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Steele Concept

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Hi guys,

My name is Steve Steele and I just finished my Masters degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology last August. This means that pretty much I can say I have a Masters degree and owe a boatload of money lol... I have some B2B Sales experience along with retail sales experience. I've been building and repairing computers for 10 years so I have that skill set as well.

I always wanted to start a business and I knew I had to launch Steele Concept LLC when an idea for an indestructible designer water pipe popped into my head some months ago. Since then it's been 7 days of work a week and I made my first sale on my 25th birthday. If you want to check it out you can do so at Steele Concept | Indestructible Designer Water Pipe - I'm into homebrewing beer and wrote a free ebook available at Best Way To Brew - Home as well.

Please note I'm all sold out currently and not trying to sell you anything, just show you my product. You can't buy my product even if you try :cool:

DSC_9589_HDR-1024x677.jpg

I wanted to start out by saying thanks for MJ for writing such an incredible book. It was truly the icing on the cake that launched my a$$ into action!

I originally wanted to start my own brewery or do contract brewing at a local microbrewery I worked/interned at while attending graduate school. I made sure to pick the owners brain and ask him plenty of business questions while I was there. I found out that the beer market for micro/nano breweries has been quite saturated since the 90's and even though I have a killer recipe I was best off pursuing another venture.

I have never had so much fun working in my life. Even though currently I work 7 days a week it is highly enjoyable. It is very tough to invent and begin patenting and manufacturing a product but when I see peoples reactions after they see and handle my pipe it is so worth it. I've had many "wows!" handshakes and congratulations that really make me feel warm inside.

My goal is to establish a dealer network in New England composed of 20-25 dealers, maintain my own personal eCommerce site and leverage a distribution network to get my product to the rest of the U.S./world

My dealer network should be established by month end, my eCommerce site will be ready by the end of the week and I have nice offers from distributors coming in.

My mission statement is "To provide the highest quality indestructible water pipe on the market. It will be constructed of borosilicate glass, 304 stainless steel and polycarbonate."

Like MJ's book states... If you provide the quality and value, they will come. I'm working on impacting millions.

Look for my ad in the December issue of High Times.

In my free time I like to do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, swing Kettlebells, run, enjoy the outdoors and read, write and play with computers.

So basically I like choking people, swinging hunks of metal around and being a nerd.

You can call me weird, or interesting, whatever you'd prefer. I'm damn proud to be here.
 

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Yussef

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I don't want to sound slow but dude is that a Bong?::smxF::
 

JasonR

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Hmm...interesting concept. Good luck!
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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Bong is considered slang terminology for consumption of an illicit substance. If you are in a medical state the laws can vary.

This is a water pipe for tobacco use only.

I definitely went for a clean and modern aesthetic after some research about Jon Ives (Apple designer) and Dieter Rams (Famous German designer)

These guys know their shit.
 

JasonR

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What do you the cubes inside the pipe do?

I only smoke cigars occasionally, but I'm curious. The pipe looks neat, lol.
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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What do you the cubes inside the pipe do?

I only smoke cigars occasionally, but I'm curious. The pipe looks neat, lol.
Thank you, i appreciate it. The 304 Stainless Steel cubes are filled with glycerin. Glycerine is a safe substance used in food and the pharmaceutical industry. Glycerin has a particularly low freezing point and will gel when the cube is frozen.

You freeze the cubes in the freezer prior to use and then add them to the tube prior to use. They stay cold for a LONG time. The water percolation through the frozen column of steel provides for a massive heatsink thereby making the smoke/vapor exhale as light as air.

It took me a while to design this as it looks simple but there were a lot of variables at hand. Design and manufacture is half the battle whilst distribution seems to be the other half.

I'm a sales/marketing guy by nature so this is the fun part for me. Well I won't lie both parts have been fun but I poured my heart and soul into this product and when I see the smiles or hear how people like it, it just lights up my day :D
 

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Thank you, i appreciate it. The 304 Stainless Steel cubes are filled with glycerin. Glycerine is a safe substance used in food and the pharmaceutical industry. Glycerin has a particularly low freezing point and will gel when the cube is frozen.

You freeze the cubes in the freezer prior to use and then add them to the tube prior to use. They stay cold for a LONG time. The water percolation through the frozen column of steel provides for a massive heatsink thereby making the smoke/vapor exhale as light as air.

It took me a while to design this as it looks simple but there were a lot of variables at hand. Design and manufacture is half the battle whilst distribution seems to be the other half.

I'm a sales/marketing guy by nature so this is the fun part for me. Well I won't lie both parts have been fun but I poured my heart and soul into this product and when I see the smiles or hear how people like it, it just lights up my day :D
Get any of your friends who has a dslr and make a lightbox and take a good product shot of it. The current one you have is not good enough for a $300 product.
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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Get any of your friends who has a dslr and make a lightbox and take a good product shot of it. The current one you have is not good enough for a $300 product.
Which picture are you referring to when you say not good enough?

Thanks!
 

PatrickP

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Have you thought about the possibility that you could be sending an illegal product and put yourself at risk for arrest?

'water pipes' are illegal in some counties and possibly even some states. Each to his own I don't understand putting the sort of time effort and energy into to something which is at best quasi legal.
 

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With a product like a bong, I cant help but think you are not taking being an entrepreneur very seriously. At first I thought you created an indestructible plumbing pipe for homes. FYI most weed smokers are poor good luck with that target market.

They all say tobacco use only... :rolleyes:
 

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Atown512

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Hey man, don't get discouraged. I think you have one hell of a product, and the steel freezer cubes are brilliant! I think most of the people posting here don't have any idea how big of a market you are in. I have a few friends from college that are in the "tobacco" industry, and it is WAY bigger than I thought.

With a product like a bong, I cant help but think you are not taking being an entrepreneur very seriously. At first I thought you created an indestructible plumbing pipe for homes. FYI most weed smokers are poor good luck with that target market.
I don't understand this statement at all. It is a lot like saying an entrepreneur that is making millions in the porn industry isn't taking it very seriously. As far as weed smokers being poor, you guys would be shocked at how much money people spend on smoking devices. $300 is actually a pretty reasonable price IMO. It solves the problem of fragile glass, and makes the ice feature more convenient.
 

JAJT

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Have you thought about the possibility that you could be sending an illegal product and put yourself at risk for arrest?
He needs to understand the laws VERY thoroughly - like hire a lawyer thoroughly, but I don't think this is much of a barrier - I know I've seen bongs for sale practically everywhere I've ever gone in North America. Should be easy to figure out what the "do" and "do not" actions are in this field since it is a HOT topic right now.

FYI most weed smokers are poor
Because they tend to spend their money on weed and accessories. It's a very captive audience. I've known a few weed smokers in my time and they all spent "too much" money in head shops. Even the cheapest glass bongs are north of $60 - and I don't know anyone who hasn't broken a few in their time who smoke from them. They also buy this stuff for their friends since it is usually a pretty easy "hobby" to buy for.

Look at weed vaporizers (google Volcano) - they are expensive (like $500+) and they sell just fine - and that is a small niche within a niche.

This may be controversial but it by no means excludes him from the "entrepreneur" category.

Not wanting to burn your lungs while smoking is a pretty big NEED. This fills that need. Makes perfect sense to me.
 

PatrickP

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Just google Arrested for selling water pipes and you will see it DOES happen.

Raids Are Latest Round in Fight Over Drug Paraphernalia : DCist

Raids Are Latest Round in Fight Over Drug Paraphernalia

If you walked into what are commonly known as "head shops" in the District, you could legally buy yourself a large water pipe -- but a visible disclaimer would let you know that it could only be used to smoke tobacco.

Foolish as the disclaimer may seem, it represents the fine legal line between what's allowable under District law and what constitutes drug paraphernalia. It's that fine line which may have served as cause for the four raids on local head shops that took
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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While I respect everyone's opinion... I don't know If some of you know this industry all that well. I consulted with a VERY good attorney who is an expert in the area. I have spoken with many owners and former owners of large multimillion dollar companies. I am in 100% compliance and will stay that way.

This is an honest and viable business venture in a rapidly growing industry. I invented a product that has recieved a lot of praise and I have every intention to provide value to a demographic in need of some innovation.

Expensive designer water pipes break. Mine doesn't and it is extremely smooth and modern. Need fulfilled.

This is a passion of mine and I am providing a much needed service.

For those who don't know, people usually pay $200-$500 for a nice pipe in the industry.
 

Mr.Dietsch

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Marijuana is a bigger industry then most people realize. Your neighbor probably smokes everyday, and you would never know. Why? its Taboo, just like porn, and so many people love it! Props to this guy, he will be seeing the money roll in very soon, that is a promise. Obviously anyone commenting that this is not a good idea has never accidentally dropped a glass pipe. It happens all the time. The only competition really is the double glass pipes that are virtually unbreakable as well.
 

Rawr

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Jesus, does the guy have to cure cancer to get some props around here?

Good going man, good luck. Seconded Bio's comment - you need both pictures to look better. Play with the angles, get the whole thing, zoomed in, all in high res, you could probably get by with iphone 4 camera.

Also figure out if you are going to use "I" or "we" - I'd like to hear opinions of some other members on this, but in my experience "we" is more credible, although I am not sure if you are going for the younger audience or the people who can afford to drop $300 on a pipe.

A little too clustered with menu options up to. Do you really need "cart"?

Cheers
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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Marijuana is a bigger industry then most people realize. Your neighbor probably smokes everyday, and you would never know. Why? its Taboo, just like porn, and so many people love it! Props to this guy, he will be seeing the money roll in very soon, that is a promise. Obviously anyone commenting that this is not a good idea has never accidentally dropped a glass pipe. It happens all the time. The only competition really is the double glass pipes that are virtually unbreakable as well.
Thanks for your support. What are these double glass pipes you speak of? Are you talking the super thick 10mm scientific tubes out there?

From my experience glass is glass and no matter how thick, they will break eventually.

All material in my product is FDA approved and combustion/vaporization occurs in the GonG (glass on glass) section which is nice. The fit between the stainless and GonG is air tight.

Stainless is a stellar conductor of heat and therefore can cool the base water as well as the glycerin tube section quite well.
In all honesty when beta testing the product 15 users were quite impressed with the smoothness, especially for a unit being that compact. A little paradigm shifting in the world of excessive percolation ...

:cool: I'm happy when my customers are happy. They are the boss and this product was the result of a lot of feedback. Manufacturing is tough but to be able to hold and show something tangible is really nice.
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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Rawr,

My core demographic is the college demographic 18-22 and white collar professionals and everyone who appreciate fine design and people who just tend to break shit.

There will be future variations and products so the cart is there for know. I have another device designed but this product is going to be my core competency and bread and butter. I have found its best to perfect a product, rather than launch into a bunch of products and overcommit so the quality on your core product suffers.

Better pics, video etc. will come in time.

Regarding I vs. we, I use both. I am a sole member LLC but have friends help me do sales and have close relationships with my suppliers to cross promote. I may utilize independent sales contractors in the future working off commission only.

My primary strategy is manufacturing the best indestructible designer water pipe out there and leveraging diversification through my 3 channels of distribution. It has been going well so far, once advertising and word of mouth grow, I believe the sky is the limit.

Thanks.
 

Rawr

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Look dude, this is a forum, not a panel of investors, so if you put a topic up to get some feedback it's a good idea to approach it as "what can I learn" vs "how can I come off cool", it makes people respect you when you are honest with yourself, you know what I mean?

Rawr,

My core demographic is the college demographic 18-22 and white collar professionals and everyone who appreciate fine design and people who just tend to break shit.
That is not a very specific demographic. In fact, it is confusing as to why you'd even include the last part, it shows lack of attention when looking at this very concept of "who will I sell this thing to - WHO WILL ACTUALLY NEED IT (BUY) THIS THE MOST?" The reasoning here is, the better you know your customer, the better you can target them, and generate more money, which is the goal here, right?



Better pics, video etc. will come in time.
Sure, but why wait? Why turn away any customers who might think the pictures look amateurish?

Regarding I vs. we, I use both. I am a sole member LLC but have friends help me do sales and have close relationships with my suppliers to cross promote. I may utilize independent sales contractors in the future working off commission only.
What I mean is, when you talk to the customer through the website, which one do you want to be? 'The guy who invented the thing and here i am selling it'.... or the company?

My primary strategy is manufacturing the best indestructible designer water pipe out there and leveraging diversification through my 3 channels of distribution. It has been going well so far, once advertising and word of mouth grow, I believe the sky is the limit.

Thanks.
Good luck, I think word of mouth can be a good move here, think referrals, possibly discounts for referred people?
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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Rawr,

I'm not trying to come across as 'cool' or not listen to advice. That's why I posted to get advice.

The photography in the gallery section is professional photography and my dealers and customers have been pleased. Please tell me specifically which pictures you guys are referring to that look amateurish? It's hard to photograph polycarbonate due to the reflections, so I think the pictures came out nicely.

The primary demographic is those who participate in the "counter-culture" so to speak. Specifically, college kids older people with the money to afford a premium, indestructible water pipe.

I make it clear I am the inventor and owner of Steele Concept LLC. In this industry people appreciate local, independent artists (generally glassblowers) I am a local manufacturer who wishes to have the same, albeit a more premium image that reflects my product. I'm all about transparency and do not pretend to be a large company. The companies I work with can be large companies with international brand recognition.

The price is $319.99, those who are on my Facebook or read the High Times ad get a coupon code for $20 off. This encourages word of mouth. I have a referral discount program in place for those individuals in college towns who can move units.

Thanks everyone!
 

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JAJT

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I have a couple suggestions:

- I'd like to see the product front and center right on the home page. Right now I have to start a video or click an image gallery to see it. I'd love a big fat interest-capturing image. The size of the product in the video is also a bit small IMHO.

- On my screen I have to scroll down to see "the gallery" at the bottom. I see like the top 30% of the images, I'd prefer them above the fold.

- The picture picture of "whole unit" should be the side shot that shows the spout. Right now the first image make it look like an odd tube.

- Look into updating your video. Get a mic to eliminate room echo, don't do it in your bedroom (or wherever you are), turn up the brightness in the room and do a few more run-throughs of your script.

I think you have a great potential product. Keep sharing your story as you go!

(By the way - are those gel cubes off-the-shelf from someplace or did you have them manufactured? I was looking for something very similar not too long ago)
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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JAJT,

That's what I'm F*ckin talkin about man. Some real solid advice you just gave.

The first thing you will see is an HD professional video featuring just the product and it's percolating action in real real time. I will be deleting my other video as it is too low quality and wordy. It sufficed for the first month or so but now my flight manual covers the specifics so the old video is irrelevant and detracts from the product. I'll also re arrange the pics in the right order, I know exactly what you are talking about.

People wanna see the product in all it's glory, not my ginger a$$ yapping :thumbsup:

I have already arranged for the video and it will be coming soon.

Thanks for the advice.
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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JAJT - I almost forgot, the cubes are the only foreign import as detailed in the Info section. I import them and they are manufactured in lots of 5,000. If you wanna talk cube suppliers, shoot me a PM, we can talk.
 

Sowster

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Amazing.
This is a product I would buy and there are definitely a lot of people that I know would buy this, not to mention the possibility of distribution to every head shop around the country and around the world.
Keep going!! this is something that hasn't been done and there is a definitely NEED for it.
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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Amazing.
This is a product I would buy and there are definitely a lot of people that I know would buy this, not to mention the possibility of distribution to every head shop around the country and around the world.
Keep going!! this is something that hasn't been done and there is a definitely NEED for it.
Thank you Sowster. Your encouraging comments are much appreciated. The first thing I did was to glance at the left of the screen to see your age.

Chances are, you are college bound, experienced with the counter culture and have experienced first hand the emotional turmoil of a broken piece.

In short, you get it.

My product was manufactured in the aftermath of a RooR and PURE that both died gruesome deaths. I had to ask myself... Is yet another all glass designer pipe really the answer our community needs? How many people do you know in your personal life that have lost money right before their eyes as their premium pipe cracked at the bistable joint from a tip?

My friends and I have lost a lot of money from this and it sucks.
 

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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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Im am talking about this pic.

Steele Concept | Steele Concept

However, all the rest can use an upgrade. Take a look at other glass and clear product shots.

BTW! I think its a cool product and will sell.
Thank you for your kind words and your feedback biophase. You'll notice if you click on that picture a much cleaner one pops up. I think the first pic is an issue with resizing, if I can't figure it out I'll ask a web nerd friend.

Better media will be coming soon.

I have received a multitude of tempting offers from national/international distributors but I have a particular one in mind that I'm speaking with that I think would be the best fit. They are known for carrying the most innovative and newest products. We will see...

Like in the finance industry, I believe in diversification to protect my brand from uncontrollable environmental factors.

I will have my next lot of units ready to move by next week :urock2:
 
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Steele Concept

Steele Concept

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I took some of your guys suggestions and completely revamped the website the last few days.

It's now squeaky clean and I should have an HD product highlight video coming soon.

Let me know what you think :)
 

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