Inspiration Series, Part V – DREW
Andrew “Drew” Nawoichik is the proud owner of vape stores across Florida and undertakes seriously creative efforts to bring vaping to the masses. We had the pleasure of speaking to Drew about his holy work as a vaping emissary.
D: I am very passionate about everything I do in life and make sure there is a meaning and a purpose behind all of my actions. I have been constantly inspired by the introduction of various life-changing technologies, especially personal computers when I was coming out of college during the 80’s and then the Internet in the 90’s.
In 2000 I experienced an even more purposeful life-changing event and was called to become a youth pastor, helping others find their way.
Over the past 5 years I was introduced to many early versions of electronic cigarettes until finally I visited a store in the South Florida area that got it right. This store gave me the right mix of equipment, e-liquid and knowledge, finally offering me the solution to overcome my cigarette addiction. As it’s in my nature to help others, I had to tell everyone about this new, life-changing technology. I got back to the Tampa Bay area and noticed that I was struggling to find a store that had accomplished everything I believed would equate to a successful store. In 2012 I got going by sharing with others about this life-changing product, started selling them to my cigarette-smoking friends and then a store was born. I have never looked back since, and I do believe that this technology has the power to affect widespread change, just as the PC and internet have.
D: Coming from a technology background, I was intrigued by the “new” nicotine delivery device that was being introduced by many in China and the potential for harm reduction in satisfying the nicotine cravings of a traditional tobacco smoker.
IN ORGANIC WE TRUST: Obviously we love your commitment to sourcing the highest quality products for your stores. What gave you the idea to then take these products and introduce them to so many people outside of the vaping community through farmer’s markets? How have you been received by organic foodies?
D: Very early on in 2012 I had already been trying to take the natural, organic route with vaping but came up short as many of the e-liquids available to consumers were being made in China with little effort to reveal ingredients and how they were being sourced. In 2014 and early 2015 there seemed to be an increase in awareness and boom in consumer demand… companies like Vape Organics stepped up to meet this need in the vaping industry. In Florida we have a year round growing market and there are numerous farmer’s markets within the radius of my stores. I knew that if I could introduce traditional smokers to organic e-liquid at these events we would connect more easily and potentially help them quit smoking. It worked!
ADVOCACY: What is the legislative atmosphere in Florida regarding vaping? Are you worried about what the future holds and can you offer any predictions? How have you taken preemptive action to give our industry a positive reputation?
D: Advocacy was a high priority early on when I started the vape shops. I had already been involved for years with many other causes in the Florida Area. I realized it was natural that vaping rights would be something I would be passionate about as this industry has changed my life and saved the lives of thousands of customers already coming through my stores. I got quickly involved with a Florida Advocacy group and put together a fundraiser and event to raise awareness about vaping rights for them.
I am honored to be part of supporting vaping rights in the State of Florida. Since then I have been involved in the early stages for the push for a Florida-based advocacy group and lately the launch of the Florida Chapter of SFATA (the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association.) Customers who walk into our stores are educated through point of purchase items about the deeming national and state regulations. We also host a monthly advocacy roundtable discussion on the last Sunday of every month in our Downtown Clearwater location where we talk about vaping, the challenges, solutions, and how everyone can get involved as an advocate.
D: It is exciting and very easy to get motivated when new customers increasingly come in the stores to quit smoking. There is no shortage of prospective customers—current smokers—and as we introduce traditional smokers to the joys of vaping and a healthier way of life, we feel blessed to be changing and saving lives on a daily basis.
It is extremely easy to have successful stores with the help of quality products like Vape Organics and the ability to “try before you buy.” We uniquely help a current smoker with a step by step and personalized one-on-one process along the path to successful vaping while quitting smoking. The on-line retailers have no chance to offer this service and selection, which was another motivation for offering my constantly increasing selection of e-liquids. We also offer a Refer-a-Smoker program to include our supportive customer base in converting their friends to this life-saving option.
HANDCHECK: What is your favorite set-up?
D: I enjoy vaping in large part due to the diverse range of so many types of equipment and flavors to choose from. My go to vaping device is a Provari with the Aspire Nautilus Tank at 15 Watts. I am a big coffee drinker and like to start my day off with the Vape Organics Caffe Latte, which is a perfect match for my enjoyable caffeine habit. My all day vape living in Florida is Vape Organics Strawberry Limeade; we love Strawberries and limes here in Florida and it’s the perfect antidote to our weather!
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The Inspiration Series:
- Inspiration Series, Part I – MARIA
- Inspiration Series, Part II – WORLDWIDE VAPERS
- Inspiration Series, Part III – RELIK TRIBE
- Inspiration Series, Part IV – BMI ROSE
- Inspiration Series, Part V – DREW
- Inspiration Series, Part VI – AARON BIEBERT
- Inspiration Series, Part VII – AMY JEANETTE
- Inspiration Series, Part VIII – DANIEL WALSH
- Inspiration Series, Part IX – SABRINA
- Inspiration Series Continued HERE