After Nicholas Thomas kept breaking or losing his glass pipe, he found himself at headshops spending $10 or more on a new pipe. He wanted to find a way to avoid breaking the bank, and he was sure others did as well. So at the end of October 2021, Thomas founded 420 Pipes, an online headshop that now offers more than cannabis accessories.
420 Pipes started with inexpensive pipes that cost $4.20, but Thomas soon realized he wanted to offer products in just about every category. Soon after, he realized he also wanted to help small businesses and came up with a new marketplace program. Though 420 Pipes is an online shop, Thomas believes in supporting local businesses, focusing first on his stomping grounds of central Illinois.
Thomas, a Taylorville native, set out to alleviate headaches for businesses in the industry with a new platform. As an online store, 420 Pipes is open 24/7 and offers not only 420 Pipes products but also offers products from other local artists and businesses.
“We now offer a full service marketplace to small businesses, as well as a safe and easy experience for people looking to get their next pipe,” Thomas said.
Thomas and his team now provide a marketplace where businesses can buy, sell, and ship other headshop items to consumers nationwide. Thomas believes in lifting up businesses instead of what has happened in times past, and as he expands into multiple states, he “will make it” easy to search for favorite shops by geographical location.
“As the business grew, we realized that a lot of local shops needed help getting up and running online,” said Thomas. “It was then that we started helping businesses sell on 420pipes.com.”
Thomas wants to keep growing his business in order to provide the most complete experience to consumers, one day fulfilling everything that a stoner might need, including pieces, plants, grow equipment, clothes, games, music, and even CBD.
“Most of the people in the headshop industry are local, small businesses,” he said. “They have paved the way in normalizing and de-stigmatizing the notion that being a part of this culture is something that should be considered taboo. We absolutely love and respect the people that have gotten us to where we are today, but because most of these places don’t sell online, we want to get in and prevent these businesses from closing, like what happened to all of our favorite community book stores.”
Along with Thomas, the 420 Pipes team consists of Hallie Miller and Ellen Tadros. Thomas also can be found at the Old Capitol Farmers Market in downtown Springfield, as well as on Instagram @fourtwentypipes and Facebook. Use promo code ILLINOISNEWSJOINT420 for a 10% discount on all products.
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