This week, I had the opportunity to discover more about the origin story of Dustin Sovern, the CEO and mastermind behind one of the most recognized and inspirational success stories in the vape industry, and of course I had to share it with
all three of you guys!
From the get-go, it's incredibly apparent that Dustin's motivation for creation isn't a newfound quality: Dustin's innate drive to create art in any way he could placed him in numerous teen bands throughout grade school, as well as his own fully equipped in-house recording studio called 'Open Heart Audio' in 2012. But as of January 2015, with the loving support of his then-fiancé-now-wife, Dustin's attention became increasingly ensnared by his newest pet project, Czar Manufacturing—at the time, the wild success Czar has become could've only been a faint dream, but with a little help from that signature entrepreneurial spirit practically defining the companies that fuel the independent e-cigarette market, even the faintest dreams can shine brighter than a copper mech mod on cleaning day.
Company: Czar Manufacturing
Your company was founded…
- By who?
January of 2015
Temple Texas, USA!
I've always been a doer, and more than that, I've always enjoyed figuring things out for myself. Learning about new things, understanding them and finding ways I can design, make, or just improve on my own is something that I am constantly doing. The vape industry is interesting because at that time, and even still to some point now, is a very large industry that is made up by small, upstart companies rather than big, established entities. This made it fulfilling to me to design and create a product that people could appreciate, and it wasn’t too intimidating to get started because much of the competition was in the same position: getting started.
Most people think we are a huge company, when in reality, it’s a couple CNC machines in the garage at my house. I'm partners in this business with my stepdad Reed Dunn. I also receive help from my mom and wife when it comes to packaging products. Because of this, we've never had to restructure anything; we all get along and agree on things because we have to, haha.
Vaping is one of those things that changes every time you turn around. It's fast paced, so you have to stay on your toes and constantly adapt. When it comes to tips, we used to make a standard 510 size for tanks and chuff caps for drippers. But now most devices have a non standard size tip, which keeps us constantly buying the latest and greatest as soon as possible and getting a tip made for it by the next day. It keeps things interesting.
We like to attend conventions and any sort of function local vape stores host like cloud comps, benefits or whatever else. Just staying active in the community and helping out stores and customers where possible.
Our advertisement and promotion has been entirely online, Facebook and Instagram posts for the most part. We've had a few reviews and shout-outs that have been great for promotion, but that’s just thanks to the awesome people who like our products.
The biggest challenge so far has been getting the product out there, making people aware that it exists. We started small, and so all of the upstart money went into buying a budget CNC machine. We've never really paid for advertisement. The growth of our company is what I would call "organic." It's all been word of mouth, meeting people, driving to every vape shop possible, going to conventions, and letting the product speak for itself. Eventually word got out; our distributor (Vapro) contacted us, and it’s been fantastic ever since. It's a long slow road to take, but I find it rewarding because you make so many solid and genuine business connections; if they like what you do then they spread the word. Recently we bought a second CNC lathe, which blows the other out of the water, and were planning on continuing this expansion throughout the new year.