I have been a massive fan of Cotton & Cable, since I first came across them a couple of years ago, And it has been a pleasure to watch them go from strenght to strenght, as more and more people get to experience their perfectly blended Craft liquid's, It is clear, that the team at Cotton & Cable have always strived to deliver the ultimate vaping experience, through their commitment to the highest quality ingredients.
Having vaped their creations over the last couple of years, I was keen to get to know them a bit better, and share their story with more vapors from around the globe, The Lee Knighting – Co-Founder, Cotton & Cable was kind enough to agree to answer a few questions, and assist me in putting together My Vaping Reviews first interview.
MVR ~ When did you first start vaping?
Lee ~ "I first vaped in 2013 with a Jac vapour pen, it wasn’t a great experience because frankly it was rubbish and just not enough incentive for me to stop smoking altogether - then later that year at a Christmas work do I tried a colleagues Kangertech which had strawberry custard in it. He had just bought the juice from a tattoo shop that sold eliquid. I loved it. Bought one the next day, ditched the cigarettes and I have never looked back."MVR ~ What made you turn your passion into a business and why?
Lee ~ I was obsessed – the innovations moved so quickly after 2014 every month a new RTA or RDA was coming out and with each one normally came a huge leap in flavour quality. I went through all the flavours I could find and then, out of a need for wanting more complexity, I started making my own and found that they were as good or dare I say better.
That summer I booked a holiday house for the family in Normandy which had a massive basement, we drove there so I could take equipment and a suitcase filled with 100’s of concentrates. Every night I would disappear down to the basement and mix till 2/3am, it looked like a scene out of Breaking Bad. It’s where the first versions of Hot Cross Bun, Eton Mess and Fruit Fool came from - there have been lots of tweaks since, but I still remember how excited I was when I first tasted them after they had steeped.When you start orchestrating your family holiday so you can mix juice there really is no other direction than turning it in to a business so you can do it every day.""
MVR ~ Where did the name Cotton and Cable come from?
Lee ~ "Cotton and Cable is where the flavour comes from. Yes airflow, coil positioning, voltage, drip tip size and chamber profiles affect flavour but the cotton and cable is the fundamental core of the flavour production. I wanted a name that aligned to vaping, felt responsible, grown up and definitely wouldn’t appeal to children"MVR ~ What was the first flavour that you created?
Lee ~ "Rhubarb Flummery – it would be part of the line up but one of the rhubarb concentrates I used was discontinued in 2015. I’m still looking for a replacement – it was an incredible juice."MVR ~ What is the hardest part of running a vape business?
Lee ~ "Currently it is the horrendously damaging articles in the media – it feels like the big tobacco companies are on a mission to squash the vape community. Every day it seems has brought fresh propaganda, it’s the headlines that get the attention and not the facts. When you have poured as much as we have into a business it is really hard to witness. Apart from that it’s the challenges of running a fast-growing business and not dropping a ball!"
MVR ~ What inspires you every day?
Lee ~ "My wife and daughters."
MVR ~ What Vaping set up do you use when testing and designing your juices, that you feels gives you the truest flavour profile?
Lee ~ "To test on a single coil we use the Citadel RDA by Psyclone mods on a 0.16 single coil. Dual coil we use the Drop RDA by Digiflavour at 0.1. We have 16 of each on Smok RX200’s (they are old but just keep on working) COTN threads or shake n vape to wick. Personally I find the Drop gives the truest flavour profile - the complexity of the C&C flavours need space"
MVR ~ What do you think the next 5 years will bring to C and C?
Lee ~ "Growth – this year we moved to bigger premises and we also had our new ISO7 cleanroom, dispatch and offices built so we are ready to expand. ."
MVR ~ How will Brexit effect your business?
Lee ~ "It’s hard to say. We have started exporting to stockists in the EU but also to Switzerland which isn’t a member and there wasn’t much difference just a few more customs forms. I really wish I could answer that question I would be a really popular politician."
MVR ~ How many people work at C and C? And who are they? And what are their favourite flavours?
Lee ~ "11 including myself …..
- Jen – Commercial Director – Eton MessC
- Armen – Sales Director – Pornstar Martini
- Pauline – Accounts – Christmas Cake
- Gemma – Social Media – Upside Down Cake
- Joe – Website and IT – Baked Apple
- Ella – Office assistant – Asian Pear, Lychee and Raspberry
- Jenny – Head of Design – Cucumber, Lime and Mint
- Barry – Stock control – Pink Grapefruit, Raspberry and Lime
- Douge – Production manager – Liquorice Allsorts
- Dave – Production assistant – Hot Cross Bun"
MVR ~ What is your favourite C and C flavour?
Lee ~ "Custard Tart – it mixes with nearly anything unless it has WS-23 in it so when I vape something new I find myself gradually dripping it back in."
MVR ~ Stranded on a dessert island what Set up would you take? And what ejuice would you take?
Lee ~ "I’d take Custard Tart! The Aegis Legend by Geek Vape with the Phobia V1 by Vandy vape. Sand and water are less of an issue for both. I know the Aegis will stand the test of time and I have never used any other RDA for as long as I did the Phobia. But if I wasn’t being so practical I’d take my 28mm Kennedy Vindicator. "
MVR ~ What is your best selling flavour?
Lee ~ "Hot Cross Bun, although Asian Pear, Lychee and Raspberry outsold it at the Vaper Expo.
MVR ~ If you could change one thing about C and C what would it be?
Lee ~ "To have not wound it down in the lead up to TPD if I hadn’t we would be everywhere."
MVR ~ What make C and C different to other vape brands?
Lee ~ "I think a lot of juice brands are facades for big investors only interested in profit. We are first and foremost driven by our love of vaping, our passion for complex flavour and just what an incredible incentive it is to give up smoking. Hype brands suddenly appear with rushed flavour profiles, huge advertising budgets and then fade away. We want to grow organically, authentically and be here to stay."
MVR ~ How long does it take to develop a new flavour, from first thought to being on the shelf?
Lee ~ " It depends - desserts take time due to steeping they totally transform over 8 weeks so if you are very particular, which I am, we tweak the recipe 6 or 8 times so it takes a really long time to get the flavour profile spot on. People have said that when they vape Hot Cross Bun they want to start chewing, the flavour is so authentic – that’s when we know we have got it right! Although, I had been thinking about Liquorice Allsorts for a few days, woke up in the middle of the night with the recipe in my head, wrote it down, went to the lab first thing, made it and nailed it. If only it were always that simple!"
MVR ~ Is running a successful ejuice business all you thought it would be?
Lee ~ "Yes – everything needs hard work to succeed."
MVR ~ What is the best and worst part of your job?
Lee ~ "The best part is the emails we get from people raving about finding the juice. The worse part is the steeping times making sure you have enough steeped for the sales in 3 months time."
MVR ~ Does C and C have mission statement? And if so what is it?
Lee ~ "The ultimate vaping experience"
A massive thank you to Lee for taking the time out of his busy day, to answer my questions, If you want to find out more about Cotton & Cable and the amazing craft liquids that they sell then head on over to https://www.cottonandcable.co.uk/ and check them out