Before Graham Gibson launched the vape pen maker KandyPens, he was a high-level consultant in the health and beauty industry.
He helped create more than fifty lifestyle brands over the past ten years by spotting service voids in the industry. “I had found my true calling, and I was able to use those same talents in creating KandyPens,” Gibson noted. “We’re the only company in the industry with a 40-percent female demographic.”
Last year was an amazing year for KandyPens. Talk a little bit about that.
Yes, 2015 was very kind to us. We released six new product lines last year. We were featured in five mainstream music videos and were written about in over twenty publications. Two of our products were mentioned in High Times’ Top 25 Vape Pens of 2015 Awards. One of the reasons 2015 was so good to us is because we realized that in order to stand out above the competition, we needed to offer superior products with unique technology—quartz crystal chambers—along with a no-conflict customer service policy. Bending backwards for a customer will always result in the customer coming back and reordering and telling all their friends. The other option is sudden death.
How do you see 2016 shaping up so far?
It will be by far our best year ever. The tipping point has occurred for KandyPens, and we are working as hard as we can to keep up with consumer demand. Having a product that everyone wants is a good problem to have, but it can also be the company’s demise if not scaled properly. The customers don’t have any empathy if you’re out of stock. Many competitors have fallen by the wayside this year already due to poor management of capital or just plain poor management in general. Never get high on your own supply.
You have a very effective marketing strategy: marketing KandyPens through videos and lifestyle events. Do you ultimately see the company as a lifestyle brand?
Our mission has always been to build KandyPens into more of a lifestyle brand instead of purely an electronics manufacturer. We want our customers to live the KandyPens lifestyle. This is why we offer products in all three vape categories: dry, concentrates, and oils and tinctures. We also sell apparel. Social media has helped us immensely in allowing our customers to be part of the company and share their pictures and videos with us. We always share and repost all customer photos.
What’s your best seller?
The Galaxy Pen for concentrates, followed by the K-Vape Micro-DX digital vaporizer. The reason for this is simple: You can’t copy a KandyPen. No other company offers the same style, quality, technology, support, and warranty.
What have been your biggest challenges in building your company?
Right now, our biggest challenge is simple: being able to keep up with product demand. We can’t make them fast enough. This is the only challenge we currently face.
Your artist sponsorship program is intriguing. What has it meant to your brand?
We make products that inspire creativity. We get hundreds of emails a month from artists all over the world who want to share with us their music, art, and photography. Sometimes it’s hard to choose whom to sponsor.
Do you see KandyPens as a cult?
Ha! I’ve never heard KandyPens referred to as a cult before—but I do see repeat orders every day from customers from all over the world. I think when a customer has a good first-time experience with your brand, they feel comfortable ordering every new product you launch. Our company’s motto is “turning customers into loyal brand ambassadors for life.” Your brand is only as good as the customers who use it.
Do you consider yourself a rebel?
No, more of an innovator and forward-thinker. In a crowded marketplace, the only way to stand out from the pack is to push the envelope with marketing, branding, and product innovation. Otherwise, we would be just another vape pen company. Let’s be honest: These products are all used for the same exact thing. Which brand would you associate yourself with? Only you know the answer to that question, but I truly hope it’s KandyPens.
A Day in the Life
6 a.m.: Gibson wakes up and heads to the gym. “This wakes me up and gets me pumped for the busy day ahead,” he said.
8 a.m.: Heads to the office.
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.: “My days consist of non-stop incoming and outgoing calls, fulfilling purchase orders, helping the customer service agents with priority situations, meeting with management, etc.
7 p.m.: “I head home, eat, read, then ‘Netflix and chill.’”
KandyPens projects a 300-percent growth rate in 2016. The company hopes to break the eight-figure mark in revenue.
For Wholesale Orders: KandyPens.com