From pain, came courage
The Purpose That Found Us
Like many entrepreneurs, our vision wasn’t clear at first. And the purpose we set out for, was not the purpose that found us.
Armed with successful business experience of technology driven heating solutions and an appreciation for art, I firstly set out to innovate the vaporizer space, by designing a vaporizer that commemorated the glass artist with a stage to design glass art upon.
I grew up with cool collector glassware made into creative art by pioneers in this space. So I wanted to create a functioning product that could also act as a showcase for their art. I was concerned that our cultural shift away from smoking herb, to vaporizing it, would leave glass art behind.
So I sought consultation with a local glass artist, Robert Bank, who has a glassblowers collective in the area. At the time Robert also had two locations for his retail store, All About It Glass & Smoke Shop, which he’s since sold.
I came to learn from Robert how glass artists collaborate and sell product. How close knit the industry is, and how the different skill set types diverge in the industry. As well as the best medium to follow glass art; Instagram. He even recommended a couple local artists to reach out to. Robert was an integral part of our journey towards the purpose that found us.
But through that design process, as my interest and awareness of herbal scientific discoveries grew, so did the list of people in my life affected by it.
My Aunt Teresa lives well today, although it wasn’t until she took her health and wellness seriously, that her quality of life improved. Through herbal wellness and meditation, she now keeps herself in good health. I’m her caretaker in the Illinois Herb Program and I’ve helped her find her way in the emerging industry. She is Onsen Labs first customer and has helped in the testing and development of the Desktop Pro Vaporizer.
“I feel better after using the Desktop Pro! Smoking was hurting my lungs so much.”
My Sister is a newer participant in the Illinois Herb Program! We omit her name here because she is still discriminated against in her profession. However, due to the Desktop Pro she now lives an improved quality of life and is also Onsen Labs’ second customer.
“My herbal wellness use shouldn’t be discriminated against and this product helps me with that! When people see it on the counter, they don't think twice about it, the Desktop Pro fits in well with my other kitchen appliances, which also means they are not able to judge me about it!”
-The Smarter Sister-
Chrissy was not as fortunate. She lost her crusade 10 years before the legalization of herb in Illinois.
Chrissy and I were close, growing up together. Three seasons of the year, our parents frequently took us camping together. We were regulars at Jellystone Campground in Amboy, IL and we had the entire park as our childhood playground.
She showed me the way with many things in life, including how to country line dance, how to talk to girls, and she would even tell on me (true to a big sister stereotype), if she thought it was in my best interest! She was often right too, haha, and I needed parental intervention! She was the big sister I never had.
But at the young age of 22 years old, one of my closest cousins and lifelong friend, Christine Pawlowski, lost her crusade.
I bear her name tattooed on my left shoulder and her memory in my heart.
Through these experiences, we decided we wanted to be more than just the next trendy vape. Herbal wellness and hope for others became the purpose that found us.
So while the glass art platform we initially set out for is still inherently built into our product, it was the culmination of these other experiences, which engaged our vision at Onsen Labs to firstly focus on the development of a Laboratory Grade product. One that met the needs of our emerging community, and that does so without the stigma of the 1970’s counter-culture. We have not forgotten our roots, and we will still bring out the art. But we must now also represent a new type of user in front of this device; a person that could just one day happen to be - you or your family.