You're probably here because you want to know a little more about us. Well, here you go! We're here to serve your pipe, pipe tobacco and cigar needs, so here's who's providing that service. We're proud to have a sophisticated, professional and knowledgeable staff and we're here to help you in any way that we can (well, with things tobacco related, at least; our quantum physics skills are frequently found wanting and our plumbing skills are nonexistent).
Below you'll find a list of everyone who works for Smokingpipes.com and what we all do here. To the left, that's our main building, which houses our store, Low Country Pipe & Cigar, plus some of our storeroom/warehouse space and most of our offices, which are on the second and third floors. We have a second, smaller, facility about a two hundred feet from the left end of the building (as oriented in the photo) that houses most of our warehouse space and our shipping and receiving staff, plus the customer service department. Anyway, poke around below and get to know us a little bit. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to call us (888 366 0345) or email us.
To know Sykes is to know that his interests lie primarily in pipes, technology, and...the 11th century Mediterranean? Born into an academic family, Sykes entered college assuming he would continue in that tradition. But life has a funny way of turning a history major from Vanderbilt expecting a career in academia, into a successful pipe retailer. During his freshman year of college in 1998, he was hired to work in a local tobacco shop. And thus began a love affair with tobacco and pipes that has not diminished across his years in the tobacco business. It was about this time that everyone thought that the internet would change everything and that company book values were measured in 'eyeballs', and Sykes saw an opportunity to combine his love of pipes and technology. He founded Smokingpipes.com in 2000 while he was still finishing up his degree, with the hopes that it could become a hub for pipe enthusiasts around the world to find high quality pipes. "Technology should augment the personal touch, not replace it" says Sykes, about almost everything (and occasionally entirely out of context during meetings, which is how we know he's been napping). He has experience in every capacity within the company, seeing as how he was the company in its infancy, but his main responsibilities include sales, vendor relations, overseeing finances and operations, coding, and making high level decisions about restaurants on business trips.
Having studied art and poetry at CalArts in Valencia, California, Ted admits freely that his initial impulse to pick up a pipe had more to do with cultivating his pretentiousness as a blossoming young artist than it had to with his desire to smoke fine tobacco. Fastforward ten years and Ted's thoughts on pipes and tobacco are as sober as his critique of conceptual art. After years in a local rock band in Stockton, California, and six years with Starbucks Coffee, Ted came into the company as Sales Manager. Presently, as General Manager, Ted supervises the various departments that compose Smokingpipes.com. This means he has a hand in estate restoration, purchasing, customer service, sales, shipping, photography, our bi-weekly update, and our brick & mortar store. He’s a pretty busy guy anymore.
If one were to idly wander through the Smokingpipes offices, your first impression of Lisa might simply be that of a quiet, diminutive, friendly lady sitting behind a contrastingly large desk. The reality is that she sits behind that large desk because she is the rock of Smokingpipes - while Sykes is brainstorming with Susan or Ted, or trotting off overseas to meet with pipemakers and work out some crazy deal, Lisa's the one making sure we have things like electricity, shelter, fresh coffee beans by the sack-full, and paychecks.
Originally from Reading, PA, Lisa relocated to South Carolina on account of her love of the beach, and ascended to her current senior position (rather literally) from being manager of our first-floor brick & mortar pipe and cigar shop, Low Country Pipe and Cigar.
Aside from her official duties as the Smokingpipes matriarch, Lisa also serves as our resident expert on all matter Disney-related, as evidenced by the hefty dream-vacation itinerary she provided Adam with when he took his wife to Disneyworld. (And which turned out, by all accounts indeed, to be a rousing success.)
After more than seven years of direct involvement in Laudisi Enterprises, and as VP of Sales for four years, Tony left at the end of 2009 to continue to pursue his 'education' in Atlanta, GA. Forgive us for being skeptical, but having received his reports of the co-ed population of Atlanta, we're now expecting his thesis to be entitled "The Biological Implications of Postmodern Anthropological Rituals in Atlanta, GA: A Case Study". Tony managed day-to-day operations at Smokingpipes.com for two years, so we're constantly finding ourselves calling to ask questions, mostly beginning 'where the ____ is...'. He's also involved in strategic planning for the company, and joins us for major company events, such as the Chicago Pipe Show.
Dennis' interest in pipes grew from his history with woodworking and carpentry, both personally and through his family. He's joined us after an extensive career as a Firefighter, embracing the artistry of the pipe, but also hoping to incorporate his experience in structured management and organization. Dennis loves to travel, frequently dragging friends and family with him, and not only makes up for his wife's lack of navigational skills but enjoys total immersion in new places and cultures. He is also an amateur Irish historian and beverage aficionado.
Tracy and her husband, David set out together to Myrtle Beach when they were both just nineteen, and have made a pretty good run of it. David has owned and operated his own income tax and accounting practice since 1994, which Tracy continues to help out with part-time. She herself ran her own mortgage broker firm from 2003 to 2009, and her considerable experience in purchasing, accounting, and inventory control has quickly proven valuable here at Smokingpipes, where she enjoys being able to utilize her skills - not to mention our relaxed environment and the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of an industry that's entirely new to her. When they aren't busy with, well, business, she and her husband enjoy getting out and back to nature, camping and hiking with their three children.
Chuck is the son of a United States Marine Corps Sergeant Major and former Drill Instructor - which, he assures us, did indeed make for a colorful boyhood. Upon reaching adulthood, or at least a close approximation to it, he himself enlisted in the Marines "despite my knowledge of that organization", as he tells it. Having eventually survived that youthful indiscretion, he later embarked upon a career in telecommunications, starting out as a technician, and retiring forty years later as a senior application engineer. Upon retirement, his initial plans were to settle down in the North Myrtle Beach area and enjoy himself by, for once, doing nothing. As novel as this experience may have been for Chuck, he soon realized there was a reason he hadn't done it before - and promptly came to us, hoping we would give him something to do. And so we have, utilizing his "limitless creative talents" (as he modestly describes them) as the all-purpose office go-fer, and, by unanimous decision, our Master Coffeemaker.
Greg has lived in the Myrtle Beach area since 1988, certainly long enough to be considered native, and has spent much of that time with his wife, Cheryl. He has earned an AS in Computer Programming, and has worked in the industry as a Programmer and Computer Tech for over eight years. A food connoisseur, he loves mac and cheese and an elegant blend of coffee and energy drinks. He likes puppies and enjoys long walks on the beach.
Carley came to South Carolina from New Jersey like most of our crew, but at a very young age. She began gymnastics and dance training after the move, continued for 11 years, and still loves it. This enthusiasm extended to cheerleading in high school, and the flying trapeze after that, launching her dreams of joining the circus. Opting for a different kind of circus, however, Carley is currently studying Psychology at HGTC, and hopes for a future in Neuro-Psychology. She is very close with her sister, Kaysie, and her three Pomeranians; Philly, Andy, and Petey, and is excited about joining the Smokingpipes family.
Originally from Mississippi, John found his way to South Carolina by way of his education; first receiving a bachelors in Fine Art/Photography from Delta State and then his masters at Clemson. Finally realizing that he was born a pipe smoker (who knew?) during his first week of employment, John feels complete now that he has the outlet to nuture his newfound hobby. John is a movie buff, a cat person and a mediocre juggler. He also loves the taste of burnt cheese.
Lead Photographer & Winner of best Smokingpipes.com Beard Award
A graduate of Atlanta's Oglethorpe University, Chris Johnson relocated to the Myrtle Beach area with his wife, Katy, and their little daughter, Maeve, shortly before joining the Smokingpipes.com team, and has since become quite the budding pipe enthusiast. This latest pursuit joins his already long-running interests in surfing and the art of aquascaping. What's more, he's also followed in another great Smokingpipes.com employee tradition: Conspicuous beard-growing.
Forgive the cliche', but Adam's passion for pipes definitely goes to 11. And you realize that when you ask him a question about pipe bits and his twenty minute answer doesn't include a comma or a breath. Adam's duties here include, but are not limited to, inspecting all new and estate pipes for drilling, fit and finish, construction, and cosmetic issues. He also enjoys writing weekly condition statements along with pipe descriptions, mainly estates. He is, to put it mildly, meticulous in his research and would rather quit smoking a pipe than sell something below quality to a fellow smoker. Adam is also a celebrated pipe maker, creating and crafting some of our more sought after pipes. He is an industrial design graduate of Purdue University, and has designed pieces such as office products, furniture and cars. Adam's future in pipes was cemented when, as a young child, he refused to watch Frosty the Snowman because he couldn't fathom why a snowman with a magic hat would choose a corncob pipe over a patent sandblast.
Eric's humble beginnings with smokingpipes.com started with data entry where his love of pipes grew and eventually merged with his creative writing talent. He now describes about 75% of the pipes and smoking accessories that go up on the website every week. Eric is another member of our New Jersey faction, and is a fan of smoking a latakia, cheap cigars and silence. In his own words, "Animals adore me, women giggle schoolgirlishly at me, and men want to know what I could have possibly been thinking."
Until mid-2011, Alyson was manager of the combined Merchandizing and Marketing departments. She has since cut back her responsibilities to go back to school and pursue other things, but continues to do some design work, video editing and the like for Smokingpipes.com. Although she has lived in South Carolina since 2002 (leaving behind New Jersey), she refuses to eat grits or say "y'all". She is a self-diagnosed ailurophile, but we secretly think she's just building a cat army. (Alyson, you shouldn't leave your "literature" in the copier.)
A native of Geneseo of western New York, Cyndy moved down to Georgia following college, working in the restaurant industry for several years before becoming a full-time mom to three (wonderful) children. Later on down the road she would make use of her acquired child-wrangling skills as a school bus driver, then, following that, as a customer service representative. Eventually she decided a change of scenery was in store, and, like so many with a similar urge, she chose South Carolina as her destination.
Katie works in the Marketing Department to ensure that your pipes, cigars, tobacco and accessories look as beautiful on the web as they do in person. Part of the Smokingpipes.com Jersey faction, Katie moved to South Carolina with her family when she was just two years old.
Kelly originally hails from Montgomery County, Maryland, and only relocated to South Carolina about a year previous to her joining the Smokingpipes team. Though she and her husband originally moved here to be closer to his grandparents, it's proven fortuitous for Kelly, someone who loves the color green (which we have plenty of), as well as wearing flip-flops -- something she'll do as far into winter (which we have very little of) as she can. In her spare time she enjoys just about all manner of music, thriller and horror novels and movies alike, cooking, and playing with and caring for her family dogs -- all half-dozen of them.
Following in the Smokingpipes tradition of unorthodox career paths, Pete Kogler capped off a twenty-six year long run as a touring musician by earning a business degree focusing on marketing and graphic design. (That's not to say he's stopped playing music, though; along with boating and fishing, it still makes up a healthy chunk of his free time.) And as a native of Buffalo, NY, Pete's furthermore added to our other great tradition, that of welcoming into our bosom those who have migrated (fled?) to the Myrtle Beach area from the Northeast.
From an early age, Seth wanted to be an artist. Of what sort became a creative quest that would span over two decades. His childhood, in West Virginia, was spent compulsively drawing, obsessed with aspirations of becoming a Disney animator. Spending his teens as a graphic novel penciller, by his early 20s, money suddenly became very important and so he resorted to illustration. After visiting the Louvre in Paris, he said "Screw it, I'm doing what I want", and, against his family's wishes and good advice, settled on fine art painter. Graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2009, with his Bachelor of Fine Arts, Seth moved to Philly to attend The University of the Arts in pursuit of his Master of Fine Arts degree. There, after writing a million essays—and one very long thesis—he discovered a love of writing that had long been dormant. Having enough of city life, Seth moved his wife and two children to the laid back town of Myrtle Beach, SC, in hopes of gaining some introspection and sanity, somehow winding up a copywriter for Smokingpipes.com.
Kathryn, or "Kat" for short, is a South Carolina native who has been in the Myrtle Beach area for 12 years. Having recently achieved her Bachelor of Arts in English at Coastal Carolina University, she is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Writing. Having been accused of "Facebooking too much" she is thrilled to have a position that revolves around social media. Kat loves novels (especially by the Brontës), photography, and traveling with her husband, Dennis. Sadly, her love of travel has not given her the aptitude for direction. She is normally lost, and is known to be surrounded by cats and Disney merchandise.
Kaye comes to us with extensive experience within the customer service industry. Throughout her 27 years of customer service experience, she served 13 years in the Air Force, worked within the restaurant and hospitality industry, and spent her last eight years as a customer service representative and sales coordinator for a newspaper company. Born in Virginia, Kaye moved to South Carolina in 1977. Basically, she'll do anything to be outside; yes, even yard work. And in what may be the greatest example of yin and yang, she owns both a poodle and a Harley.
Customer Service Liaison & Dave Grohl Doppelganger
Comments? Questions? Straightforward, hardcore, no-nonsense customer service? Mark's your guy. His mission is to guarantee your experience with Smokingpipes.com is so good that you’ll want to have another experience with Smokingpipes.com. His genial manner and positive attitude are infectious around the office (which is a great change of pace in this era of bird and swine flu). Mark is yet another member of the New Jersey faction, but we don't hold that against him. Before Mark joined the SP.com team, he worked in the trucking and logistics industry where he was a Safety Director. His hobbies include music, movies, spending time at the beach, friends and family.
A native of Charlotte, NC (where his three beautiful daughters still reside), Barry moved to the Myrtle Beach area seven years ago, thanks in part to the greater opportunity the Grand Strand allowed for two of his favorite pleasures: beach music and a good round of golf. He comes to us with over 25 years of experience in outside sales, covering everything from residential renovations, to log homes, to funeral expenses. When he isn't otherwise busy taking care of our customers or working on his game, he also enjoys running, hitting the gym, home cooked meals, or simply relaxing with a cold beer and a quality maduro cigar.
Phillip is a native of Marion, South Carolina and a graduate of Francis Marion University with bachelor's degrees in both Chemistry and Biology. He's also a pipe and cigar guy, who came to us as both an established Low Country customer and with previous experience working in tobacciana retail. In his spare time he enjoys a good pipe, preferably paired with quality bourbon or scotch, playing guitar and bass, and his most recent endeavor: researching and writing his own "Technical Guidebook to Pipe Smoking".
Ryota is our man in Tokyo. He handles customer service for our Japanese customers, providing the same service in Japanese that we offer in English from our main offices in South Carolina. An avid pipe man, Ryota fell in love with pipes while attending Keio University in Tokyo. Since then, he's become involved in pipe clubs and shows in Japan. We first met him at the Chicago Pipe Show in 2011 and he joined the team at the beginning of 2012. A California native, Ryota relocated to Japan to attend college, and now resides there helping to bridge the gap between Smokingpipes.com and its Japanese customers and suppliers.
Bill works in our estate department cleaning pipes and arguing about sports with Tom on the third floor (Those in the offices below them swear that the occasional wrestling match takes place). Bill moved to South Carolina from (you guessed it!) New Jersey in search of a warmer climate that would allow him to get more use out of his motorcycle. He is a certified welder and previously worked in sales, primarily brokering mortgages. Bill took the job with Smokingpipes.com to get the employee discount on Tatuaje cigars.
Tom refurbishishes and restores estate pipes, an invaluable task for Smokingpipes.com. Tom ensures each estate pipe is restored to the best condition possible, preserving the beauty and functionality of these classics for future pipe smokers to enjoy. Tom took the usual route of most pipe restorers, getting a B.S. in Aeronautical Science and then spending 25 years as a commercial airline pilot. He grew up in Virginia and has spent the past 20 years in North Carolina. Before coming to work for us, he was a customer. In fact, we pay him in Dunhill Patents.
Since joining us here at Smokingpipes, Don has been picking up the ins and outs of pipe restoration with an alacrity - not to mention impressing us with his workmanship when he was asked to expand the restoration department's very work area itself. None of this should come as a particular surprise though, as Don came to us with 25 years of residential and commercial construction and management experience. Though this native Irishman refers to himself as a "beach-bum", he keeps plenty active with interests in furniture restoration, the culinary arts, horticulture, and the enjoyment of a good wine - not to mention being an experienced divemaster who's visited shipwrecks both locally and throughout the Caribbean.
Isaac comes to our shipping department a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, as well as a graduate of The Citadel Military College here in South Carolina. He is an Horry County native, balancing out the Smokingpipes ratio of locals to New Jersey transplants. Isaac enjoys anything that brings him outdoors, but particularly loves fishing, hunting, and running. He has also been known to write poetry; his most notable work being "An Ode to My Burnt-Out Briar".
Aside from her duties as a member of the shipping department, Janice is enjoying her introduction to the world of pipes, cigars and tobacco. After serving as a retail sales associate within our store, Janice now fulfills the duties of shipping supervisor, where she oversees the process by which all of your orders get to you in a timely manner. She and her husband came to the beach from the northern Chicago suburbs, preferring to experience snow through the magic of television.
A former Firefighter, EMT and Mainer, Cassidy left the New England winters in exchange for the sunny shores of South Carolina in 2009... and she hasn't looked back since. Working in the shipping department, she has found that slinging boxes of pipes is a breeze compared to slinging a fire hose. In her spare time Cassidy enjoys the finer things in life, such as wine and music and can often be heard singing while she works.
Deborah is a native daughter of South Carolina, and more specifically the nearby town of Loris. She was raised there, upon a farm, where they grew corn as well as, coincidentally enough, tobacco, too. It's a life she's always enjoyed, and to this day she remains both an avid gardener and someone who can find peace in simply sitting outside in the fresh air, listening to the birds sing, and watching deer and turkey stroll through the back fields. Of course, having miles of beach just a short drive away doesn't hurt any, either. She and her husband Mickey reside in Loris still, having raised two sons, and now a grandson.
Add yet another new name to our (increasingly long) list of NY/NJ/Philly area expatriates: Aaron Young. Aaron comes to us from Piscataway, NJ, and confesses to being a huge TV and movie buff, as well as a huge fanatic for football, and the Raiders in particular. He made the move down here to the Myrtle Beach area's warmer climes on the advice of our own Bill Westfield, and has not regretted it. Along with Janice, Deborah, and Cassidy, he helps see to it that all your orders are put together, packed up safely, and shipped out with efficiency.
One could call Tammy a shipping and receiving expert, since it has been her specialty for about ten years. She was inspired to pack her crazy hat collection and leave small-town Pennsylvania life after being exposed to two blizzards in only three days. She can handle the cold for a good cause though; frequently volunteering for activities like the Polar Plunge in support of the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Awareness, and the Special Olympics. She has two children, Davika and Branson, and a pet teacup pig named Harlee.
Bill has been living in the Low Country for 27 years which makes him the closest thing to a "local" that we have. Originally from Ohio, Bill has a Bachelor's degree in Business and over 16 years retail experience. A frequent cigar smoker, Bill also owned a beachfront bar for four years (we figured if he could handle that riff raff he would have no problem with the crowd that frequents our store.) Bill's pride and joy are his wife of 25 years, his two children and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Dave, who is 58, relocated to Little River with his wife Patty from the ski resort area just southeast of Pittsburgh, PA in 1995, following an experience with a defective snow shovel which he chose to interpret as a "divine omen" to seek warmer climes.
Dave has many years experience in industrial machinery and heavy mechanics, stretching back to his first job at WABCO in 1971. In 1987 he thought he would try his hand at a Mack Truck distributor because they were smaller than trains, and they let him drive them. When he saw an ad for a job at a "pipe shop" in May of 2011, he admits he didn’t realize the kind of pipes they meant until he got to the store. They took a big chance and hired him anyway, and Dave now enjoys the easy life, smoking his briar at work and talking to customers. He is very happy that most of these pipes only weigh a few ounces and enjoys “picking” orders for website customers from all over the world. He's even taken to using his motorcycle to shuttle items from the warehouse for our "brick & mortar" customers.
As a personal goal, Dave has set out to make sure he samples each of the vast number of pipe tobaccos the store has available as part of his “bucket list”. Of course, that will no doubt take many, many years, as the shop’s tobacco inventory is quite extensive and new products are coming in all the time. When you visit Low Country, be sure to ask Dave what he thinks you should try. He guarantees you’ll like his suggestions.
Aside from his official (and semi-official) duties, Dave is also a member of the “Low Country Pipe and Cigar” Pipe Club and has a great time at the club meetings arranged by Gene DiStefano.
Hours of Operation:
Our website is always open and you can place an order at any time. Phone/office hours are 9am-7pm US/Eastern (GMT -5:00) Monday-Friday and 10am-5pm US/Eastern (GMT -5:00) on Saturdays. Our Little River, SC showroom is open 10am-7pm US/Eastern (GMT -5:00) Monday-Saturday. We are closed on Sundays.
We reserve the right to verify delivery to cardholder via UPS. You must be 18 years or older to make any selections on this site - by doing so, you are confirming that you are of legal age to purchase tobacco products or smoking accessories. We will deny any order we believe has been placed by a minor.
WARNING: Smokingpipes.com does not sell tobacco or tobacco related products to anyone under the age of 18, nor do we sell cigarettes.WARNING:Products on this site contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.