Stephanie Inlow is the co-founder and VP of Vaporizers.ca, an online ecommerce based company that pioneered the vaporizer industry in Canada in 2005. She is hands-on, overseeing customer relations, sales and marketing. Seeing her husband find such relief from the use of a vaporizer for medical cannabis ignited her passion for sharing these products with anyone who could benefit.
Stephanie’s compassionate personality has allowed her to really connect with the medical cannabis community understanding their hardships and helping them healthily find relief from their pain, allowing them to enjoy life again.
Her favourite story is a phone call she received from a client many years ago. “Jane was a 65-year-old grandmother of 5 who could no longer enjoy playing with her grandchildren because of her debilitating arthritis. One day, I receive a call from Jane. She was crying and I was concerned. As it turns out, it was tears of joy I was hearing. She wanted to thank me for helping her find a vaporizer that allowed her to go on a fishing trip with her grandkids. The portable vaporizer allowed her to medicate whenever she needed away from home. Jane was a non-smoker her entire life, and the vaporizer allowed her to stay smoke-free.”
When not working, Stephanie enjoys outdoor activities with her husband and business partner Damon and their two children Ethan and Juliette. She also enjoys photography and being in nature.
Where did the idea for Vaporizers.ca come from?
The idea for Vaporizers.ca came in 2004 when my husband who is a medical cannabis user was feeling the negative effects of smoking already in his mid 20’s. We knew there had to be a better way for him to medicate without causing further harm. We found and ordered a vaporizer from the US, and we were amazed at how well it worked. Not only were his lungs feeling much better, but our home wasn’t smelling of smoke and he was using less of his medicine for the same amount of relief.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day starts with personal time where I ground and energize myself, and then I get the kids off to school. Once in the office, I’ll burn some sage and brain dump on my whiteboards. I’m a very visual person, so I have large whiteboards on the walls of my office and use them as creative and inspirational outlets. What I do each day varies, but I usually have my one or two most important items that require more attention.
I make it productive by getting into the appropriate mindset for each task. You could say I’m a bit of a shapeshifter. I can quickly go from mom to entrepreneur by closing my eyes, taking a few deep breaths and moving around; a quick walk usually does the trick. Focusing on my strengths that are most useful in whichever situation I am in helps with the transitions.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I go for the feeling. I get really clear on a feeling I want to have or make happen and work towards it. Along the way I find out what I don’t want and this helps me be clear on the end result. Over the next several days (or weeks) I go back to that feeling. The path to the execution of the idea usually follows shortly after.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Holistic lifestyles excite me. People realizing just how important it is to take care of themselves and making it non-negotiable. I talk with people every day who are making a healthier choice by choosing to consume their medication in a healthier way.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Focus time; distractions are a killer. Not only for the time when you are distracted but the several minutes afterwards when you try to get back in the groove — if you ever get back. Distraction free time is of utmost importance.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Learn to focus, to work hard and to play hard.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Working with your spouse can be an amazing experience. Yes, it’s a lot of time together, but we’ve learned how to make it work. I’ve been working with my husband since 2000, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Remember your “why”. Purpose is a driving force. Entrepreneurship has its ups and downs, it can be really great and really difficult. It’s important to keep reminding yourself of your “why”, your purpose, and keep going after it.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Care about your clients. They are the ones who will allow your business to grow and flourish. Get to know your them, and as you do, you’ll find more ways you can be of service to them.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Thinking that we could do it all by ourselves. Save time and energy by sourcing people with supplementary skills; it’ll be worth it.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why? (personal or professional)
A trampoline. Not only is it great for your lymphatic system and your health in general, but it’s also a quick and easy way to bring some fun to your day!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
The latest App that we’ve added to our arsenal is ShipRobot. It has saved us time and it cuts down on the possibility of human error. Time-saving apps are easily my favourite work tool.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“The One Thing” by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan. As a more creative and artistic person, I tend to have lots of ideas. The One Thing helped me zone onto “the one thing” and really focus my attention.
What is your favorite quote?
The 3 C’s of Life: “Make the choice, to take the chance to make a change.”~ Unknown.
We live in a world of ideas, but ideas don’t mean anything if you don’t take action on them. Making the choice to take the chance is how I make a change in this world.
● Your clients are your #1. Get to know them; they will determine the success of your business
● Life is filled with distractions, learn to clear the clutter and focus
● Take a holistic approach to your business, find the balance between work and play that works best for you.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.