Purr Glass is one of our favorite vendors from out west in California. Initially known for their scientific hammer bubblers, the Purr name has grown to include products such as bottle rigs and upright sherlocks. Smoke Cartel is continuously amazed by the high-quality products we get in from our American glassblowers, so we decided to get to the bottom of Purr Glass’s incredible creative vision and innovations.
How did you initially get started glassblowing?
It all started with a trip to Italy as a young teenager. I was visiting family and while there visited Murano, where they’re infamous for their glassmaking history. Seeing the artists and live glassblowing really hit home. Maybe it’s because I grew up playing with fire or have an affinity for tactile art, but it seemed that everything fell into place. After that trip, I immediately began pursuing the arts - glassblowing, ceramics, etc. I went on to further study glassblowing and ceramics at Chico State. It was during that time in college when I invented the first scientific hammer bubbler and launched Purr
How would you summarize the Purr Glass business model that you guys built back in 2003? Given the huge shifts in the industry over the last 13 years, what -- if anything -- has changed?
The Purr model aligns with Henry Ford’s vision - to give everyone access to high quality products.
In 2003, Purr was the first branded scientific bubbler company on the market, so I had to pioneer my own path. When Purr started, “scientific” glass was not as prominent in the pipemaking industry as it is now. It was limited to Roor, which at the time only made high end tubes. So the options were limited to expensive scientific tubes or expensive heady pipes and neither option worked for me. The vision seemed idealistic at first, but I was determined to offer accessible, quality scientific bubblers.
Fast forward 13 years and everything’s changed - from legalization to concentrates to vaping. In contrast to when we first started, the pipe market has heavily grown and is booming. As a result, however, there’s an overwhelming cycling of brands and options, which means a lot of inconsistency and lack of dependability in the marketplace. So although much has changed, it seems like our mission is just as relevant today as it was in 2003. There’s value in being a tried and true brand and having a history.
We’ve always been proud to be a California company. Living in this hub, with its rich history in pipemaking has really allowed us to be on the forefront of innovation and trend. It’s an extremely fortunate position to be in.
Additionally, taking Purr nationwide and internationally has been a remarkable journey. Broadening our reach has definitely impacted our scope and perspective, but our foundational sense of design and vision continues to hold true. It’s exciting to be met at each stage of our growth with evidence that the need for accessible, quality American pipes is not diminishing.
Keep checking back on Smoke Cartel for more awesome Purr products, right out of Chatsworth, California.