Interviewed: Doug Mackar, General Manager
How would you describe your company? What is your specialty?
We’re a locally grown online head shop based just south of Seattle. We specialize in high-quality glass at the lowest prices. Our focus is on bongs and dab rigs in the $20 to $200 range. We have a huge selection of name brand American-made glass that represents both progressive, creative design as well as top-quality construction. Our customers are like us—regular folks who are on a budget and want glass they can trust at a price they can afford. Our slogan, “The Best Prices on the Best Pieces” is not marketing hyperbole. We set out to offer folks exactly that.
What do you offer customers that other companies don’t?
We’re in a fun industry, and we want to create a fun environment for those looking to buy their glass online. I think that’s demonstrated pretty well by our mascot, Bongo. You’ll definitely be seeing more of Bongo in the future. We also put a lot of effort into making our product descriptions entertaining and fun. Our goal is to make you smile while we help you find the best pipe to meet your needs and wants. When you call, we answer, and when you email or hit us up on the chat, we respond right away. We ship fast, and we throw in some freebies in every package as well. We treat people the way we want to be treated, which is with respect.
With the changing landscape of medical and recreational cannabis, what do you see as the biggest challenges to your progress as a company? Any advantages?
Right now I’d say our biggest challenge is still the way that our industry is looked upon in society. Being here in Washington, it’s easy to forget that we’re still dealing with a taboo subject in many other parts of the country.
The advantage is that the momentum has already shifted, and the inertia is certainly moving towards more states legalizing or at least decriminalizing cannabis. I think it’s an advantage that we’re located in Washington, where cannabusiness has already become a “normal” part of the business culture.
What are the goals and vision moving forward? Where do you see your company in five years?
Our goal is for Smoking Outlet to be the number one online head shop in the country. Our vision is to get better at what we do, and to create a company that fosters a social network and interactive experience for our customers. We’d love to see Bongo in comics and on the big screen one day. Later this year, we’ll be the first online head shop to offer same day delivery of pipes, much like the current model in use by Amazon Prime Now. And as an extra, crazy goal, I admit I’d love to be the first head shop to run an ad during the Super Bowl. As Bongo says, “Never stop dreaming.”