How long have you been smoking? Well, if it’s anywhere near as long as I have, you’ve probably smoked out of a lot of things. Things like soda cans, fruit, milk jugs in the sink, metal sockets, and even some glass. I can remember back in the day telling myself “It’ll be ok as long as you scrape the paint off the can first.” lol, oh man, I bet I was wrong. It was all bad. Even some of the glass pipes we had back then were bad. I’m sure of it, but you know what isn’t bad. The options we have today. We have so many safe smoking options. If you follow me and my writings you will know one of my faves is Getting Chill Pipes. Well it’s a bong and with that bong I found a sweet company that is not in the grass or gas game, but they are killin the Glass Game. When I say “they” I’m referring to Vitae Glass. Let’s chat with Gordon. The man behind it all. The founder of Vitae Glass.
Hey Gordon, how’s it going? Tell everyone a little about yourself.
Hey everyone, Gordon here, I’m the son of Chinese immigrants who settled in South Africa in the late 80’s and also a big cannabis lover like many of you. I started my first smoking adventures back in high school and back then it was pretty much all DIY equipment that we would use. We were all young and broke, nobody had the money for a nice glass piece and honestly, it wasn’t really needed. Any good plastic bottle along with a pen/straw and you’d have yourself a handy bong in no time. I guess my bong building days started from there, who knew a decade or so later, it would turn into my dream business.
After spending the majority of my childhood years in Cape Town, I came to San Francisco and got my bachelors in business management, then spent the next 10 years there, mainly involved in real estate development and nothing close to the cannabis industry.
I love being in nature and I’m also a very eco-conscious person. Fortunately, I was able to bring these values into Vitae with me. I integrated a green approach in as many parts of the business as possible. To reduce our carbon footprint, we even plant 1 tree for every module of glass sold and we use biodegradable materials in our rings and boxes wherever possible. Keeping the planet green is one of our biggest goals and hopes for the future.
We don’t just smoke trees, we plant them too.
What is Vitae Glass and what does the word Vitae mean?
Vitae, pronounced Vee-Tie, comes from the Latin word, meaning LIFE. And we’re an eco-conscious, fully modular, build your own bong company based out of San Francisco. Every piece from the base, to percs and mouthpieces are all interchangeable with one another, so you’re able to build any shape and size piece that you’d want. You can mix and match pieces to create new variations, so the more pieces you have, the more combinations that you’d be able to make.
It’s kind of crazy when you do the math on it. With just 2 bases and 2 mouthpieces, you’d have 4 bong combinations (2×2). But if you had 3 bases, 2 percs, 3 mouthpieces, that would be a total of 16 or more combinations (3x2x3). And 5 bases, 5 mouthpieces = 25 different bongs. I guess this beats buying 25 new pieces, imagine the storage space that you’d save too.
We wanted to offer something where you wouldn’t need to buy a whole new piece every time you wanted to smoke out of a different piece, but instead, just buy some add-ons to it and be able to change it up completely. You’re also able to test which combination works best for which strains and occasions.
It’s all about mixing and matching and they’re also super easy to clean btw.
How did you come up with the idea and concept of build your own bong?
The idea came to me about 6 years ago, while I was in the shower. You know what they say, the best ideas do come when you’re in the shower, but it wasn’t me getting a clean this time, it was one of my bongs.
So, one day after hitting the bong, it was time for a cleaning. Being high and all, trying to maneuver this 16-18” tall piece under a bathroom sink was a real challenge. You need to tilt and angle the piece just to get a little water in there without tilting so much that the water spills back out. I’m sure you’ve all experienced my troubles before. So, the bathroom sink was not the best option, and I had to resort to using the shower in order to fill her up. Why did it have to be so inconvenient right?
At that moment, while standing in the shower, bong in hand, the idea to make something super easy to clean and interchangeable came to me. I stopped what I was doing, and sketched out the idea onto 7 pages of ordinary printer paper. I had ideas for the modular connection using threaded glass, and extra caps which you could easily screw onto the ends to make them self-contained, so that it would be easy to clean. It had the ability to switch between different modules, bases and mouthpieces. This was in 2016 and nothing really came of it, the plans just sat idle in the drawer.
It was about 2 years later, in 2018 when California’s recreational weed market started to take effect and things started to pick up. So, I was smoking with a buddy of mine one day, and he said “I wished there was something that you could break apart and it would be easy to clean”. At that moment, a light bulb went off and I remembered about my drawings. I told him to meet me back there in a few days.
Together, we made prototypes and tested different variations for the next year and half. Through the different trial and errors, we were able to finally create something that just made sense... individual cleaning caps for each piece to make cleaning a breeze, modular pieces that can mix and match, the possibility for endless combinations and thick quality glass as a standard. It’s like a smoker’s dream come true; at least, it was for me, and I hope it will be for you too.
We know bongs have been around for a few but how long has Vitae Glass been around? What’s in-store for Vitae Glass in the next couple of years?
We are just coming up on our 3rd birthday this 4/20. We’ve been working hard in expanding our production as we’ve started to gain some global interests. So far we’ve been shipping within the US and Canada only, but there’s thousands of smokers from around the globe that are starting to hear about us too, so we can’t deny them a good smoke, now can we?
We’re also working on a newer, faster connection method which we should have ready later this year. We haven’t really offered new styles for the last year since we’re holding it off until the new version is ready. Once we transition to the new version, we will offer more styles and even collabs among local artists. There will be pieces focused just for dabbing, freezable modules, bent mouthpieces, different colored glass options and more. The new version and the old version will be backward compatible so no worries there if you’re an existing customer.
We will also start distributing to dispensaries and smoke shops in the coming years so that it is more accessible in your neighborhood, however, we do have to increase our production capabilities in order to meet the demand first. So, if you’re a good glass artist or know anyone who’s looking to be a part of our team, please do reach out to us ☺.
So being a big fan and owner of Getting Chill Pipes well bongs is how I personally heard of you all. How did you get teamed up with them? Oh and by the way the combination of Getting Chill and Vitae look clean and sexy.
Thank you, yes the two pieces come together so well, we couldn’t be happier. I met the guys first on Instagram when they were still in their pre-launch stages. We kept in touch, exchanged many dm’s and later it blossomed into the beautiful partnership that we have now. We made modular bongs and they also made modular bongs, but out of stainless steel instead.
About 6 months ago, they needed some glass components to go with their pieces and we were happy to collab together. We worked to get a connector ring that would make our pieces interchangeable so that our percs and mouthpieces can connect directly onto their bases. That way, they can focus on their steel pieces and we can focus on our glass, it’s a win-win for both of us.
How can someone find you all and or order some sweet glass?
You can find us directly at our website www.vitaeglass.com if you’d like to cop a piece. You can also follow our IG @vitaeglass. As of this writing, we are not yet available in stores yet but hopefully we will be within this year, so our webpage is the best place to find us for now. You may even us code “cannacactus” to save 12% off your order!
Did I miss anything you want to tell the Cannabis Cactus world?
To those reading this, remember to take care of our planet, spread peace, love and positive vibes only. Recycle, reduce and reuse whenever possible #keepourplanetgreen. And last but not least, stay safe and stay lit fam!
Well… That’s a wrap…. JK. Wow what an amazing interview with a smart and passionate person. Gordon you are such a bad a** and so is Vitae Glass. I’m blown away. Your story, the product, and the amazing positive vibes. Truly a great company and person..
NMBEARDEDMAN APPROVED 100%
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