In Colorado, where vape stores were deemed non-essential businesses, the vaping industry is struggling. Manufacturer Jvapes E-liquid, has had to lay off staff due to the closures of two stores in the state. On the other hand, two vape manufacturers, Vapor Source and Boosted E-Juice, became aware of the shortage of hand sanitizer and decided to transition their vape manufacturing facilities to produce hand sanitizer.

On becoming aware of hand sanitizer shortages in the market, these businesses decided to transition their vape manufacturing facilities to produce hand sanitizer.
This move has allowed these two businesses to keep their employees working. “My wife and I researched how to make FDA certified hand sanitizer and a light bulb went off in our heads,” said Cory Vigil, CEO and president of Boosted E-Juice. “In our manufacturing of vape liquid, we already owned nearly all the components and supplies to make hand sanitizer and realized this would be a way for us to give back to our community while also keeping our employees employed. Suddenly, Boosted E-Juice went from manufacturing e-liquid to hand sanitizer overnight.”

Cory took to social media to gauge whether the move would make business sense. “We started taking pre-orders to gauge interest and to guarantee we would be able to donate to the front lines. My father was a police officer and provided for our family growing up, this is one way that I want to give back to the men and women in blue,” said Vigil.

Adapting to the current crises

To date, Boosted E-Juice has donated more over 4,000 bottles to multiple police departments throughout the state of Colorado and manufactured over 20,000 two-ounce bottles for its manufacturing clients and people in the community to purchase.

Similarly, owner and president of Vapor Source, Jason Casados,  saw the hardship that COVID-19 caused for his community, and on hearing about hand sanitizer shortages looked into a solution. “Before the shutdown, we gathered supplies to manufacture our own sanitizer due to the limited supply. Next thing I knew, we were making plans to produce hand sanitizer for organizations all over Pueblo county. I sourced 55 gallons of lab-grade alcohol from a local business in Denver and started making mass amounts of hand sanitizer,” said Casados.

Filling a a gap in the market

During the early stages of lockdown, Vapor Source had to reduce its manufacturing capacity to 5%, and by producing hand sanitizer they were able to increase capacity to 97% employment. To date, Vapor Source has manufactured over 100 gallons of hand sanitizer and donated 70 gallons to front liners throughout Southern Colorado, including to Pueblo County Government, Pueblo City Fire Department and El Paso County Office of Emergency Management.

Subsequently, Vapor Source started selling the hand sanitizer to the public through the Supporting Pueblo website and at Vapor Source stores. “Since the start of COVID-19, it’s been challenging to find hand sanitizer for the men and women fighting fires and answering medical calls,” said Woody Percival, public information officer for the Pueblo City Fire Department. “We are grateful for the donation of sanitizer by Vapor Source and thankful to know that we have a supply chain to count on in the future.”

“It was always part of my plan to give back to the community,” said Casados. “I, my family, our employees are all proud to be able to help his community during a worldwide pandemic.”

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