By Tony Ottomanelli II
Vaper’s Hobby Shop started out as the name of a Facebook group by founder and administrator Jared Olsen, who would later transform himself into the owner of a successful online vape shop that bears the same name. This is one of the most unique, visionary, and professional online vape shops on the Web today, primarily because Olsen is adapting to the ever-changing landscape of the vaping atmosphere by tailoring his shop to cater to highend vapers like himself.
Olsen is steadily becoming more exclusive with what he is willing to offer in his shop, and has a devoted and loyal customer base to show for it. His clientele spans the globe and reside in places like Japan, Austria, Malaysia, Mexico, Taiwan, the U.K., and of course the U.S.
Regardless, it may be somewhat difficult to locate Olsen’s shop in the saturated marketplace of online vape suppliers, but Vaper’s Hobby Shop has swiftly developed into the exclusive supplier of more than one particular type of specialized atomizer, mod, and other pieces of highend kit.
Whether the average vaper may or may not find high-end vape supplies appealing, it does not necessarily matter, since Jared still offers a number of delicious premium e-juices, sub ohm tanks, coils, RDAs, cotton, mesh, and basic brand name mods, such as, the 40 watt eLeaf iSticks and the iPV D2 from Pioneer4you.
Olsen says that he owes much of his success to the positive relationships he was able to build online prior to launching his shop, and that by and large, “the vaping community is also undoubtedly an online community.”
As stated previously, Olsen founded The Vaper’s Hobby Shop first as a Facebook group, before changing the group’s name to Vape Exclusive (VX), which is now an invitation-only high-end vapers’ common hangout—somewhat comparable to the secret, yet reputable Facebook Group HEMO, which stands for High-end Mods Only.
These are meeting places for the “one-percenters” in the vaping community. “High-end vapers are just vapers who appreciate really nice things. We prefer quality,” Olsen said.
Stating that some of the high-end mods are “really nice things” is certainly an understatement, as some high-end devices range in price from anywhere between $500 to $10,000. Yes, up to ten grand!
To the average vaper, thousands of dollars for a single vaping device, would most likely seem absurd. This is why the high-end vapers among the community make up such a small percentage.
That is not to imply that they are snobs, or stuck-up trust fund babies. They just have the right connections with the world’s best modders, they seek out the best of the best in any product, or are willing to pay big money for a finely handcrafted device manufactured abroad.
Asked about when and why he decided to open his own shop, especially an online shop as opposed to a brick and mortar, Olsen said that he had been searching for a way to quit smoking for years after becoming a father, but it wasn’t until Dec. 20, 2012 that he had his last cigarette. As soon as he began vaping, he told his entire family and all of his friends that “this vaping thing was about to be huge.” Ever since Olsen began vaping, he’s always wanted to open a shop.
Finally, as vaping grew and expanded across the globe, more people began to believe in the store owner’s original claims, which led him to acquire the funding that was necessary to launch his site.
Olsen launched Vaper’s Hobby Shop in July 2015. It took only a couple of seconds after the site went live for his first sale! Vaper’s Hobby Shop is the only retailer in the U.S. for The Juice Traveler, which is a Polish company that manufactures Barracuda Mods. And for any vapers who know of the infamous Nipple RDA, Olsen’s was the only shop in the entire U.S. that had these atomizers available for purchase, which were going for nearly $200 at the time of their release.
In addition to owning Vaper’s Hobby Shop, Olsen also has his own juice line called Fedora Guy, boasting flavors that are all game changers. Gremlin which is a “granola-topped key lime yogurt,” Goblin, which has a flavor consisting of “buttered corn on the cob,” Grump, a “granola-topped peach yogurt,” and Wall Banger, a flavor profile consisting of “walnuts, bananas, graham cracker, and salted caramel.” I was given a chance to try all of these flavors and they are unbelievably original and tasty.
Olsen is someone all members of our vaping community should become more familiar with. Whether Vaper’s Hobby Shop offers high-end products only, or has a decent selection of affordable supplies we’re all familiar with, its owner will always be focused on providing the vape community with flavorful juices, authentic hardware, quality vape supplies, and unbridled professionalism.
Finally, I would definitely suggest looking deeper into high-end vaping. While it may be a pricey endeavor, it is simply just another amazing aspect that factors into our expressive, unified, and unprecedented phenomenon of cultural discovery.
Vaping will never die, because our passion for it is relentless. We are the future, I promise you this!
Tony Ottomanelli graduated with a Master of Arts in sociology from DePaul University. Ottomanelli also taught sociology at Owens Community College. He lives in Denver, Colo., where he pursues opportunities in sociology, writing and, of course, vaping, testing new vaping devices and eliquids. Because the staff focuses on educating customers, Vaporleaf off Colfax in Denver is his favorite go- to shop.