Here at Giant Vapes, we pride ourselves on carrying e-liquids that are profoundly unique, beautifully crafted, and carefully manufactured. One of the best avenues for us to meet up-and-coming flavor crafters and experience the newest and finest e-liquids available are the vape conventions held each year, all over the country. The Vape Showcase is one of our favorite shows to attend each year; Showcase focuses on featuring professional companies, fostering business-to-business relationships, and promoting advocacy for the electronic cigarette industry.
In April of 2016, at The Vape Showcase in Pittsburgh, our Chief Awesome Officer, Mike Runshe, had the opportunity to meet Christopher Bowman and Brandon Degrave, founders of the Huntsville, Texas-based Primitive Vapor Co. After trying their debut flavor, Vestige, he knew he’d stumbled upon something special.
“So, I had heard of Primitive from a couple people in the industry,” Mike revealed when asked about the first time he met Christopher and Brandon. “They had gained a little traction within the high end hardware community, so I stopped by their both to chat with them. We sat down and talked for a bit and after about a half hour I realized that I had been vaping their Vestige tester the whole time I was sitting there. It’s still one of my favorites. ”
One of the high points of The Vape Showcase is always the e-liquid flavor contest, which is sponsored by Giant Vapes. Primitive Vapor Co. received multiple awards in Pittsburgh for their introductory flavor, Vestige, which is a unique blend of tart key lime cream and sweet cinnamon-sugar doughnut. In August 2016, at The Vape Showcase in Dallas, Primitive received accolades for the second time, bringing home awards for both Vestige, which won best citrus at the show, and for their second flavor, Buttermilk Pie. As the name suggests, Buttermilk Pie is a creamy buttermilk-based-custard pie flavor, and it won best savory flavor and runner-up best in show when it debuted at the Dallas Showcase.
“We won runner up best citrus and runner up best in show at The Vape Showcase in Pittsburg, so that kind of put us on Mike’s radar,” said Primitive co-owner Brandon Degrave. “He asked Brandon (Finney), ‘what is a brand that I need to go and talk to,’ and (Finney) told him, ‘Primitive Vapor Co., these guys are huge right now.’”
Matt and Brandon Finney, brothers and the co-founders of The Vape Showcase, did more than steer Mike toward Primitive – they were instrumental in getting Brandon Degrave and Christopher Bowman involved in the event. Without their debut at Showcase, it may have taken much longer for the dynamic duo’s unique and complex flavors to reach nation-wide success.
“Brandon (Finney) and Matt Finney are old friends of ours, and to be honest, with full disclosure, all of our success is because of them, one hundred percent.” shared Degrave. “We just launched Vestige on March 5th of 2016, and three weeks after that was The Vape Showcase Pittsburgh. We weren’t ready for a vape show, it was too soon. Brandon (Finney) would not let that go. He pretty much said, you’re coming. We went, he gave us an awesome spot right next to the marketplace… We blew up, that’s where we met Mike for the first time.”
When asked about their success at the convention and with getting picked up by Giant Vapes, Brandon and Christopher are modest. “Mike came, sat down, and the conversation that I thought was going to be a ten minute conversation was like an hour long conversation where Mike proceeded to vape through two of our testers. He just kept snatching the tester and vaping the tank, and by the end he’s like, man this is really good. We’re going to give you guys a shot. We were very blessed to go to that show and to even have the success that we’ve had,” said Brandon.
“We’re sitting in Giant Vapes headquarters right now doing an interview. We never thought this would happen,” added Christopher.
“When we launched, I told Christopher that our one-year goal was to get on Giant Vapes,” said Brandon. “To do it in three weeks, you know, we had a bro hug that lasted a good twenty minutes.”
Almost a year later, the Primitive founders are not only attending the event, but their company is also one of the sponsors for The Vape Showcase Atlanta.
“Showcase is the one show we never skip,” confirmed Christopher.
This year, they will be debuting a new flavor, Serenity, in Atlanta, as a collaboration with the OPMH Project. Serenity is a flavor that Christopher developed and released locally for his original line, back in 2013 and 2014.
“It’s a flavor that’s been around a long time,” shared Brandon, “but we killed it to do Primitive, and we knew that we could keep it on the back burners, and then come back to it when we wanted to release a new flavor and do some collaborations.”
This is Primitive’s first collaboration with OPMH, and they’re looking forward to seeing Showcase attendees enjoy the release. Serenity will be available at the OPMH booth, which will be located beside the Marketplace in the Atlanta Expo Center South. Look for the Primitive truck, which will be featured at the OPMH booth!
The Vape Showcase Atlanta will be held at the Atlanta Expo Center South on Saturday, March 25th and Sunday, March 26th. If you’re nearby, we’d love to see you at the Giant Vapes booth! You can get tickets here.
Join our Facebook group HERE and tune in for live updates from The Vape Showcase Atlanta this weekend!