It’s International Women’s Day today and with that we would like to give praise to all the women in our lives.
When it comes to the cigar world, that would include the many brand owners, shop owners and managers, and the ever-growing Ladies of the Leaf demographic. It is the latter I would like to focus on today, as they are the truly the up and coming force of cigar smokers in the United States.
In the latest issue of Tobacconist magazine, Mary Lynn Kane, the co-owner of Lake Country Cigars in Delafield, Wi noted:
“If you’re not thinking of ways to improve your business with female customer, then you’re leaving money on the table”
Mary Lynn knows what she is talking about, as she is a founding member of the Cigar Babes and the International Women’s Cigar Society and as in an article we wrote a couple of years ago, she ran a survey that resulted in a characterization of the female cigar smoker.
I’m not sure if Tony Nardone, the owner of Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge in Melbourne, FL read that article, but last night his shop hosted their first Ladies of the Leaf event. The event was organized by his shop manager Erica Everett and shop associate Yasmin Lewis-Wojnowski. The official roll out of the Fierce Fumeras cigar group was happening!
You can hear Yasmin speak about the formation of the Fierce Fumeras cigar group here:
I had the pleasure of attending this event and I have to say it was spectacular. There was a dozen ladies that attended and they had their own space in the lounge. Some of these woman were experienced cigar enthusiasts while other had little to no experience but were there to learn and enjoy the comradery of fellow woman cigar smokers.
As with all cigar events there were raffles and giveaways but focused around the lady. Since I knew I would be attending, I decided to conduct my own mini survey of the ladies. I handed out a questionnaire at the start of the event and asked if they would complete it before the event was over. Anyone who completed the questionnaire would be put into a drawing for a 5 pack of cigars from my private stash and I promised to pick the winner at random today as I write this article. The winner was Jennifer Hoskin, who I contacted and I will be presenting her prize to her tomorrow. Congratulations Jennifer!!
I spent last night consolidating the answers of the questionnaire and here is a summary of the results:
Experienced or Newbie
Most of the group were fairly new to the cigar culture but there were some seasoned enthusiasts:
What got you started and why do you like the cigar lifestyle?
When asked why they started smoking cigars the responses included:
- Friend/Husband/Boyfriend Smokes
- Visited a Shop
- Quit Cigarettes
- Invited Today
- Looks Cool
A large Percentage of the ladies had a spouse or significant other that also smokes cigars
Ladies like the Cigar Lifestyle for the same reason men do:
- The People and Social Interaction
- Learning – People love to help each other
- The Sophistication
What Influences your Cigar decisions?
Overwhelmingly this group of ladies are influenced by a Shop Owner/Tobacconist and Friends when it comes to selection:
They do Spend Some Cash
When asked how much they think they spend on their cigar passion, the average answer was about $50.00/Month but there are some that go up as high as $300.00/month.
Size and Strength Matters
The most popular vitola was a corona but there were almost as many that said a robusto or toro is their favorite, There was only one that went large and said she liked gordos. Least popular were lanceros, churchills, and torpedos.
As far as strength they primarily leaned toward mild to medium strength cigars as the predominate choice. I would say there was a number of new smokers in the group and that may change over time.
Interestingly, they rarely participate in social media cigar groups, but that too may change as these ladies now have their own Facebook group Fierce Fumeras.
After the event I asked Erica and Yasmin how they felt the event went, and both agreed it was a great first event and expect even bigger attendance as word gets out in the area. They plan to have regular meet-ups at the Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge in the coming months.
I would like to commend the Tony Nardone and Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge for hosting this event and hope to see more ladies join this gathering over time. Stay tuned to the Fierce Fumeras Facebook group and if you are in the Central Florida area, like the Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge Facebook page so you can be notified of all future events.
Once again Happy International Womens Day !!!