By Aaron A.
Cubicle life wasn’t what a young Jay Fratt saw for himself in 1997. Production deadlines and endless engineering meetings did not fulfill his desire to be a part of the ever-evolving, independent alternative culture blossoming in the 90s. He decided the monotony and repetition of the robotic corporate grind, was not for him. So, Jay quit his 9-5 job in the plastics industry in order to create a different future, one in which he openly and actively pursued his greatest passion, the legalization of industrial hemp. Thus was born the small hemp themed clothing store which over 20 years would grow and evolve into the oldest alternative pipe & tobacco store in SW Washington State … Smokin Js.
What a long strange trip it’s been! Smokin Js has grown up as a business during substantial cultural changes in Washington State. From medical cannabis legalization in 1998 to full recreational cannabis legalization in 2012, Smokin Js has participated in cannabis activism and education in Washington State the entire way.
Free Glass and Promotional Fun
The founder of Smokin Js grew up during the birth of the Internet. Back then you were expected to contribute something to the Internet in trade for asking for something. Jay has taken this idealistic philosophy to the advertising methods of Smokin Js.
- Email List Promotion
Smokin Js has an email list! Like duh, but they do things a little differently than most. With each email they send they give something away for free to a random person who opens the email. Typically during the Christmas and 420 months the prize is sick, or should I say dope af.
- Instagram Photo Contest
Yeah Smokin Js is on Instagram. Proud to have never paid for a service or bought a single follower, Smokin Js is legitimately connected to each person following the company feed. One of the coolest promotions the company has ever created centers around the Instagram universe: #JsSmokeSpot. The hash tag promotion is a monthly 420 photography contest. Each month the best smoke spot photo tagged on Instagram with #JsSmokeSpot wins a cool smoking prize pack for free. The Smokin Js founder has been traipsing around the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years looking for cool smoke spots, and now he has created a way for other smokers to share their cool discoveries. The promotion even has a website where every #JsSmokeSpot submission is displayed.
- Street Team
Do you ever get annoyed at paid celebrity endorsements? Like does Snoop Dogg really enjoy and use that crappy Chinese vape pen, or he is just counting duckets? The Smokin Js Sreet Team was created by actual Smokin Js customers. They wanted to know how they could get more involved with the company and participate in the cultural community Jay created. So he created one of the most innovative word-of-mouth programs in the industry. Smokin Js Street Team members compete for big prizes with special events during the year. The goal is to have fun and spread the positive vibes of Smokin Js. And membership does include added benefits! Contributing street team members have access to the Smokin Js Grant Program. From concert tickets to airfare, the Grant Program gives Smokin Js Street Team members the opportunity to customize their rewards. The street team program helped “Tecate” go from an amateur downhill bomber to a professional skateboarder. Yeah, pretty cool.