I think it is fitting that we make our first blog all about who we are, what we do, and all the rest of the “getting to know you” stuff so you know about the people you trust to make your e-juice. Now that we have a blog, I plan on making pretty regular updates about what is going on at our office.
Right now, Om Vapors is a two man team comprised of college friends Ben McCalla (your author) and Les Sandusky. I met Les back in 2009 while he was into his degrees in economics and finance and I started mine in chemistry and psychology. We had some crazy college adventures with other close friends, but we both took the time to learn our subject matter and understand it. In the real world, the people who actually process the material they learned tend to be the best ones to do business with.
While at UK, I got research experience in both of my fields and ended up with two Bachelor of Science degrees, having worked everywhere from UK’s pigeon lab (as a student) to bio-mass conversion catalysis (as a paid position). If that last one sounds a bit like gibberish, I made chemicals that convert plant waste materials into fuels and usable chemicals. Knowing what I know about chemistry meant I was able to get a pretty firm grasp on the manufacturing of e-liquid and how to do it with proper quality control, something that I noticed nearly every e-liquid company was not paying attention to for some odd reason.
One of my hopes is to use this business as a source of income while I pursue my PhD in Chemistry, but we’ll have to do a lot more work before I can afford to do that. I also produce electronic music on the side and play a lot of shows in the tri-state area.
Les is the business side of things and since he worked his way through college as a chef at the Lexington airport a lot of our flavor ideas come from his head and all of the numbers get crunched with his fingers (somebody has to do it). We have been great friends over the years but that in itself does not make a business. The thing that made us really decide to bite the bullet and go for it was the fact that we trust each other and recognize each other’s very different talents and skill sets, something required in any business venture.
Moving on, why Om? No, we didn’t screw up and misspell “ohm,” the measurement of electric resistance, but that is part of the play on words in the company name. Om, sometimes spelled Aum, is a word considered powerful for use in meditation by Eastern religions. The thinking here is that since people use cigarettes to relieve stress it wouldn’t hurt to name our company after what a huge percentage of the world thinks is one of the most relaxing words. I guess we could have gone with Soothing Bath Vapors or something else ultimately less epic, but we thought: it is short, fun to say, possibly mystical – what better name for a vape company?
Well, that is us. Feel free to shoot us an email or leave comments; we are always happy when we get questions about the business and we love to meet more people in the community.