Describe your favorite thing about this industry.
My favorite thing about this industry is that we get to create a product that changes people’s lives. It offers them an opportunity to transition from combustible cigarettes that ultimately will kill them, and end in miserable death. We give them something I like to refer to as a healthy alternative, and it will improve the quality of their lives.
Where does the meaning of the name Charlies Chalk Dust come from?
Charlie is a very mysterious figure in the vape community. Nobody really knows who Charlie is. But I can tell you that Charlie is the original solicitor. He is an all American, genuine, honest, well to do guy who puts his efforts into everything he does. He is a man of character, integrity, honesty, and loves to enjoy his life. And Chalk Dust, well, we grew up in Ohio where LeBron James used to put chalk in his hands before every game and throw it up in the air to get the crowd pumped , and to me, it looked like vape.
When you first started mixing flavors, how did you do it, and what were the first flavors that you created?
We first started mixing flavors because we wanted to quit smoking cigarettes, but we would buy e-liquids from vapor shops. I would get sick of the flavors by noon and start smoking cigarettes again. My buddy with a chemistry background told me he knew how to make e-liquids. I said, cool, lets quit smoking. I invested 2,000 dollars on raw materials. We would get home from work and try to make flavors that we
could vape all day long. We did it. We quit smoking cigarettes. Those first flavors were Slam Berry, Dream Cream, Banana Brule and Orange Blossom. The Meringues line was influenced by our trips to Europe and their incredible bakeries. We’d be in Italy or France and fell in love with their lemon meringue pies and really delicate breakfast pastries.
“We get to create a product that changes people’s lives..”
How did you come up with the names of your flavor lines (Pachamama, Meringues, Stumps, Creator of Flavor)?
Every brand that we’ve ever created including Charlie’s Chalk Dust has a story and a meaning behind them. Pachamama stands for Mother Earth. This line was inspired by our trips to Bali, Indonesia where we were picking fresh dragon fruit off the trees, cutting up Jack Fruits, mixing up coconut cream
with our coffee and eating papayas on the beach. I noticed that there was a gap in the e-liquid community with eclectic fruits from South East Asia. At that time it was Strawberry, Kiwi, Watermelon, Blueberry, and all that. But there were no passion fruit-raspberry-yuzus or peach-papaya-coconut creams or strawberryguava-jack and Pachamama being Mother Earth was the perfect name to go with when incorporating some of Mother Earth’s greatest fruits into our products.
We came up with the Stumps line up right after our Grandfather passed away, Don Stump, who is the Cookie Butter flavor. Don’s famous last words to us were “Smile and Be Happy” which we put all over our packaging for that line.
We have been told you have had quite the journey becoming the CEO of one of the world’s biggest e-liquid companies, can you tell us a bit more about this journey and your struggles that have brought you to where you are at today?
I have had quite the journey, not just becoming the CEO of Charlies Chalk Dust but just existing in life in general. I grew up in a great home with a loving family but didn’t really care too much for school and enjoyed partying with my friends way too much. I went to college and ended up failing out because drugs and alcohol started to consume my life. I was addicted. One thing led to the next and I ended up doing heroin on a daily basis. I was in and out of detoxes, rehabs and treatment centers trying to get clean but I couldn’t get the help I
needed. In 2008 I moved out to California to go through a rehab facility for two months, planning to eventually go back to Ohio, but I stayed.
“We meet each day with fierce determination to win because of the lives we have all lived before getting sober.”
Ultimately I made the decision that I was going to have no life or I was going to have a life without drugs and alcohol. After living in my car for two years I finally got sober and was able to work and live without drugs and alcohol. But I still knew many men who needed help, a safe place to restart their lives, and
so I founded the Ohio House, helping guys get clean and sober. Then I wanted to quit smoking, long story short, we made the product, I quit smoking, and I began building Charlie’s Chalk Dust. We started employing people in recovery and trying to become the world’s largest e-liquid brand. But the real part of the question that I like and would like to hone in to is where you are today. I feel like where I am today is a place of success, a place where I have a brand that is well known all over the world and the reason is not because we make great
flavors and not because we have great packaging and design. The reason is because we have an organization that is built on trust and a staff who all have similar stories to mine.
They needed help, they couldn’t get sober and they thought their lives were over. Almost everyone who works here has the same story. So when you
put us all in a room together and say, ok, here is what we are going to do, we are going to stay sober, we are going to build a business and we are going to become the biggest and baddest vapor company in the world making great products, what you get is a group of people that are working for more than just a paycheck. You get a group of people that are working to create something
magical. You get a group of people that work their asses off every single day because they are grateful for the life they have and the opportunity that has been given to them. And without us going through the challenges of getting sober I don’t think we’d be able to get through the challenges we see every day as an organization working in the over-saturated vapor space. We meet each day with fierce determination to win because of the lives we have all lived before getting sober.
Being one of the world’s biggest e-liquid companies you must sell your brand all over the world. Which country outside the U.S do sell the most to and what flavor types do they prefer and why do you think that is?
This is an interesting question, I can’t tell you what country we sell the most to because it is always changing. Certain countries do favor certain flavors but our brand is successful all around the world because it appeals to so many people trying to quit smoking.
What’s a day of operations like at your headquarters?
This is my favorite question on this list. If you came to our office you would see a group of men and women who show up early and stay late busting their asses every single day to achieve greatness. We do not half-ass our days around here. We jam-pack the day full of effort and execution while working together as a team. It is a circus, its loud! We’re selling, we’re marketing, we’re branding and we are creating. This is a creative space built on teamwork and everyone here believes in Charlie’s Chalk Dust.
What are your personal favorite all-day vapes by Charlies?
My all-time favorite vape we’ve ever created is the Honeydew Melon
Pachamama flavor in the salt and sub-ohm salt lines. That is an all-day vape flavor that I will never get sick of. But I am also a huge fan of some of our classics like Wonder Worm and Head Banging Boogie.