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Starting a Pipe Club in the area

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EricTKT

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I live in Lubbock, Texas, and there is no pipe club to speak of anywhere in the Texas Panhandle. I've somewhat recently started working as the store manager of a cigar shop here, and have gotten the idea to start up a pipe club of my own. If anyone has experience starting a club from scratch, any and all feedback and ideas would be great. I've read an article on how the Waco Pipe Club was started, but I'm interested to know how any clubs you guys belong to were started and maintained. (dues or not, when to meet, how to organize leadership if any)

Thank you Brothers
 

Hiram-2011

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I have no experience but wish you the best of luck in starting one brother. I'm sure some knowledgeable brothers will chime in with great advice.
 

Brewdude

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kaitlyn3837 did this a while back and posted a thread about how to get started. She received a lot of helpful suggestions and went on to found it.

I did a quick search but it may be lost as the pages don't go back that far. Hopefully she can chime in and report.


Cheers,

RR
 

dquisenberry

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I was one of 3 guys who started the Dallas club in the mid 90s. It lasted about 10 years, thru several bars and tobak shops until we got removed from one for not spending enough money. It never found a good place to meet and dissolved. Some of its members heading to the North Texas Pipe Club which is still going strong.

The biggest issue will always be were to meet. Unfortunately, most pipers do not spend large amounts of money at local B&Ms, because they are not able to maintain near the selection of tobac and variety of pipes they can find on the internet, and certainly not at that price. That always is the biggest issue to get around. Finding a reason for a shop to be the meeting place.

The North Tx club meets at a cigar bar which sells very little pipe related stuff but has a fantastic bar, so we tend to say thank you there.
 

daveinlax

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dquisenberry":qtmitoi0 said:
The biggest issue will always be were to meet.  Unfortunately, most pipers do not spend large amounts of money at local B&Ms, because they are not able to maintain near the selection of tobac and variety of pipes they can find on the internet, and certainly not at that price.  That always is the biggest issue to get around.  Finding a reason for a shop to be the meeting place.  
That's been a issue with the two clubs I've been involved with. You get the guys that show up with mail order tins to pass around and then sit on their wallets. :shock:
 

dquisenberry

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Which is not unreasonable at all.  Which, IMO, if you are going to have a club meet at a shop, you should pay the shop a fee, and let people buy from where they wish.

daveinlax":itqrbcfp said:
That's been a issue with the two clubs I've been involved with. You get the guys that show up with mail order tins to pass around and then sit on their wallets. :shock:
 

ontariopiper

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I started a local pipe club here in Ontario last January, where legislation prohibits smoking in indoor public areas or workplaces, which nixes bars, patios and B&Ms.

One of the guys had a heated shop with full facilities we could meet in on sub-zero days, and turnout was initially very good, I thought, but as soon as the cold weather passed, attendance tanked. We're currently on hiatus for the summer. I'll try to get things moving again in September.


 

kaitlyn3837

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I did indeed start a pipe club: Greenville Pipe Club (SC). I also read the Waco Pipe Club article on how he got it started. It was very informative and helpful. But I will tell you about my journey and what I did right and wrong.

A friend of mine who lives in Greenville also happens to be a pipe refurbisher like myself. He suggested starting a pipe club, his idea was that someday it would be able to grow and have a yearly pipe show. He suggested it to me because I work for a shop in our local mall that carries pipes, pipe tobacco, and accessories. My shop also happens to have a small lounge in the back that allows cigars and pipes.

Once I decided to go for it, I got permission from the store owner to do it once a month. My eventual hopes were to do it twice a month. I pitched it to him that it might be a way to build our pipe community and by extension expand our pipe customers/profits. After I got permission I setup an official Facebook Page to post events and official news. Then I also posted a Facebook Group page, so that anyone who wanted to post about their daily smoke or special pipe, they could share!

I made up the little Pipe Club slips, five per paper, that I would put into the bag of anyone who purchased anything pipe related. Of course, if I could work it into the conversation, I told them what the pipe club slip was about. Anyway, the slips included the pipe club name, the facebook page, the date of the next meet-up, the time of the meet-up, and facts like "It's free!", "Bring your pipe(s)!", and "Free Tobacco Samples!".

Since I had a shop available as a host with benefits, I have been able to offer and do things more freely than other pipe clubs. The last couple months before summer I did do a raffle where it was $5 per ticket or 5 tickets for $20 to win a pipe plus 2-3 tins of pipe tobacco. With that being said, I never asked for dues because I was trying to win over the locals.

After all of this is said, I feel accomplished on this journey but because of April and May attendance, I had to take a break for the pipe club during the summer. Everyone is traveling. I had things I was doing. And I burned out a little.

But we are coming back with a vengeance in the fall!
 

EricTKT

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Thanks a lot guys! Especially kaitlyn3837. I have been able to touch base with some of my customers and there seems to be some interest, so I will be making larger strides to get this pipe club off the ground. I will keep the brotherhood apprised of my progress, and, who knows, maybe the Texas panhandle will be the next Chicago? :lol!:
 

kitobi

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good luck in your venture, I wish pipes in the UK were more popular and more clubs etc formed
 

kaitlyn3837

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EricTKT":nfbh13bu said:
Thanks a lot guys! Especially kaitlyn3837. I have been able to touch base with some of my customers and there seems to be some interest, so I will be making larger strides to get this pipe club off the ground. I will keep the brotherhood apprised of my progress, and, who knows, maybe the Texas panhandle will be the next Chicago? :lol!:
No problem!

I should have also suggested bringing in outside guests. For instance I had my Scandinavian Tobacco rep (Lane, STokkebye, Orlik.. etc) stop into one of the meets and did a tasting of multiple tobaccos for anyone who wanted it. It was free and the rep was happy to do it because he is expanding is potential customer base by getting personal time with more pipers. I had a refurbishing friend also head up one meeting by telling us about his refurbishing process.

Just suggestions! Do whatever works for your area and keep us posted on your progress or if you discover something that works well, share it!
 
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