Normally we profile a “shop of the month,” but for October we’re doing something different: a profile of a vape liquid company that started small, just two guys, both 25, who have grown the company to become a worldwide powerhouse. As we see many in the alternative or cannabis space trying to do the same thing, let’s take a look and see how they did it. 


“We really had no ‘plans’ when we started, beyond growing a company and making money,” said co-owner, Gabriel Laurant.  

Like many entrepreneurs, his needs were personal since he wanted to stop smoking and started vaping instead. So, he and his school buddy, Thomas Vo (Tvo for short), started Vertigo liquids in Vo’s home, like many did back in 2014. They were well connected in the Bellevue Washington area and had many smoking and vaping friends and had “smoking huts,” which were really just places to hang out and vape.


They developed and made flavors in Tvo’s home with the blessing of his dad, Ted, who also wanted to stop smoking. They had friends with vape shops who carried their lines and soon hired their friends and developed “cigar shop” type models to replace the smoking huts. 


I specifically wanted to focus their story on expansion, since that is usually the most challenging step in growing a business.  


With bottles of vape juice in their backpacks, with labels printed at home, they trudged from vape shop to vape shop selling their juice. Two years later they finally got their own lab, primitive as they were back then, and survived due to the generous profit margins in e-liquids.  


They were profitable from Day One but drew no salary until just a few years ago. 

Vo’s father saw their success and brought in additional capital and experience, and they changed their name to Baton. They focused on the popular nicotine salt market and added hardware to their line, which was an unusual move for liquid companies. Later they added disposables, another big move. 


“At the time they seemed like obvious steps, but not everyone thought that way. In hindsight I’m glad we did, but it was definitely a big risk, Laurant added. 

Their first hardware was private labeled, but they found quality control a problem, so had to step up and develop their own. vape show in Shenzhen, China helped and they got lucky due to some personal relationships.  


“We looked at the long-term picture from the start,” Laurant said, “And when we saw regulations getting tighter, we realized that we had to be serious to stay in the game. 

There were (and are) a lot of companies that are short time players. They’ll ride this out until they close or are forced to close, and they don’t have the dedication to follow the regs. If we’re going to play with the Big Boys, we have to follow the Big Boys Rules.”  


I asked them when they thought they “made it?” 


“When we took our first salaries, we felt we crossed over, but we never really thought we made it, so we never got comfortable or relaxed or thought we could kick back. It’s only recently that we recognized that we hit a critical point” 


Some advice they offer: 


Don’t be afraid of growing organically and take it slow. Slow and steady will be your best friend. 


Teamwork is critical and our team is always evolving and has been for years. 

Be proactive instead of reactive, and that is important in this industry.  

Be open to new people and new ideas and put ego aside.” 

Laurant concluded: This year will be our best yet and we plan on keeping this upward trend going as long as we can. 



Previous Next   Normally we profile a “shop of the month,” but for October we’re doing something different: a profile of a vape liquid company that started

Read More »

Decades, NY

It’s not often I do an interview and come away with something that has nothing to do with the subject! Case in point: my conversation

Read More »

The Vape Guys, VA

I always look for a “hook” or “takeaway” when I do a story or a profile in the smoke shop biz, and with Yan Gleyzer,

Read More »

Durity Vape and Smoke Shop

  The term “School of Hard Knocks” has almost become a cliché since many people who survive it come from a less than stellar background or upbringing.  

Read More »


Kaleidoscope By Norm Bour Tom Pierson offers sage marital advice after almost a half century of being married. He sums it up in just a few

Read More »

The Pipe Joint

The Pipe Joint Littleton, Colorado The Pipe Joint, in Littleton, Colorado, is a family business. Lisa B. is the owner. She’s helped by Lucy and

Read More »

Coal City Smoke Co. 

Scranton, Pennsylvania If you are familiar with Scranton, Pennsylvania, you’re likely a fan of The Office, where it was the home to a branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. Maybe

Read More »

The Glo Room

Fun Stuff for Big Kids. That’s how Andrea Collins describes the contents of The Glo Room, her business in Lexington. South Carolina. You can’t really call

Read More »

Smoky Mountain Hemp

Tennessee Hemp Care Brings and the Best Buds in Gatlinburg “Do you ever feel like maybe you guys opened the O’Doul’s of cannabis dispensaries?” From

Read More »

For more information on this special



when you sign up for a 3 month agreement

Offer between June 15, 2020 thru JUNE 30, 2020.

A customer service rep will contact you with your email.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact