Let me back the bus up a smidge here. I should do this in some kind of order. The bank account was certainly a hurdle. A small one in the grand scheme of things. It was just the only example I could think of while writing the last blog. I’ll start from the beginning and go from there, but try to keep some kind of brevity or this series will never end.
We will start at the beginning, I was born April 16th, 19..…..I’m just playing. But really, the first time I knew I wanted to be in this industry was the first time I walked into a head shop. I was 20 years old and it was located in Grande Prairie, Alberta. I walked into “Retro Relics” and immediately felt at home. An overwhelming smell of cheap incense filled the air, T-shirts of bands I heard my dad mention hung on the walls. Fuzzy handcuffs hung beside books about alien abduction. A few steps further and I was staring at shelves upon shelves of pipes, water pipes, and pieces I didn’t know the name of, never mind how to use. Inside displays held more pipes, grinder, and any accessory you could imagine. The piece de resistance was the slightly grizzled yet surprisingly well spoken dude behind the counter. I ended up talking to him for a solid hour or more, and carried that conversation on during countless visits over the span of 8 years. I’m certain I said “man, I want to be the cool head shop guy” at least once during every visit.
The desire to be that cool dude behind some glass counter faded to the back burner, but never went away. It came to the surface every time I walked into a shop to peruse their glass, or if I needed a new piece! One weekend last year I was sitting at home and decided a new water pipe was in order as it had been so long since I had purchased one. I had lived in Surrey for a long time, but always went downtown for my head shop needs. This time, I wanted to stay local. A quick google didn’t garner much for results. A few shops popped up so I went to check them out. I won’t name names as I believe there is room for everyone and would hate to bash a fellow supporter. That said, when you roll up to a retail business expecting to buy something and you read a sign that says “if you need service call this number” you get a little turned off. I went to the next one on the list. It was a corner store with a glass section. To my surprise it did have a lot more than I expected, but it was ALL cheaply made, cheaply imported pieces. There is room for that, not everyone wants/needs a top end piece of glass. But the option would have been nice. I got a cheap piece and carried on.
That night after enjoying my new glass I got to thinking, the kind of thinking one does after they try out a new water pipe for the first time. I thought “ I know lots about this industry, I know how to sell, and dammit…Surrey needs this”. Back to Google I went. Deeper this time, I hit Facebook, Instagram, and any other site or media I could to see if Surrey indeed, did have a dedicated head shop. After a lengthy search I realized Surrey did not, in fact, have a head shop that wasn’t part of a grocery store, or that wasn't kind of scary to go into. If this place did, or does exist I did not find it, and they are terrible at advertising. Well shit, there goes excuse number one to not do this.
The second excuse I needed to get rid of was the City of Surrey bylaws. That wasn’t as tough, I just read them on the city of Surrey website. They were also very quick to tell you they bylaws as this industry is still frowned upon here. Although the bylaws were tough they allowed the sale of paraphernalia as long as I followed some silly and archaic guidelines. Those are currently being followed by the way Surrey, if you’re reading!
The last thing I needed to overcome before I could sink my teeth into this project was getting approval from my wife. Not just approval, but I needed her to be excited about the prospect of losing all our savings and them some if this failed. This would not be an easy task, not because she was against the idea but because she is smart, she has her head on her shoulders, and she would see through my passion, impulsiveness, and my lack of critical thinking. Over the next month or so, I secretly worked on a “business plan” for her to read. The words business plan is loose as I am pretty awful at that kind of thing. But it had all the info and got my point across in an educated way. I didn’t say a word to her, I just emailed her a file with a random plan in it. She read it, complemented it and said lets do it. I am still picking my jaw up off the floor from that.
Part 3 commith...