To Top

Check Out Nicholas Thomas’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicholas Thomas.

Hi Nicholas, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I grew up in a small town in Illinois, in a more traditional religious household. I grew up thinking that cannabis was a drug, a hurtful and destructive tool that the devil used to enter into your mind. I am very fortunate that I was able to get some information and insight that was available outside of my little bubble.

Luckily, through my independent research I found out about the history of stigmatization against it, and how much blatant propaganda was spread against a plant that was literally engrained in early American culture.

The first time I ever partook of cannabis was out of a beautifully crafted glass spoon. It had been gifted to me by my best friend. It was thick, heavy, and green. I was just a teenager at the time, but I loved that piece.

I took it with me everywhere I went. Kept it hidden in my room, and then in a little trap box that I had made out of an old cardboard phone box.

However, as they ALWAYS DO, my mom found out. I was already graduated from school, but I was still freshly 17. I was busted, my mom made me flush down the herbs, but what was worse was when she made me destroy the piece with a hammer.

To add insult to injury, I was in an extremely religious household. I love my mom, she is a good mom, but I was shunned from my friends and family for a whole year just for enjoying the plant.

I knew that I didn’t want to give cannabis up. It was soon after that I was able to secure a job as a full-time bank teller, and from there I became a licensed banker by the age of 19.

I was bit by the entrepreneur bug at a young age. When I was a kid, I always told my family that I wanted to be a scientist and “an inventor.” At a young age, my dad made me business cards off of our home printer. “Electrifying Innovation” was the name of my high-tech, world-changing company. I was 4.

From there, I always had different stuff I wanted to be. Yeah, I became a banker, but I wanted to create something.

After trying different side hustles like DoorDash driving, insurance sales, and a board game I created “Ecardomy,” I never felt satisfied. The side hustles weren’t for me, and Ecardomy was something that “failed.” However, Ecardomy forced me to learn a lot about website building, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing.

I never gave up the herb, though. I was going to start to give Ecardomy a second go. However, I kept losing or breaking all of my pieces.

The problem is, that there wasn’t a good option for a quality piece that wouldn’t break the bank.

That seemed like something else other people cared about, so I asked around to see if anyone would like a website where you could buy chillums and hitters for $4.20 because $4.20 is a considerably affordable price and a meme. That’s where I got the name ” 420 Pipes,” it’s because I started by selling small pipes for $4.20.

But, I hated the feeling that I was competing with my favorite local shops. And then I realized- the market is calling for smoke shop items, like bongs, rigs, grinders, and pipes- at all price points.

However, most head shops haven’t- or have had trouble adapting to- the online market.

So, I realized that is what we needed to do. Provide a full-service marketplace that allows shops and artists alike to sell their products with ease.

And here we are!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The biggest struggle is that we don’t have the same opportunities to advertise as other people. Our social media growth is totally organic because we can’t promote posts. TikTok takes down practically every piece of content we post. No Google Ads, Facebook Ads- nothing like that. It’s much harder to take advantage of typical advertising means.

Besides advertising, there are financial and legal issues as well. Payment processors that accept you but label you as a high-risk business, and either shut you down or charge far too many fees. On top of that, finding a bank that is willing to partner with you is no easy feat.

Legal issues surrounding cannabis use also directly impact the pipe market, as well.

That’s why 420 Pipes offers the services that we do. We handle all of that headache because we get it.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My professional career started when I was 17. I acted as an office clerk for a behavioral health office, where I realized I needed to get ready for adulthood. I started working in banking 2 months after turning 18 and was a licensed personal banker, and then I moved to a credit union as a loan officer.

I was fired from my position as a loan officer, presumably due to my pursuit of 420 Pipes and its future.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
Email me at, or message me on Instagram.


  • We are currently running a promo until the end of December 15% per sale, everything included, until the end of December. No upfront costs. This is good for 12 months after signing!

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: VoyageSTL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Local Stories