SANTA ANA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Although The Wall Street Journal noted recently that “the share of people under age 30 who own private businesses has reached a 24-year-low,” the duo behind Santa Ana–based Propaganda E-Liquid (www.propagandaeliquid.com) are the young and highly successful exception to the rule.
At ages 19 and 23 respectively, Nicholas DeNuccio and Nicholas Bull just celebrated the one-year anniversary of their company, which has grown from a $200 literally homemade enterprise into a thriving international business. Propaganda creates and distributes flavored liquids for e-cigarettes to nearly 500 “vape shops” in the U.S. and 11 countries, including China, the U.K., France, Indonesia, and Taiwan.
“The company has sold more than a quarter-million units in its first year,” says DeNuccio. “And we expect to double that by end of 2015.”
The business began in DeNuccio’s parents’ kitchen, where he and Bull experimented with $200 worth of ingredients and flavors in the kitchen sink. Wanting to encourage the business—and protect their sink—DeNuccio’s parents loaned the young entrepreneurs $5,000, which has now been paid back in full.
The partners credit their success to an aggressive marketing campaign that has taken them to every major e-cigarette convention (they’ll travel next to Vape Summit 2015 in Las Vegas in April), where they distribute samples, meet with clients and customers, and take orders from shops around the world. In addition, each retail location is supplied with multiple marketing materials: posters, full-page flavor menus, POP displays, shirts, hats, sticker packs, and car decals.
E-liquid flavors include the best-selling Illuminati (a blend of blood orange, pineapple, strawberry); Subliminal (sweet and sour razzmatazz candy); Widow Maker (Bavarian cream–infused blueberries); and Wild Fire (toasted almond and mezzaluna cookie). All are available in 15ml ($13) and 30ml ($23) bottles. DeNuccio and Bull spent hours of research time developing the flavors and perfecting the ingredient percentages to create what’s known in the industry as “an all-day vape.”
The brand’s edgy name (a spoof on government propaganda), “Join the revolution!” tagline, and distinctive packaging have earned Propaganda a dominant reputation in an industry that has grown dramatically in recent years. And at only 19 and 23, DeNuccio and Bull have plenty of good years ahead of them—and that’s not blowing smoke.