Vapors store opens
Amanda Davis's father-in-law smoked two packs of cigarettes each day. After he experienced two triple-bypass surgeries, she was inspired to open Oz Vapors, Tattoos and Accessories.
Davis describes vapor pens as "electronic cigarettes but better."
"The vapors helped a lot of people in my family quit smoking," she said. "That was the main reason why I opened this store. I think there should be alternatives to smoking for people who don't want to quit exactly, but don't want to poison themselves on a daily basis. My father-in-law's health is climbing."
Each vapor pen contains a bottle of flavored liquid. The pen is charged through a USB drive in a computer.
"It feels like you're smoking," Davis said, "but it's not made of rat poisoning. It's essentially like smoking flavored water vapor."
The e-liquid contains nicotine of varying amounts, in addition to 10-percent artificial flavoring and chemicals similar to those in a nebulizer. Each bottle lasts 2-3 days.
She sells 20 e-liquid flavors, from pineapple to dew on the mountain.
"Dew on the mountain is the most popular," Davis said. "It tastes just like Mountain Dew."
After opening March 10, Davis said she has seen mostly college students, couples and older women.
In addition to vapors, Davis sells body art, and is planning on getting her piercing license.
Bill Pennington operates a tattoo shop within Oz, most recently working out of his own store in Russell.
"Her (Davis's) husband was a client of mine," Pennington said. "He told me she was planning on opening up a shop here, and I suggested maybe she should have me come in and work. She thought that was a good idea. This is the first tattoo/e-cigarette shop all in one."
He has been a tattoo artist for six years.
"I just always enjoyed artwork, and this way it's permanent," Pennington said. "You get to see your artwork at Walmart, at the Mall, anywhere you have clients."
Pennington began working within Oz on Wednesday.
"I enjoy getting to do art work on people," he said. "They carry it around for the rest of their lives and it means something to them."
Davis is unsure about what's in store for the future of Oz, but said she is looking into selling Shisha products and possibly installing a Hookah bar.
"It really depends on finances," she said, "but I have all this space, so I might as well use it."
Oz is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and is located at 620 east Eighth.