Vendor Spotlight Vol 33: Head Choice Inc.

30
May

THE RIGHT CHOICE

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Tim Morrissey moved back to Colorado, got involved in the smoke-shop industry, loaded up his truck full of products and chased an opportunity. Today, his company, Head Choice Inc., is a leading distributor that helps launch the top new products in the biz

Tim Morrissey was about to drive from Colorado to San Francisco, an important trip that would ultimately change his life. But he first he decided he needed to get his mind right.

He had packed up an old Ford Bronco, full of vaporizers, hopes and dreams, and instead of heading toward the Golden Gate Bridge, he went north to Yellowstone National Park. It was there that he sketched out a structured, detailed business plan. He camped for two weeks, wrapping his brain around his next entrepreneurial mission — he was going to distribute vaporizers. He didn’t know it at the time, but soon enough his company, Head Choice Inc., would be distributing smoking accessories of all sorts, all around the country.

This story happens in 2007, so back then, selling vaporizers wasn’t as commonplace as it is today. But Morrissey, 36, has always been a guy who sees the bigger picture, who anticipates trends and who can sense opportunity.

In this case: He was working in China and noticed a friend back in Colorado was buying a lot of power cords from him. When Morrissey asked why, he got a surprising answer: for vaporizers. When Morrissey moved back home to Colorado, his first stop was at 7th Floor LLC, where his buddy was making the Silver Surfer Vaporizer.

“I really want in,” Morrissey remembers saying. “What do I have to do?”

So 7th Floor gave Morrissey exclusive rights to sell the Silver Surfer on the West Coast. It was just the opportunity he wanted. San Francisco seemed like the right place to start, so Morrissey loaded up the Bronco and took off. After his camping trip, with plan in hand, product in the truck and motivation in abundance, Morrissey arrived in the Bay Area and went smoke shop to smoke shop.

“I literally started knocking on doors,” says Morrissey. “One day, I went into one of the best smoke shops — Whelans Smoke Shop in Berkeley — and they gave me my first order. They gave me $700 cash and I thought, ‘I’m in the right business.’ ”

He sure was right. Even more right than he knew at the time. One shop turned into three, then five, then 10, then 25 and so on.

Head Choice Inc., Morrissey’s wholesale manufacturing and distribution company, has been ahead of the curve on industry trends ever since. Much like when he packed that truck full of vaporizers and sold them to smoke shops before they even knew they wanted them, Head Choice has made its mark by introducing emerging products to the market.

It’s something more than just being a distributor, though. It’s about being a steward of brands he believes in, about lifting up other entrepreneurs with good ideas who may not know about how to bring them to market, about finding the next great thing and sharing it with the world.

Back when he was dreaming big in his Ford Bronco, Morrissey had a plan for what he wanted his company to be. But soon he realized it was all wrong.

“We wanted to be a one-stop shop for smoke shops. We wanted to have a thousand SKUs,” Morrissey remembers, then checks himself: “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. I realized it was a stupid idea. It was a rubbish idea. We don’t want to be like everybody else. What we should really strive for is making sure we have the best of the best in each individual category. We work with small businesses that have amazing ideas. We’re in cahoots with them and believe that they’re the next best things in the industry. We try to find really up-and-coming talent, visionaries who are working in their garages.”

And then, he brings them on board and shows them how to succeed. It’s almost like the smoke-shop world is “Shark Tank” and he’s Mark Cuban doling out wisdom.

Some of the brands/products that Head Choice has introduced to the market or helped flourish in the market include: Pax by Ploom, Dime Bags, The Journey Pipe, 420 Science, RezBlock and Head Choice’s current favorite product, The DipStick.

The DipStick is a first-of-its-kind electric pen that requires no loading and doesn’t require a torch. It’s been dubbed the “world’s first dab pen.”

The-DipStick

“It’s the freshest, newest, best and most amazing product on the market,” Morrissey says. “There’s absolutely never been anything like it on the market. You can hear it in my voice. That’s how we get about every product we take on.”

He’s right, you really can hear the passion in his voice as he talks about the DipStick and the other products he’s pushed over the year.

“I love finding that new product or that new person,” Morrissey says. “I’ve been doing trade shows for years and I’ve had dozens upon dozens upon dozens of people come back to me a year or two later and say, ‘Dude, we took your advice.’ ”

When he was a kid, Morrissey’s idea of fun was creating his own businesses. Some were real — he picked weeds for neighbors — and some were imagined, like a paper-airplane business. He’d even recruit his friends to work for him. As he got older, that spirit turned into entrepreneurial gusto. He’d tried startups before, with varying results, so he can relate to some of the young dreamers he comes across today.

“I wish somebody would have sat down with me and just talked and become a resource to me in a mentor-type style,” Morrissey says, which is one of the reasons he says he’s always willing to talk to people about business or their products, even if Head Choice won’t take them on as a client.

As it functions now, Head Choice has an office in San Francisco and its corporate headquarters in Colorado Springs. There are about two dozen employees within the company, which Morrissey describes as “booming with young talent.”

He calls his employees “green-collar workers” and wants them to have sustainable careers. As a staff, they go out and clean up the community, not just for the attention, but he does want to spread a different image of the industry.

“Our philosophy is about being conscious people in our sector,” Morrissey says, “so we’re not looked at as stoners and lazy people laying on the couch. We want to bring a sense of professionalism to an industry that is often lacking in it.”

Years ago, when Head Choice was getting off the ground, Morrissey had a saying he liked to use and it’s still true today.

“This is the green rush and we sell picks and shovels,” Morrissey says.

Heck, looking around the country in 2015, with products booming and laws relaxing, that might be even more true today.

 

FOR MORE INFO:
headchoice.com
855-808-2767

 


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