Connect
To Top

Meet Chad Zindroski of PURR

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chad Zindroski.

Chad, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Playing with fire has always been my thing – I’d get in a lot of trouble for it as a kid. I first became interested in glassblowing after seeing it live in Italy when I was very young – it was mesmerizing to watch! I was so impressed & I still feel the same way about it – there’s such a unique & amazing quality to glassblowing. Learning that I could make things with fire changed my world!

In high school, working with ceramics really sparked my passion for art. I’ve always enjoyed making things & using my hands yet I wasn’t sure if art was going to be my career. It wasn’t until later in life that my path led me to Chico State in NorCal, where I continued to study ceramics & learn glassblowing.

During that time, like most struggling students, I was working to make ends meet. And for me, that meant odd jobs & growing weed. And as a long time cannabis user & grower, I struggled to find the right smoking tool – a pipe that’s simple, well made & high functioning. I wanted a pipe that wouldn’t compromise my cannabis or smoking experience, just something that’d fit into my everyday life easier. That’s when I realized I had the answer to my own problem – I just had to make it!

So in 2003, I designed the first scientific hammer bubbler with diffused percolation & started PURR. Rather than something big or psychedelic, I focused on clean, handheld designs & improved function. There were no pipes like mine back then for daily smokers like me!

Fast forward to the present & now our products are sold online & in stores worldwide. I’m a big believer that “teamwork makes the dream work” & thankfully I have a great team. Alex is my childhood best friend, was trained by me, is an expert glassblower & runs production. And Linda’s my wife & she ensures the business runs smoothly, looks beautiful & is customer ready.

As a native Californian, artist, maker & business owner, I’m extremely proud to be a local American manufacturer & part of California’s cannabis & pipe making legacy.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Hell no it hasn’t been a smooth road! Everyone from my family & friends have thought I was crazy at one point.

From being in the cannabis industry to being a glassblower, selling pipes for a living & being self-employed, this road hasn’t been easy – it’s required a lot of hard work & perseverance. But when you know it’s right, the obstacles are worth it, you learn & grow from it all. Starting a business being a poor college student was challenge #1. I quickly learned how to make things work with what little I had. I got very creative & resourceful fast!

Growing my business into what it is today has had its share of challenges too. The cannabis industry is young, growing & the laws & regulations are constantly evolving which means we have to be ready to change our business at the drop of a dime. When I started out, I was driving drive door to door from store to store but now everything’s online & it’s all about social media. We’ve had to figure it all out from scratch.

Being an American manufacturer & early American pipe brand, we’ve been impacted by the growing import pipe market – that’s been a challenge. There’s a lot of noise & nonsense out there. The glass pipe industry bottomed out & now we’re dealing with a surplus of uneducated sellers flooding the market with cheap, low quality, knock off import glass. Dealing with this shift has honestly been tough. We’ve had to really adapt our business & brand over these last few years.

Conflicting local & federal laws also makes it extremely difficult to navigate legitimacy as a business, which even sounds ridiculous. It affects how we sell, what we sell, words & images we use, social media, etc. We’ve had to work within a lot of risky, undefined gray areas & there’s a lot at stake.

Despite the challenges, I know that great things take time & hard work. We believe in what we do & love our community so we just keep moving forward.

Please tell us about PURR.
We bring happiness & everyday value to our healthy & pro-positive community through our pipes. You can find us making our handblown glass pipes daily in our glassblowing studio right here in Chatsworth, CA. We make & offer a wide range of smoking products & services but I’d have to say our glass pipe specialty is Scientific Bubblers, the style I invented over 15 years ago.

I’ve seen a lot of change since the beginning & I’m most proud of our ability to keep adapting to the ever-changing market while staying true to our mission of delivering value to our community. Maybe it’s because we’ve always had a strong DIY, bootstrap culture. It’s important to us to serve as a positive resource for the community. That’s why our focus is on providing products & education on how to live & smoke simply, minimally & effectively.

You can shop our handmade products online at www.purrsmoking.com or in store with us & if you’re lucky you might catch some live glassblowing or even get behind the torch! You can also tune in daily to watch live glassblowing, get life & smoke tips & see what Linda & I are cooking up by connecting with us @PurrGlass on Snapchat & Instagram.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Honestly, I’d probably change nothing because I’ve been able to do what I’ve wanted & made my choices along the way. Sure there are times when I wish things would’ve happened faster or bigger but I know we all eventually get to where we’re supposed to be. Every step of the way has been a big learning lesson one after another & I know we are better for it. We’re just enjoying our journey & making the best of it!

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in