You’ve seen these gadgets all over Austin. They almost look like Dr. Who’s Sonic Screwdriver, only people are puffing on them and releasing a cloud of scented vapor, right? Well they’re called vaporizers (poorly referred to as e-cigarettes). And though they can’t pick locks, perform medical scans or track alien life, they are most certainly all the rage.
Whether you’re just curious about vaping or you’re a seasoned vaper, you’ll be glad to know that Austin is now home to one of the premier vapor shops in the entire country: All About Vapor.
Maybe you aren’t the curious type, just skeptical. You might think this is a fad, that vaporizers will go the way of the pogo stick. If that’s you, read the next section.
If you aren’t the skeptical type, and just want to learn more about All About Vapor, skip on down to the section called “All About Vapor: Simple Beginnings.”
Myth: Vaping is Just a Fad
Scores of celebrities have been spotted vaping: Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Robert Patterson, Kate Moss, Ryan Seacrest and Tom Petty, just to name a few. Still more celebrities have taken it a bit further. Charlie Sheen has created his own line of vaporizers (e-cigs) called “Nicosheen,” billed as the “Winning E-Cigarette” (go figure). Bruno Mars has invested in an vaporizer (e-cigarette) company called NJOY, and Katherine Heigl shared a vaporizer with David Letterman on the Late Show.
According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2011 about 21 percent of adults who smoke traditional cigarettes had used electronic cigarettes, up from 10 percent in 2010. In addition, from 2010 to 2011, the total number of adults in the U.S. who had tried vaping had doubled.
The USA is not the only country where vaping has become a phenomenon. The UK has been vaping for quite sometime. Greece, Italy and the Philippines are also showing incredible growth in the amount of vapers within their borders.
It is now estimated that over 10 million people worldwide are vaping. The already staggering numbers are increasing at an exponential rate. Some experts are saying that in 10 years the amount of vapers will exceed the amount of smokers worldwide.
All About Vapor: Simple Beginnings
Courtney Mendoza, owner of All About Vapor, says that the inspiration for the shop was her “Nana,” who had been smoking for 52 years and switched from smoking to vaping after being introduced to an eGo vaporizer. Nana “made” Courtney try one as well (you know how influential our elders can be).
Courtney was hooked and the rest – as they say – is history.
In the early days, Courtney’s passion was creating flavors. She had a knack for it and quickly established herself in the fledgling Austin vaping community because of the quality of the flavors she concocted and the ingredients that she used.
It was a simple time, Courtney experimenting with e-liquid while her four year old daughter played on the floor beside her. “When we first started out, it was just my daughter, my mother and me. It seemed like every customer was our best friend, and I really liked that feeling.”
Courtney’s mother Teri Stegall is a sharp woman. She saw the vast potential in what was happening, as orders for e-liquid continued to roll in. Encouraging her daughter, Teri came up with the idea to create a true business.
On May 7, 2011, Courtney and her mother Teri started what would become All About Vapor in a tiny hole in the wall in the Round Rock area. Teri recalls, “It was about the size of a small closet.” In my interview with the two ladies, they recalled with smiles that they would have both been happy if the business could just pay for itself.
Well, it did much more than that.
As with any business venture, the law of supply and demand was at work. The demand for Courtney’s flavors quickly outpaced her ability to supply them, and an expansion for the shop became a necessity. Almost five months after opening, on November 1, 2011, the current Round Rock All About Vapor store was opened. Two months after that, on January 1st, they had to knock out a wall to expand the operation.
And the demand continued to increase. It wasn’t long before the company outgrew the Round Rock store and saw the need to expand again. Taking a leap of faith, the two ladies expanded their operation to Austin.
All About Vapor Expands to Austin
In light of the expanding market and the demand for their products, Courtney and Teri wanted a bigger shop. They wanted one with ample parking, and Courtney wanted a place where people could not only get supplies, but actually hang out in a relaxed environment.
Keeping these things in mind, the ladies made the decision that Austin would be home to their next location. The Austin shop turned out to be exactly what they were envisioning.
It’s a spacious location with plenty of parking, comfortable chairs, a lounge for adults only with it’s own juice bar and more.
I’ve even heard that free wi-fi is on the way, though I haven’t been able to confirm it.
More expansion plans are on the way. Courtney hinted at possibly another location further south in the Brodie Lane area and yet another one north of Georgetown, though she was fairly tight-lipped about it. However, she does insist that her next step after the Austin store takes root is to move the existing Round Rock store into a larger location.
Why All About Vapor Is Austin’s Best Vaporizer Shop
As a vaper myself, I’ve been to quite a few local vapor shops. I’ve yet to find anything that compares to what I’ve seen at All About Vapor. Don’t just take it from me. As of this writing, the Austin All About Vapor shop has 41 reviews on Yelp, averaging 4.5 stars out of 5.
Here is what I’ve personally experienced:
- Staff: The customer service has been excellent, the management team superb, and the employees knowledgeable and respectful. Shout out to Lee Compeau, Courtney’s very first customer and now General Manager of the Austin All About Vapor shop. Also a shout out to Shawn Pettit, another early customer and now store manager who has an online web show through vapetv.com. Both Shawn and Lee know their stuff. Any questions, pin one of those guys down.
- Vaporizers: All About Vapor only carries the best equipment. If there is a problem, let the manager know. They’ll go out of their way to take care of you and make it right. Oh, and if you’re new, they have a separate section for new kits and introductions for new users. All About Vapor carries seven types of basic starter kits and around ten types of Advanced Personal Vaporizers (APV).
- Supplies: They have a huge supply inventory on-hand, ranging from stealth adapters to tips and tanks.
- E-Liquid: Over 250 flavors made in-house, from tobacco and sweet to everything in between, and an infinite number of custom flavor possibilities. When you get to the counter, you can sample up to five different flavors, so you can try before you buy. For what it’s worth, my personal favorites are Clove, Austin Heat, White Lightning and Iced Cinnamon Roll.
- Shop: Large and comfortable. Bring your laptop and stay awhile. If they get the free high speed wi-fi, you’ll probably find me there vaping in the lounge and writing articles for the Austinot on a regular basis. The lounge is open to 18+ only. Protip: If you are going to order something in person at the shop, take a number as soon as you walk in the door. Like I said, they can get really busy.
- Online Store: Yep, you can order online. This is actually a good thing because the place can get packed. If you order online, you don’t have to wait when you arrive to pick-up.
- Military, Teachers and First Responders Discount: 10% off for these fine folks.
When my interview time with Courtney, Teri and the crew came to an end, I asked Courtney one final question: “What is your vision for the future of All About Vapor?”
“I’d love to have an All About Vapor in every major town in the USA. I want it to be the biggest, baddest vapor shop in the nation and I want our customers to know that they are taken care of with us better than anywhere else.”
-Courtney Mendoza, Owner
For more info on All About Vapor, check out their website here.
Do you have any questions about All About Vapor? Or vaping in general? Let me know by commenting below.