The story of PuffCo is the story of a man, his time and place, his passion for hashish and a team of creatives pushing his company forward. And it all started as a hobby when Vape pens set the scene in New York in 2012.
“For me as a New Yorker, it was extremely liberating because as somebody who has been arrested for cannabis before, it allowed me to go around the city and consume cannabis in a very discreet form that gave me the freedom of not being afraid of being arrested anymore,” Roger Volodarsky, CEO and founder of PuffCo told Benzinga in an exclusive interview.
Although Roger was obsessed with vaping, his devices kept breaking. One day a friend asked him why he didn't make his own. “I had just enough ignorance to try. I knew how hard it was. I was asking people in manufacturing and there weren't very many. I learned by making mistakes.”
Think About The User
PuffCo released its first product in October 2014 and went on to win High Times Vaporizer of the Year. “We were a two-person company. Outsiders who got catapulted to being the most visible company as far as consumption goes. Then we started building things out ourselves and seeing if we could build our supply chain to get things done."
One might assume the secret recipe behind PuffCo's success was its branding strategy. Production at scale was not the case, so what was it that made it the most popular vape company in the world?
Volodarsky says the reason was that the device resonated with people and his goal wasn't to just build a business.
“I was making a product that I would like to use and enjoy. It was designed in the people's favor, not to sell them features, not to say ‘this is the best thing out there.’ We weren't using glue or plastic, or fibrous materials, on something that is thoughtfully designed in favor of the user, not in favor of selling the product.”
Volodarsky started smoking when he was 13. As he grew up, it became harder to incorporate cannabis into his life, that is until he started vaporizing concentrates. Then everything changed.
“I said ‘Oh my God, …