Sykes Wilford

Sykes Wilford
Sykes founded Smokingpipes.com in 2000, while completing his undergraduate degree in history at Vanderbilt University. Some might today assume, like Athena was said to have sprung whole from the head of Zeus, that Sykes sprang wholly prepared upon the world of pipes. The truth, however, is that he didn't have any idea what he was getting into. Mostly. He had not then ever written a line of code, and he had no inkling as to how to run a business, even one that was just two guys and a small rented warehouse space in Tennessee. What he did have from his part-time job at a local tobacco shop was an inkling of the sort that in hindsight others would call insight: technology, particularly the World Wide Web, could revolutionize pipe and tobacco retail just as it was transforming so many other industries. Of equal importance was Sykes's growing interest in pipes as works of functional art that deserved critical discussion. This interest was good enough to get things started; the knowledge needed to run a successful business would develop over time as it does for most of us in our 20s: by doing with enthusiasm. So it was with enthusiasm and two convictions--that the pipe business needed technology and that pipes were serious and beautiful things--that Sykes laid the foundation for what Smokingpipes.com would eventually become. This trinity still largely defines his role in the company today where his primary responsibilities include overseeing finances, operations, and software development, as well as vendor relationships and sales, all things that he has learned a little about in the ensuing years. But even as time has carried on and the company has grown, Sykes is still never more passionate than when working directly with, or teaching others about, pipes.
+ More About Sykes

In Loving Memory: Chip Kushner

December 17, 2018 by Sykes Wilford
55 Comments

Hurricane Florence & Laudisi Enterprises

September 21, 2018 by Sykes Wilford
16 Comments

Hurricane Florence Update Revisited

September 19, 2018 by Sykes Wilford
34 Comments

Hurricane Florence Update

September 17, 2018 by Sykes Wilford
78 Comments

Peterson Joins The Laudisi Family

July 20, 2018 by Sykes Wilford
40 Comments

Passing of a Giant

February 12, 2018 by Sykes Wilford
1 Comment

Jess Chonowitsch: At The Heart Of Functionalism

November 10, 2017 by Sykes Wilford
1 Comment

2016: Year In Review

December 29, 2016 by Sykes Wilford
2 Comments

Hurricane Matthew

October 9, 2016 by Sykes Wilford
27 Comments

Kei'Ichi Gotoh Pipes: A Careful And Deliberate Process

March 24, 2016 by Sykes Wilford
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