Halo Retailer Spotlight: SCS Vape of Victoria, TX
Michelle Krogsgaard, co-owner of SCS Vape and a former two-pack-a-day smoker, used to drive 90 minutes once a month to pick up her vaping supplies. Then she started her own shop. Now she’s running three of them with her husband, Jerry …
Halo: Where did the name SCS Vape come from?
Michelle: Stop Cigarette Smoking (laughs). It was kind of an acronym. We also had another business called Salt Creek Services, so we figured they both went together.
Halo: How long have you been in business?
Michelle: Four years.
Halo: Do you have more than one location?
Michelle: We have three SCS Vape locations.
Halo: Do you vape?
Michelle: Yes. For close to six years.
Halo: Why did you start selling vape products?
Michelle: I was a 20-year smoker. I was at almost two packs a day and a colleague introduced me to her vape, and I kind of laughed it off. About a month and half later I was on the internet doing research on vapes just seeing what they were about. So I ordered my first one online. And it worked.
It’s totally true that the first time I picked up a vape I didn’t want another cigarette. I never smoked again. We didn’t have any local vape shops, so I would drive about an hour and a half to get my goods in San Antonio about once a month.
I knew if it could work for me — outside sales, two packs a day, driving around all day for 20 years — it could work for a lot of people. My husband kept encouraging me. We started (our business) very small because in our market we weren’t sure how it would be accepted. I think the entire storefront not counting storage and offices was about 400 square feet. It just blew up, and we knew right away we were going to have to open a bigger store.
Halo: What do you like best about selling vape products?
Michelle: About Halo specifically, the consistency with the manufacturing. You guys make it super easy to sell. I mean the bottling, the packaging’s good, the product’s phenomenal, the quality control across the board’s good, the pricing’s good.
Halo: What do you want customers to know about SCS Vape?
Michelle: We cater to everyone from the very new vapers to the grandmas and grandpas. We’re not a head shop. We never will be. We’re strictly a vape shop. We want our clients and our customers to feel like it’s ok to vape. It’s not something they need to hide or be ashamed of.
We hear it countless times, and the stories that really get you, are when the kids tell the parents, “Mom, you need to stop and get one of those vapes,” or “Mom, why don’t you get some more juice? You ran out and you can start vaping again.” Or “Thanks, Dad, for not smoking. Now my clothes don’t smell like cigarettes and the kids don’t make fun of me at school.” We have to remember, ultimately, it’s not just for the vapers, it’s for the vapers and their entire families.
Above all, we’re here for you. Our stores are designed for the clients and their needs. Come in with whatever questions. No question is too minuscule or too large. We’ll find the answer if we don’t know.
Halo: What’s your customers’ favorite Halo flavor?
Michelle: The tobaccos and the menthols. SubZero, Turkish, Tribeca, Black Calico, Malibu. Across the board in all the stores, those are our top sellers. From day one. We started with you guys and we’ve stayed with you ever since.
I was really glad Halo came out with the high VG tobacco flavors, because we’ve had a lot of people requesting those. They still wanted their Turkish or Tribeca, but they couldn’t run it in their sub-ohm mod. When Halo did that, I thought, that’s the sweet spot that needed to be addressed in the industry.
Halo: What’s the first question customers ask you?
Michelle: “What do you have that tastes like cigarettes?” (laughs) “I want to quit smoking.”
Halo: What does vaping mean to you?
Michelle: On a personal level, it’s freedom to enjoy something that I always enjoyed. I didn’t want to quit smoking. I enjoyed the hand-to-mouth and that personal quiet time. Now I’m almost on zero nicotine.
I still do vape regularly just because it’s enjoyable to me. A lot of people, when they first started, were hobbyists. Then as the vapes evolved through the years, we’ve noticed that there are very distinct differences between your vapers. You have your hobbyists and you have your vapers who are vaping to quit smoking. We try to cater to both of those classes of people.
Halo: Do you have a favorite Halo flavor?
Michelle: I do, and everyone knows it! All of the tobaccos. I really like Turkish, Tribeca, Black Calico.
Halo: Do you think the public has misconceptions about vaping?
Michelle: I think as it becomes more mainstream there’s a better understanding of what it is. I don’t think we’re there yet. There are still those people who have questions. In order for those questions to be answered correctly, the vapers out there need to educate their friends and family. Just explain to them what it is. But (public understanding) is a lot better now than it was four years ago when we started the stores.
I think it’s very important that people who are actively vaping or who are affected by vaping in a positive way (speak out). That mother whose son decided to stop smoking or dipping. That grandma who had lung cancer who decided to quit smoking and start vaping. Those people need to be more vocal about their decisions, and the decisions of their family members.
So far we’ve avoided the (vaping) ban. It’s difficult sometimes to rally people together in a way that’s going to be effective. We have personally addressed and stamped each individual letter to our state legislators and different organizers across the country to help get our voice out there. Vaping has the potential to have the greatest effect of change on a global health scale. I don’t know why anyone would want to stifle that. That just boggles my mind.
Halo: Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Michelle: Keep up the good job and keep cranking out good products.
SCS Vape is located at 7905 North Navarro Street, #210, in Victoria, Texas. Other store locations are nearby. If you’re in the area, please stop by and visit them!
The opinions and other information contained in these blog posts and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Nicopure Labs LLC, owner of the Halo and HaloCigs marks.
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