Meet Our CEO - Cory Smith
Representative of a generation of smokers looking for a better alternative to satiate their old smoking habit, Cory Smith Co-Owner & CEO of VOLCANO Fine Electronic Cigarettes revolutionized Hawaii’s smoking crowd when he and his business partner Josh Burnett brought ecigarettes into the limelight here in Hawaii.
We sat down with our CEO to talk about his inspiration behind the creation of VOLCANO, the company’s plans for the future, and even find out what his favorite eliquid is to vape.
When you first created VOLCANO, what was your main goal?
When my partner and I created VOLCANO eCigs, we really wanted to change the world. We knew our product was a revolutionary product that had the power to change so many people's lives. We were desperately trying to find our own way in the world and we were convinced that our product was going to create a paradigm shift in the tobacco and (at the time) fledgling vaping category; which it ultimately did. VOLCANO truly gave us the ability to be the masters of our own destiny now and has helped us make our own mark on the world. After all, isn't that everyone's goal in life?
Before VOLCANO eCigs existed, were you a Vaper?
I was not believe it or not. We were one of the first companies to really break into the vaping industry and before we brought the product into Hawaii, it was almost impossible to find. It wasn't until my partner Josh and I started looking into the product that I really got interested in it and ultimately made the switch. Before that, I was a committed smoker and had been so for over 13 years.
How does it feel to have helped thousands of people make the switch with your products?
Well I wont beat around the bush here...It feels great. Most of my family and friends we're committed smokers who just couldn't give up the habit and really had no prospects of doing anything about it. Like me, they actually hated smoking and were thrilled at the new experience vaping brought. Most if not all of my family and friends have switched to vaping and several of them have quit smoking/vaping altogether which has been rewarding beyond measure.
What has been your most rewarding memory thus far?
The most rewarding memory for me was the first time I ever saw someone walking down the street using my product. For a good year after the company started, we really hadn't made much headway into the local market here in Hawaii and we're really experiencing most of our success through sales to the mainland. We were just starting to generate sales and momentum locally but didn't really see an explosion of sales until late 2010. I was out for a night on the town in Waikiki on a Friday night around May 2010 and I saw a group of military men walking in our direction puffing on a MAGMA. I stopped them in the middle of the street to ask them what they thought of the product and they went off saying how it was the best thing ever and that it changed their lives etc...It was a moment I'll never forget and was the first time I had ever seen someone else who I did not know using a product that I helped design, package and bring to market. It was truly rewarding.
Did you ever think that VOLCANO eCigs would have been such a huge name in the entire eCig Industry?
To be dead honest, yes. I knew we were going to make a big impact in the industry well before we ever made it to market. We had a very clear vision of what we wanted to do and how to accomplish our goals and we were extremely motivated. I personally experienced one of the greatest moments of clarity I've ever experienced when we made the decision to move forward with our vision for VOLCANO and it's something I continue to aspire to when faced with the thousands of decisions I have to make in any given week. I truly believe that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything in life, you just have to be motivated, driven to succeed, and willing to take some chances.
How many bottles of eliquid do you have in your personal collection?
This is a funny question that may make a lot of people very envious. As you know, I'm a very dedicated vaper and being the owner of VOLCANO, I do a lot of market research, product testing, sample testing, beta testing, product development etc. Right now I would say that I have well over a thousand bottles of eliquid at my disposal that I can tap whenever I'm feeling vapey. But believe it or not, I really tend to stick to about 10 of my favorites flavors. There are some in my arsenal that just can't be beat.
What is your all time favorite eliquid flavor?
Hmmm...this is a difficult question and one I always struggle to answer even though I've been asked this question atleast a hundred times because there are just so many to choose from. I'll start by saying that I'm a really big fan of fruit & candy flavors and I tend to make my own custom mixes usually involving flavors such as Shaka Strawberry, Grape Escape, Halawa Guava, and Bonzai Banana. If I had to choose just one flavor, it would be Shaka Strawberry because it can be mixed with so many other flavors and it blends really well. If I want to forgo a mix and just vape one flavor though, that go-to flavor would be Halawa Guava for sure.
What’s your daily inspiration as the CEO of a company known worldwide?
My daily inspiration comes from our customers and the vaping community in general. The vaping industry has grown exponentially over the last 3 years and I'm so excited to see so many people embracing the technology. When we first started this company a lot of people scoffed at the idea and thought for sure it would just be a fad and that it wouldn't become this great big thing. However, the vaping community continues to grow today with more and more people making the switch, more companies entering the space and competing with innovative products, and more vaping advocates fighting for our rights to even exist....It's just such a fun thing to be a part of and so inspiring. The community has become so tight-knit and is full of colorful individuals with a great sense of pride and knowing that I in someway contributed to this is inspiring and humbling in the same token.
From your point of view, what has been your biggest achievement?
I think our biggest achievement has been helping to bring vaping to the mainstream. In the first two years of our existence, vaping was really considered this underground thing that didn't really have any chance of becoming popular or lasting for as long as it has. We've been an integral part of mainstreaming vaping here locally and part of the bigger picture nationally and we hope to continue to be a force for years to come.