The trend this wedding season is all about having a unique product come straight to you.You don’t complain when you see a food truck pull up at a wedding stocked full with delicious food and desserts, right?! Our friends at The Traveling Tobacconist take it one step further bringing luxury, comfort and fine cigars straight to your event! We are crazy about the sleek outside of this vintage 1976 Airstream Travel Trailer that contrasts perfectly with the cozy interior. Whether you’re planning a boho-chic wedding or something a little more on the modern side, The Traveling Tobacconist is sure to fit in to your theme and leave your guests with a memorable experience. Learn more about them on today’s Vendor Highlight.
Tell us a little bit about the story of The Traveling Tobacconist.
The Traveling Tobacconist was a venture that rose from a passion of cigars, a desire to completely immerse myself in the culture and share that passion with others.
Having been to plenty of functions where a local cigar shop was present and selling cigars, we knew we didn’t want to just sell cigars. They were all the same: a basic 3 x 6 folding table, table cloth, and a few boxes of cigars. The setup seemed one dimensional and did nothing to add to the overall experience and emotion that weddings, fundraisers and parties in general possess.
All the trends seemed to be pointing towards a world of mobility, bringing the experience to you: mobile whiskey bars, cupcake trucks, beer gardens, etc. I am just the one that always wanted a nice cigar and for this, there was a void in the market.
With my childhood friend, Robert Balmores, we set out to bring class, the luxury of being waited on, and the camaraderie of sitting together with your friends enjoying top notch stogies in a nice high end cigar lounge anywhere – regardless of the hour or day.
The Traveling Tobacconist was the answer. Instead of utilizing a bulky rectangular RV, we chose a beautiful vintage 1976 Airstream Travel Trailer. We wanted to provide a visual that would look good whether you’re tailgating or sipping wine in a vineyard. The development, creation and execution took over a year but the final product proved to be worth it.
We gave the region it’s first and only mobile cigar lounge, worthy of the best looking bride and groom, the die hard football fan and the corporate CEO all at the same time.
Describe a highlight or pivotal moment in your career.
I would say a pivotal moment for The Traveling Tobacconist came in July 2016 when the construction of the airstream renovation ended. It’s normal to be excited as a small business owner when you open the doors to your new storefront. You took months, maybe years to get to this point and your mind wants to tell you that you’ve made it! In reality, this is when the work really begins. This is when I got to see the seed that was planted a year earlier begin to sprout. The reward is the joy of watching and sharing the work with others. I love sharing The Traveling Tobacconist with others and seeing how they react the first time they step inside and the way it adds to their experience and memories. The way I’ve been able to give them an experience and product that previously, they didn’t know they could have. That moment of completion in July was a true highlight in my career and the day I began sharing my passion and services with others.
Who’s your biggest fan and why?
I would say my biggest fan doesn’t know it and came from the most unlikely place. She never mentored me, financially invested in the business or picked up a drill during construction, but I had to call on my mother-in-law, Valerie Taylor, more than anyone else to help with the building of this business and she was always there. It doesn’t hurt that she’s given me my other strongest supporter, my wife Tiffany, who’s shown undying support and encouragement. I highly doubt I would have been able to successfully get things to where they are without either one of them in my life.
What advice would you give to aspiring small business owners?
They say you should find something you would want to do even if you’re not getting paid to do it… so find something you love and pursue it. Don’t go all in just to make money, because as a small business owner sometimes you will and sometimes you won’t. Starting off, that shouldn’t be a factor or motivator for how hard you’re willing to work to see your idea and dream come to fruition. It takes time, sometimes a long time, to build a business from scratch, especially when you creating your own niche. Don’t worry if you don’t see anyone else doing what you’re doing or if you don’t see results from day one. Focus on perfecting your concept, your brand, your business and success will follow.