We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kevin, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My number one thought is always Representation. Am I or people that live or look like me being presented properly. With that thought I was able to open up my cigar lounge Maduro Marauders with partners which I told myself I will also create my own cigar this how Konscious Cigars was birth.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
This is my twenty fourth year working for United Parcel Service. I like to say ” lead by example ” so I have to balance Konscious Cigars llc, MM lounge & UPS.. This allows me to show others that it can be done. I’m proud of that. Not that it’s easy. Patience and consistency will get you over the hump but you must believe in you and manifest it with your Konsciousness. I’ve learned in business you have to be nimble because something will always go wrong so you have to pivot and not lose your kool so you have backup plans. When it comes to my Brand the world should know I didn’t cut any corners. My goal was to offer you top of the line quality products. I wanted to be hands on everything that I could. From me visiting the Farm in Nicaragua and actually sleeping in the factory side room. Selecting the Binder, Filler, Wrapper to blend the Konscious Cigar I also tested the Ashtray & Travel Backpack for a whole year before I decided to offer them to the world because i wanted to make sure they would properly represent the brand. I want the customer to enjoy every puff and speak highly of all our products.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Tampa Bay area is known as the Cigar Capital of the world. I always suggest visiting our home grown small business cigar lounges such as Maduro Marauders Cigar Lounge, Chaney Cigar Lounge & Loc on Cigars lounge which is in the works. There’s also ASShHouse cigar lounge in St. Petersburg Fl you’ll absolutely enjoy your time at these spots and hopefully blow some Konscious Smoke. There’s also the iconic Ybor City which has several nice lounges. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would definitely shoutout Karen Berger of Don Kiki factory, VP at the time Ben Rosario, & the first black owned cigar (Female) company I meet in my quest Tres Lindas Cubanas Cigars Yvonne and Yvette Rodriguez. I’m greatly appreciative to my partners at Maduro Marauders Cigar Lounge Marc Chevalier and Lenzy Rhynes. My Brand Ambassador Keyia Watts and Social Media Manager Brooke Grant of course all my friends & family who encouraged me produce the two country blended Konscious Cigar.
I own all the rights.