The Art of Persuasion
If you've been keeping up with our Newsletter and blog lately, you may have noticed that a conversation seems to have developed, broadly speaking, about what it means to be a pipe smoker amongst the greater non-pipe smoking public. A common thread here, and in a few comments on this blog and our Facebook page by you guys, is that we are often a lonely bunch in this hobby. Sure, we can congregate and conspire on the various internet forums, but I know many of you out there are forced to puff alone - a practice not without contemplative merit, but also one that foregoes much of the shared interaction one gets when sitting with another smoker, such as the casual sharing of tobaccos (be they an old favorite, or a new discovery), or discussions of a pipe's grain, shape, finish, and heft, or even the inevitable meandering conversation unrelated to our mutually shared interest.
So my thinking is this: What if we were to become more proactive in pulling others into our hobby? In my experience, even the most ardent anti-smokers become curious when they see me with a pipe. Of course, these are not the people we would focus on trying to win over, though you can at least delight in their expressions when telling him/her that, at least in some studies, pipe smokers have been shown to live longer. Pick a person or persons, preferably already a smoker of some other sort, whose company you enjoy and bring them into our relatively arcane little corner of the greater tobacco world. We have a wonderfully rich and complex pastime that most no one knows about; send 'em down the rabbit hole. And don't limit this persuasive exercise to men-- the world could use more female pipe smokers.
The most obvious place to start is with the pipe itself. Show off your collection, and talk about what makes each special, be it grain, shape, finish, or heft and balance. Bring 'em to our site, and "ooh" and "ahh" over the wonderfully creative interpretations of "pipe" from Larrysson and the fine craftsmanship of Tonni Nielsen, both of whom, by the way, have pipes set to go up with today's update (and try not to give over to suspicions that I, as the SPC Marketing Guy, am slyly enlisting you pro bono to help us sell some pipes). Give 'em a history lesson in our Estate section, where today we've just added to our selection seventy-two more proudly restored pieces from all over the map. Also browse our smoking-hot new selection of pieces from Ashton, L'Anatra, Randy Wiley, and Cavicchi. Are they in the mood to buy? Perhaps your prospective partner in briar may wish to start with one of the quality wallet-friendly pipes we're offering from Nording, Savinelli, Peterson, and Stanwell.
John Sutherland: Marketing Mngr and Sr. Photographer