My name is Gentry Matthews, I am 22 years old and from St. Louis MO. I am the owner and one of the founders of THRST E-Liquid, I felt it would be nice to give our customers a little backstory on how my company got started and why we do what we do.
I started vaping at 18 years old after being deathly sick. While in the hospital I decided that if I got out I would live every day to the fullest potential and treat opportunites like they were my last. Shortly after I got out it only made sense to pick up vaping instead of continuing to smoke cigarettes. After several months I witnessed the positive effects vaping had on my body compared to how I felt smoking traditional cigarettes, and quickly became more and more curious about this new technology and the advancements it was making.
Fairly soon after I started vaping I got a job at a local vape shop, where my passion only continued to grow and grow for this industry as I helped countless smokers unhinge from the death grip of big tobacco. It was a full blown enthusiastic hobby and the industry was quickly evolving from cartomizers to the revolutionary Kanger pro-tank. One day an elderly woman came into the shop breathing from two oxygen tanks and had to use a walker to make it through the store. She had much difficulty speaking without having to take deep breaths but got two points across, that she had been smoking cigarettes for 50 years, and that her doctor just recently informed her COPD had gotten so bad that she shouldnt expect more than 6 months to live. I sold her a starter kit and some e-liquid and she went on about her way. A few months had gone by and I remember often wondering if she was able to kick that 50 year old habit and enjoy the last few months of her life. About half a year later she came walking through the door without a walker, without oxygen tanks. She had needed more e-liquid but had been away from the cigarettes since the day she bought the starter kit. Her COPD had been reduced and she no longer had an expected lifetime. She started crying, thanking me because for the first time in years she has been able to keep up and play with some of her grandchildren. It had completely changer her life, and little did I know at the time, it also changed mine. That experience of directly saving someones life stuck with me, I went in the backroom of the vape shop, shed a few tears, and decided this is what I want to do the rest of my life.
A year or so later I parted ways with the vape-shop, I knew I wanted to stay in the industry but was not quite sure which path to take. I met with a friend of mine one night, he tossed me a bottle of liquid he had made just playing around with DIY and it was phenomenal. It clicked in my head at that moment. I immediatly started researching how to make e-liquid and brain-storming about a branding that represented something that I love. After about a month or so THRST was born. I had put my life savings into this company and did not have a job at the time, but I knew if I could fuel my passion for vaping into learning everything I could about running a business that the sky was the limit. People were trying the product and loving it, we quickly started to establish a following on social media.
THRST for Perfection
I knew if I wanted my product to reach the next level I had to take it there, literally and physically. I packed my bags and headed to a convention in Tampa to market my product and seek out potential wholesale clients. While I was there I met a lot of significant people in my life today. I started driving all over the nation shortly there after attending as many conventions as possible. Using that bottomless fuel of passion for vaping to continuously learn about marketing and good business practice. I had a THRST for perfection fully knowing it is not attainable, but I knew to obsess with productability and statistics would be the difference between a good brand, and a great brand. It has been an incredible experience that I will remember for the rest of my life, I had traveled places I never imagined seeing. It has taught me who I am suppose to be in life, shown me where I want to go, and taught me countless life lessons. Because of that dedication to perfection and passion for this industry THRST had grown into a worldwide brand sold across the United States and 9 other countries.
The third and most important aspect of THRST, HUNGR, and all of our affiliated products has been our friends and supporters. I have met and made countless friendships in this industry, and without the help and advice I have recieved from them we would not be any where near where we are today. These people have taught me countless life-lessons, been there for support in tough times, helped me cope with the stress of running and maintaining a business, gave me tips to tighten up or "perfect" certain areas of the business, and much more valued advice. To those people, thank you from the bottom of my heart, you have changed my life for the best way possible and your support means the world to me. I have also made friendships with many customers of my product, there is almost no better feeling knowing directly the effect of my product on people health. I'm extremely grateful for social media and the ability to do that so much easier. If you do not yet follow us on social media be sure to check out one of the links below and give us some interaction, we would love to hear from you!
Long story short, just a guy from St. Louis doing what he loves to do, with the people he loves most. All of the support from everyone over the last two years has meant the world to me, and I look forward to the many more to come. Regardless of regulations, I have made friends and learned lessons for life, and for that I am grateful.
- Gentry Matthews