It all started back in 2015, by an aspiring South African entrepreneur living in San Francisco (no, not Elon Musk). Our founder Gordon Loi was cleaning his bong one day, and this is his story…
On a rare sunny afternoon in San Francisco, I was enjoying a nice delicious bowl from my bong. The base, which had previously chipped off, was now held together by some super glue. A common problem with glass, but it still did the trick.
After my session, I decided to give it a good clean. The bong was not big, but it was not small either—about 16 inches tall, which meant fitting it under the sink required great finesse, with the face of my palm acting as a guide for the water to flow in. It was not a very convenient way to do things, so I changed locations and found that the shower head in my bathroom worked better. While cleaning the bong, a brilliant idea came to me. It is true when they say the best ideas come to you while in the shower.
Without hesitation, I grabbed a pencil and a few sheets of printer paper and transferred everything I had visualized onto them. Within these six or seven pages was a design of not just a bong, but parts of a bong. Parts of a bong capable of being many bongs. One that could be assembled into ANY combination that you please by using interchangeable parts. One with detachable parts for easy transportation and most importantly, smaller parts so that you wouldn’t need a shower to clean a bong again. An added bonus was, if you ever broke a piece, you could always replace it with something else, which meant no more super glue.
Not knowing what the future of legalization was going to be like, these plans were kept in safe storage for two years.
Fast forward to November of 2016. California legalized, and it was about time. To me, this signified a global change that would soon arise. Being passionate about the herb, I have always dreamed of working in this space but did not know where to start.
In the middle of 2017, I was once again enjoying a nice bowl with a friend inside Harvest lounge, one of the few private smoke lounges in the city.
One conversation led to another, and in one particular phrase he said, “If only there was a bong that could be easily cleaned and customizable.” At that moment, a light bulb went off and I remembered those drawings I had made two years ago. With much excitement, I shouted to him, “Come back tomorrow. I’ve got something to show you,” and so, this is how VITAE Glass started.
The first year we tested multiple prototypes and made numerous alterations. Our first two prototypes utilized a glass-on-glass thread, which we found out later would not work. Back to the drawing board we went.
Almost two years from that day at Harvest, after trying various prototypes, visiting many glass artists and factories around the world, and enduring uncountable smoke-filled product testing sessions, I am pleased to announce that VITAE Glass is ready for you.
A bong that is more than just a bong. It represents a system of opportunities for multiple versions of a bong, a bong that can live multiple lives. A system that is designed with cleaning, transporting, and customization in mind.
VITAE means life in Latin. I feel that whenever I hit a bong, it brings me to a higher state in life. So, this bong is one that gives life to you when you use it, and to the environment in the form of trees. Our goal is to plant 1 tree for every glass piece sold. This is a bong that can never truly die, but only keeps growing over time.
What was once an idea is now a reality.
Founder, toker, nature lover
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