Our 4th anniversary Website Update
We’re busting at the seams with good news in the office today.
In fact, if you’re reading this right now, you’ve probably already experienced our most exciting update since our launch back in 2010...That’s right, we’ve had a facelift!
TobaccoPipes.com is turning four, just in time for The 4th of July!
We’re celebrating our own independence as well as our country’s this week. And we’re doing it with the launch of pipe tobacco, a site face lift, a more modern shipping policy and a bigger investment in the tobacco pipe smoking community at large….
Oh, and a giveaway. What fun is an anniversary without presents right?!
Then and now
TobaccoPipes.com began, in 2010, as Tobacco Pipe Store. In the beginning we were just one guy and one line of pipes.
Our founder, Ben, sold Dr. Grabow pipes from a couple of beat up shelves in his living room. Ben’s never shied away from sharing his initial doe-eyed ignorance about the culture he was being introduced to. Ben says,
“One day my buddy and I were sitting around trying to figure out what to do next and we thought it would be cool to sell tobacco pipes. I never expected to fall so hard for the hobby myself.”
What started as a 20-something shipping off a few pipes from his home-base has grown, over four whirlwind years, to become one of the largest tobacco pipe retailers on the internet. Ben and his buddy-turned-business partner, Terry, have moved from Ben’s living room to a retail location in the heart of Spring Hill, Florida (just north of Tampa). Today TobaccoPipes.com is run with the help of two photographers, a writer and social media nut (yup, that’s me) and an operations support person.
Oh, and we’ve grown from just one brand and a few shelves to over 35 brands and more than 5,000 tobacco pipes and accessories in stock at our retail location.
Listening to what you want
Over the last four years we’ve not only grown by leaps and bounds, we’ve become passionate members of this unique community.
We’ve listened to your stories and shared your grief over damaged pipes. From new and passionate collectors like Mark Krupilski we’ve learned about what draws go-getters and innovators to the seemingly “old-school” world of tobacco pipes.
We’ve taken the advice of veterans like Charlie Dunn and tried to remember that this is something meant to be “for fun” and taking ourselves too seriously is to be guarded against at all costs.
Most often, we’ve listened to the thousands of customers, in over 40 countries who tell us every day what they want. And in celebration of our fourth anniversary, we’re giving it to you in a number of big ways...
Upgraded, modern website
We know you’re busy and many of you want to shop from your phone or tablet. We know what you really want is to hold that new smoking pipe in your hands before you buy it. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the luxury of a tobacco pipe store in our hometowns and even when we do, they often carry only a small inventory. We’ve always worked, with our 360 degree views, to give you the next-best-thing to holding the pipe in your hands before purchase. Now, we’re offering that experience with a cleaner, more responsive and mobile-friendly site.
Free domestic shipping
The growth and good times we’ve experienced is only possible because of the loyalty and advocacy of our customers. To say thank you, we want to pass a little savings back to the community. To do that, standard shipping will now be free, regardless of the dollar amount, within the Continental United States.
For a Florida-based company, selling pipe tobacco isn’t easy. But we’ve heard you, year after year, asking for it.
We know you want the simplicity of buying your new pipe, tobacco and accessories all in the same place. After a year-long process to make sure we’re meeting regulatory requirements, we’re pleased to announce that pipe tobacco will now be available from Castello, Cornell & Diehl, G.L. Pease and Two Friends, with more varieties coming soon.
Supporting small makers
This community of tobacco pipe collectors, smokers and producers has been good to us and we want to give something back.
Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been actively seeking out small and unique artists and carvers to work with. When you buy from one of our first two artists, Jason from Kill Shot Tampers and Rik from RuffWorksUSA, you’re not only buying a gorgeous and unique piece of art, you’re supporting a small craftsman building a life-long dream--one tamper at a time.
4th of July Contest
To celebrate America’s Independence--a gift which allows us to live this dream every day--we want to showcase the faces of our friends and customers. After all, it’s only with your help--through every purchase, referral and share--that we are here today.
We’ve said previously that we think smoking a cob is about the most American thing we can think of. We even ran a sale to help make sure you had one in hand in time for your 4th of July celebration. Now, we’re asking you to celebrate with us.
Three steps to enter:
- Post a photo of yourself smoking your favorite pipe on Instagram on Friday, July 4th, 2014.
- Tag @TobaccoPipes in the photo and tell us how you’re celebrating America’s Independence Day.
- Add the hashtag #SmokeAPipe to your post and that’s it!
Winners will be chosen at random, using RandomNumber Generator, on Saturday, July 5.
Thank you to all of our customers, friends and fellow pipe smokers who have made the past four years so rewarding.
Thank you to all those up-start revolutionaries who gave us an America where we could pursue this crazy dream of ours.
We hope you enjoy the new site and continue to welcome your stories and comments below.
- Introducing Silver Gray Pipes: An artist and her process [Interview]
- Pipe Collector Daniel Billings: His favorite awesome smokes
- Making Peterson Pipes in 10 Steps (+ awesome history from Mark Irwin)
- Tobacco Pipe Collector Eric Chilton's shares his fascinating story
- Artisan Pipe Maker Steve Morrisette talks ugly truths + gorgeous briar