Grav Glow-Up Story
In today’s blog let’s take a look at the glassware company Grav (formerly Grav Labs). Now… anyone who knows me, or our company Smoke Milk, knows that we LOOOOOOVE Grav. They are our favourite brand of glassware, hence why we stock so much of their product! The inception of their brand is both an inspirational and fascinating story that I believe people should know, so to truly appreciate how far they have come. Let me tell you this story.
In 2004 Dave Daily decided to start professionally making the gravity bongs that he had always made back in college. Dave got a McCormick Vodka bottle, scrubbed the label off and went to his local glass fabricator and asked them to cut the bottom off of the bottle, because he was making a vase for his mum for Mother’s Day (which was coming up). After they insisted there was no good way to do that, they sent him out back to chat with a technician about it and the technician took out a Makita glass saw and much to everyone’s surprise, perfectly cut the bottom, clean off.
That very day, Dave went to his local hardware store and bought the same tool that they had used and went to work cutting bottles. Not long after starting to cut them himself, Dave’s mum suggested he use her wine bottle to cut instead of the vodka bottles, as the wine bottles were a slimmer, more reliable shape to work with, and bonus - he could find more of these wine bottles in dumpsters outside restaurants and bars for free!
With the wine bottle now set as the shape for the inner glass, Dave needed to find a vase that it would fit inside of. Dave visited art-supply store Michaels, and found the perfect vase for $3.50. After a few months of searching for the down-stem and bowls for the right price, he gets them for $3.50 and by this time he is getting the vases down to $2.50. Dave is sourcing the wine bottles for free, now getting them from a local recycling company. So, for the full Gravitron it was costing him $6 to make start to finish.
After Dave had made the Gravitron, he went out door to door (to different headshops) in Austin and Houston and was selling about 20-25 units a month, getting re-orders from the stores that had sold them, this encouraged Dave.
In August of 2005, Dave attended an industry trade show in Vegas with his Gravitron, which by then, came in two sizes. Dave had the cheapest stand you could buy to display his gravity bongs and even though he was tucked away in a little foot traffic corner, he received an amazing reception. Dave walked away with over 500 orders to over 30 new headshops.
With demand growing, Dave employed a handful of people to speed up production. In order to keep production going, Dave opened up credit cards and by 2007 unfortunately, Dave was in 80k worth of personal dept. Admittedly Dave says he was over ambitious and hired too many people in the beginning. Although looking back at it now he wouldn’t have changed anything because his passion and determination is what held the business together and kept it going to what it is to this day.
Over the years of making the Gravitron, Dave learned how to blow glass and had taught himself how to make the down-stems and bowls. So, in order to cut costs anywhere he could, he started making those himself, cutting the production costs for the gravity bong down to just $2.50 per piece.
In 2007, Dave attended the ACL (Austin City Limits) Music Festival and he took along with him “one hitter” pipes he had made himself, that had his branding on the side. He made hundreds and gave them away for free as promotional material for the Gravitron. One of his stockists had a stand at the festival and said “Hey, you should come see me on Monday about us selling these in the store.”. This apparently was Dave’s “Aha moment” when he realised he didn’t need to pigeon hole himself into selling ONLY the gravity bong, that he could be more than just “Dave the Gravitron guy”.
After getting rid of a few employees and reducing his overhead, Dave knew that he needed bigger and better equipment to be making more and more. He got lucky and bought a glass lathe, worth 20k second hand for just $120! After restoring it with money he borrowed from his dad, he hired another glassblower and they got to work expanding the catalogue.
2008 came and there were now three glassblowers working on three machines, pumping out new products for their solid list of distributors. After this the rest was history and they grew and grew, pinpointing smokers needs and wants.
This now brings me to my first ever introduction to Grav. It was via a video I randomly found on TheWeedTube by two girls called “Cannacrushes”. Having recently designed our logo, we were on the look-out for a nice-looking milk carton bong, needless to say, I was blown away when I saw Grav’s Milk Carton Bubbler in this video.
Made from the finest borosilicate glass, Grav’s pieces are a cut above the rest. Their sleek design is a huge aspect of their success and personally as a stockist for these products I have never heard anything but 5-star reviews for each product I have sold. If you take care of these pieces, they will not only outlast you, but thanks to their contemporary design, they will forever stay modern and fashionable.
Today they have over 300 products and are sold in over 4500 stores across the world. This trusted brand is driven to elevate the hemp and cannabis experience by offering high-quality products and accessories to help you ‘Find Your Higher Self.’"
All blog posts are for entertainment purposes only, Smoke Milk does not condone or endorse the use of illicit or controlled substances.
All products displayed and sold via Smoke Milk are sold with the intent for legal smoking herbs only and we encourage you to check your local laws and regulations before proceeding with a purchase.
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