Starting Your E-Juice Business: Interview with the Founder of Chill E-Liquids

Lately we’ve been getting a lot of readers email in and ask us our advice on the e-cigarette market and whether there is an opportunity there to start a business and make some money. Specifically, they ask about opening up vape shops or selling e-juice, the liquid used in vaporizers to create the vapor.

In preparation for this post, I reached out to one of my close friends, Dave Lippensnott, who’s the founder of Chill e liquids. I asked him a few questions that hopefully sheds some insights into the e-liquid business and whether you should perhaps start one.

Q&A with Dave Lippensnott, Founder of Chill E-Juice

Why did you decide to get into the e-juice business?

There’s a few reasons, but the major one I would say is how vaping has impacted my life. I was a heavy smoker for about 10 years, and I quit a few times during that period, but I always found myself coming back to smoking, usually by some sort of stress trigger in my life. Once vaping came around I was a bit hesitant to give it a try but after recommendations from friends I decided to give it a go. Let’s just say after experimenting a bit with right nicotine levels I never went back to smoking, even now. I wanted to help other people do the same.

So what opportunity did you see in the vaping industry?

When I was experimenting with different flavors and brands, I just couldn’t find a flavor that I really liked, and every fruity menthol flavor I tried was terrible. I thought I can do better than this. So Chill E-Liquids was born. I also read up on the huge growth and adoption of vaping by the mass market, so I knew there was money to be made.

How did you produce the initial product?

Well at first I bought one of those do it yourself e-liquid kits online, and began experimenting creating my own recipe. It took a few months of trial and error, but I finally stumbled upon a flavor that was close to what I wanted but I still couldn’t get it to the exact right place I wanted. Searching for answers, I looked online for an e-liquid manufacturing partner or copacker. After making a few calls and sending in my initial recipe, the manufacturer perfected the flavor and now produces the product for me.

How do you distribute Chill e-liquids? Are they in retail stores?

Yes there are in a lot of retail stores! About 360 to be exact, and customers seem to love them. I also sell online. The manufacturer I partnered with loved my initial recipe and the final outcome so much that they put their own resources behind it, when helped me land on store shelves.

What would you say has been your leading reason for success so far in this space?

It’s amazing what can happen if you just take the jump and take the initiative to start or do something you believe in. I would have to say its the partnerships I’ve formed along the way with manufacturers, co-packers, and online marketing agencies that has led me to put in minimal work but maximum output.

Do you think there is an opportunity out there for other entrepreneurs to do what you’ve done?

Definitely! There’s more than enough money to go around in this space, and customers love to experiment with new flavors. The industry is also growing every year while vaping is becoming more popular. The only risk is the recent FDA fiasco on how safe vaping, whether flavoring should be banned and so on. Where there’s risk there’s reward!




Financing Your Startup Business

startup funding

Every startup business needs some basic equipment to get going, along with some financing. Depending on the kind of business you are thinking of, you can start with a computer, a printer, and internet connection, or you may have to buy expensive equipment. Here are some tips about how to finance your business.

Home-based businesses can start with tiny financing. If you are thinking about starting an e-commerce site, you can use your home computer and a multifunctional printer, which is not very expensive. Office supplies can be bought at dollar stores or discount retailers. But if the business you are looking to start needs an office, furniture, cars, staff or specialized equipment, your money will certainly not be enough, and you will have to get financing from somewhere.

You can ask for a loan from friends. The positive side is probably your friends won’t request a business plan before they give you the money, you will have to pay a smaller interest, and they may even be indulgent if you are late with payment. The downside is that they may feel they own your business to some extent. And if there are any problems giving back the loan, your relationship will be damaged.

If you choose to ask for financing from friends or family, make the deal as formal as possible. Both of you should sign a promissory note with the amount of the loan, the interest to be paid and the repayment schedule. This way each of you knows what you agreed upon, and you can avoid misunderstandings.

If you ask for a loan from a bank, the first thing you need is a business plan. Banks want to make sure you know exactly how to make money from the firm you intend to start, and you will repay the loan. The business plan has to convince the agent that there is the need for the service you are thinking of, you know who your target is, and what is the market share you expect to have.

You can also get financing by selling an ownership interest in your business. The positive side is that you don’t have to make monthly payments as you would have to do if you had a bank loan. But if you sell ownership, the structure of your business will be more complicated. There are lots of different structures available, each having pros and cons. You should consider carefully before you take any decision.