By Admin, BuyLocalBG.com, BuyLocalBg@gmail.com/
Thursday, February 13th, 2014 12:00 PM CST
Cloud 9 Hookah is our newest partner and we are excited about it. There are a ton of misconceptions in the US about Hookah and these guys are able to address them and show what a great time you can have enjoying an activity popular all over the world. We also love how knowledgeable about their product. Much like our other partners, they are passionate about what they do. Today, we speak with half of the dynamic duo behind Cloud 9, Josh Smith:
Tell us a little about you as a person. Where are you from, what are your hobbies and what inspired you to create your store?
I was born in Frankfurt, Germany in a University Hospital. I lived there 3 years with my military parents when I moved back to the U.S. and grew up around Fort Knox. I graduated with a BA in Psychology from WKU and worked in mental health for about 2 years. I moved to Boston where I lived with family for one year, before moving to Costa Rica for a year and a half. I worked for a language and volunteer institute (Maximo Nivel) as there Customer Service Manager. I biked and enjoyed the outdoors as one would in a such a beautiful country. I moved back to Bowling Green in Feb 2012 where I opened Cloud 9 with my business partner and best mate, Joshua Smith.
What is your earliest memory of your work, what got you interested in it?
My earliest memory is my senior year of college in 2008. Joshua had gotten into hookah with a friend of his and would have gatherings at his house where they would play games, talk and smoke hookah. At the time I wasn’t a fan of hookah but a huge fan of the atmosphere it created. It wasn’t until Josh had perfected the art of making a hookah, and showed me how it could be done in 2011, that I fell in love with smoking hookah. The enjoyment of that experience mixed with the atmosphere, I knew, surrounded the activity, sealed the deal for my passion in hookah. It is often thought that hookah is intertwined with drugs. The atmosphere I speak of, is one rooted in hookah history and most often portrayed, but less publicized. That is one of relaxing to a wonderful hookah, with coffee or tea, with friends who want to relax and talk. The connection is made from ignorance about hookah as well as the unfortunate few who mix hookah with the selling of marijuana products and “spice”. We have several B.G. Police officers who frequent our lounge and see the truth of this, as they enjoy a wonderful hookah and relaxing environment.
What is your favorite thing you sale?
My favorite thing to sell is knowledge. For when a customer purchases a hookah or shisha (a traditional name for the tobacco smoked in a hookah) they purchase information as well. We have always pushed hookah knowledge as a primary objective. A person purchasing a personal hookah, shisha, or a smoking session in the lounge, will ultimately enjoy it the most if they know more about it. So to see a customer purchase any item and to leave knowing more about it, makes me pleased to know they will come back because they have received more than just one purchase, but knowledge to enhance there overall experience.
Who are your influences in life and your work?
From sophomore year of college on, when I took my faith seriously, God has been the most influential in my life and work. Even when I have decided to walk my own way He has guided me. This entails, morals, life choices, and a desire to work, and be seen to work hard at jobs I hated. My brother, Cory, has always been a huge influence on me personally and professionally. He is a man of utmost integrity, and has a way of balancing his life well with work and fun. Joshua, my best mate, would be the third. He is one who never shy’s away from truth. He is always straightforward and honest and I believe in work and life, that will always benefit you in the end.
If you had to choose a last meal, what would you eat (Just a fun question and doesn’t have to be local)?
I am a fan of seafood, and would choose a clam bake style meal. This would include “steamers” (clams), lobster, and a selection of fish (Haddock, Halibut, Swordfish etc.)
How important is local business collaboration to you?
I believe it can only enhance profit and marketing when done well. Many businesses share similar interests in their customers. So by collaborating and cross-marketing they are able to easily point customers to the other business, and vice versa. It also allows businesses to share ideas about growth and customer satisfaction.
What event in Bowling Green (or Charity) are you involved with?
We have been involved with CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ) both at Western and abroad. We have also supported 2 mission trips to Haiti in the past year. We both have a heart for working abroad but do not neglect the work done locally. This includes supporting the Police Department who work hard to keep us safe.
What do you see for the future of your business in Bowling Green and serving South Central Kentucky?
I see us heavily involved in cross-marketing with local businesses with a better line of communication between those business. I see us growing and able to support more local charities and organizations, in general, that we feel do good work in the both the community and abroad.
What other locally owned businesses in town do you enjoy shopping, eating or patronizing?
I do not enjoy shopping, but food I love. Therefore, I have enjoyed the Brickyard Cafe, Kyotos, 440, Spencers, and Thai Express to name a few.
Cloud 9 Hookah has cultivated a great atmosphere on Broadway with free wifi, delicious selection of beverages, and the best hookahs in KY/TN make Cloud 9 Hookah a must for anybody needing to escape the mundane and relax in a comfortable environment! All while enjoying the highest quality products brought to you from us with experience and love. To keep up with their latest events and products hitting their shelves fan them on facebook and follow them on instagram!