  We will always email or text the current pictures of models available to ship immediately.  Your satisfaction is the most important thing to us.  Customers are always blown away by our customer service.  Give us a try and find out why :)




Sunday, April 29, 2012

Featured Artist - Scott Sherrell

Smokin Js has been in business for 14 years.  In that time I have always tried to feature and promote local artists that not only offer quality products, but also are quality individuals.  I believe very much in the karma of a hand blown glass pipe.  I think that customers want the very best glass from the very best people.  At Smokin Js we don't buy hand blown glass pipes off anybody who passes through town.  I try to develope relationships with the artists to make sure we get a consistent quality product, and the artist receives ample compensation for their work.  My goal is to offer HIGH quality hand blown glass pipes at a LOW price; all made and sold by HIGH quality individuals.  By making this extra effort and having higher standards our customers can be assured when they hold their new pipe in their hands they know it comes from a good place.


We are going to start a new feature at Smokin Js.  Periodically we are going to feature one of our glass blowers and share more information about them.  Each featured artist will have a special section in our stores, a blog article written about them, and their products featured on SmokinJs.com.


Scott Sherrell at his Studio in Portland, Or
Scott Sherrell
Scott Sherrell has been blowing glass for fifteen years, fourteen of which for Smokin Js.   He is based in Portland, Oregon.  He lives with his girlfriend Christina, who is an important part of his business and life. 
Scott grew up in SW Portland.  As a youth he developed a love for motocross.  He credits his interest and love of motocross for helping him avoid the bad elements that SE Portland is known for.  Scott rode competitive motocross for 25 years, starting when he was 15 years old.  Scott didn't just ride, he became a part of the motocross community in the Northwest.  For eleven years he volunteered and worked at the Washougal Motocross Park.

Scott managed an automotive wrecking yard when he was bitten by the glass blowing bug.  He was interested in art glass and the beauty of glass figurines.  Scott's interest in glass blowing took him to a blower that made pipes, and his form of artistry was born.  For a year Scott would work during the day and blow glass at nights.  It was after this year he decided to take the leap of faith and make lampwork a full time occupation.

Today Scott enjoys the freedom of owning his own business.  He and Christina are a family operation.  He likes to blow glass when he is in a good mood, with good music, and a good atmosphere.  "The pieces I create are a part of my life," said Scott.  He may not make the fanciest and most expensive pieces, but each one of Scott's glass pieces is a testament to his skill at creating affordable color changing glass pipes with character and goodness at heart.  Smokin Js is the only place where you will find Scott's glass.  He is excited about some new white glass tubing he just received, and we should have some brand new Scott Sherrell creations soon.  You can find him on Facebook.

Scott Sherrell produces the best fume and raked pipes available.  I have been astonished throughout the years at the consistency and beauty of his pipes.  Each one always has a perfect bowl and carb hole.  His fume work is amazing in that the quality and consistency of the fume remains the same from one pipe to another.  I don't think there is another store out there that can claim their cheapest glass pipe is made by an artist of fifteen years, but at Smokin Js our $9.99 simple silver fumed pipe is made by Scott.  His dry hammer, side-car, and sherlock pipes are some of my favorites.  Each pipe he creates has amazing color changing qualities.  He uses a special technique where he encases his wrap and rake work with a layer of clear.  This technique gives each pipe increased durability and amazing clarity.  You can truly see his experience and skill in each pipe he makes. 

Two great examples of Scott's Raked and Fumed Beaded Pipe.  Both are amazing color changers.

Amazing consistency.  Scott's pipes are a picture of perfection and yet unique to themselves.
Pictured here is Scott's Side Car Hand Pipe.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

4/20 Grand Prize Winner

King George

WHAT'S UP!?!

There was a time... When I first started at Smokin Js, it was like Christmas every day that I came to work! After learning several of the methods and styles of glass blowing, eventually like all good things you have in abundance the magical "newness" began to wear off. HOWEVER....There's Never a dull moment Here @ SMOKIN J'S!!

Twice a year we get to do our BI-ANUAL CUSTOMER APPRECIATION RAFFLE!!! Something we like to do here @ Smokin Js to say THANK YOU to all our happy Customers!! There's nothing more gratifying than when the happy Raffle winner comes back in and tells me about the trials and tribulations I had to endure to get them to actually buy a Ticket! lolol 

I had the GREAT PLEASURE of handing out the Grand Prize to the recent 4/20 winner, who was one of the dudes that I wrangled into playing!! For some weird reason, he was glowing like a bank of stadium lights!!!

Never a dull moment here @ Smokin Js!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

4/20 Drawing Details

It's that time of the year again.  Smokin Js does two raffles per year, once at 4/20 and New Years.  We are very excited about our grand prize for the 4/20 raffle.  It is a Blaze1 Heady custom water pipe.  The water pipe has layer upon layer of custom work blown into every square inch of it.  The piece includes a matching heady bowl, a sweet custom matching drum magnification bead, and an attached nug jug.  These custom pieces are hard to come by.  We charge $1,199.99 for your own custom piece, and there is a 4 month wait time for delivery.  Those facts alone make this grand prize a one-of-a-kind opportunity.



BUT WAIT !!!  THERE'S MORE !!!

We are giving away $2,500 worth of product in the raffle.  There are 9 consolation prizes, and we will be giving away door prizes all day at each store on 4/20.  Here are pictures of some of the consolation prizes.

Vapor Blunt Vaporizer.  Brand new on the market - $269.99
One of the best and coolest new portable vaporizers.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

One of the most popular High Times covers ever.
Framed in a nice 24 x 18" Silver Frame.

Giant Kaos poster featuring their water pipe with
Cheech & Chong on the cover of High Times.
36" x 24" Black Frame

Red plasma light up Cyclones wall clock.

There will be many more consolation prizes including t-shirts, hand blown glass pipes, a subscription to Skunk Magazine, and complete roll-your-own sets.  Also, all prizes will come with extra goodies and Smokin Js brand products.

There will be $2,500 in prizes given away.  Tickets are $1.  Tickets are only available at our physical retail stores in Centralia, Longview, and Vancouver.  Must be 18 to enter.  Do not have to be present to win.  Only 1 prize per customer.  Drawing will be held at our Centralia store at 4:20 on 4/20 2012.  Door prizes will be given away at all three Smokin Js locations on 4/20.  Good luck.