The Couple that Vapes Together Stays Together

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“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness — and call it love.”  ~ Robert Fulghum

Although pop culture continues to assert that money makes the world go ’round, our experience tells us that it is, in fact, Love at the center of our lives and our universe. We always enjoy seeing the ways that our products and general philosophy affect your lives, but were especially moved to see this creative example of love in action. German Launch Box enthusiast Boris Forkel took his commitment to moving through life choosing love to the next level when he handcrafted these matching aphorism wedding bands.

Boris’ photo was received by our expert consultants in the form of an email, accompanied by a short note, aptly titled “Devotion” that read simply:

Dear makers of the MFLB,
We love your product so much, we even had our wedding rings made with the famous quotation on them (see picture).

Keep on the good work & all the best,
Boris

2014: Reflections on The Year of The Horse

The upcoming 2015 year of the Sheep is an inspiring period; it will try to leave behind any unstable connections with the aim to carve a new, more honest pattern of relations.”

~ GoToHoroscope.com

In these first few days of 2015, The Year of The Sheep, we find ourselves remembering the importance of gratitude, and counting our blessings in life. 2014 was The Year of the Horse, and as such, it possessed a rapid, forward-moving energy that when grounded through our daily efforts, brought many changes to daily life here at headquarters.

A horse’s prized speed is entirely predicated on a graceful balance with the earth beneath her.”

~ Jane Anne Thomas, for Tidal Magazine

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In 2014, we brought an unprecedented number of new visions to life in the form of new products, including The Orbiter, The Dart Stem, the newly-updated Muad-Dib, Replaceable Screens, and the Black Draw Whip…Whew! It felt amazing to bring so many of our inventions that we are constantly working away at out into the market place to share with you all, making our dream of the Launch Box existing within a complete product ecosystem a reality. Each of our new products was like a new child to be integrated into the family, forever broadening our sense of who we are (a group of friends with a shared vision) and what we do (make beautiful, sustainable handmade functional art together), while staying true to our value of remaining rooted in sustainability.

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This broadening of our perspective allowed us to grow our Artisan Collection, a place where our more whimsical ideas, such as stickers, Artisan Launch Boxes, and jewelry, can be tested and new techniques are employed in a fun, lighthearted way. This built-in, creative, problem-solving lab is just one of the ways to ensure that new skills are always being developed and brought back to the engineering and production of our official product line.

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In 2014, at the request of all of you, we began sharing more of who we are with the world, including workplace culture and peeks into our production process in the form of daily posting to Facebook and Instagram, and blog posts for all new releases, offering a glimpse into the process of how these new products came to be. We love all of the quality, online interactions in which we are able to participate with all of you, and we are grateful for the way the new worlds of social media are turning out to be really instrumental in our ability to stay connected and share your experiences with our products in real time. Our Choose Love
Contest
, Reddit Contest, and 5K Followers on Instagram celebratory giveaway are just a few of the ways we could think of to say “We Love you! Thanks for making 2014 an amazing year!”

Zebrawood Launch Box – Lessons from the past and hopes for the future…

Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece.”  ~ Vladimir Nabokov

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While celebration of the new year is often characterized by party hats, fireworks, champagne, dancing, and singing Auld Lang Syne with loved ones, it is also a time for reflection. Many look upon their mistakes and accomplishments, losses and gains, and other significant events of the past year, and seek ways to make the year to come even better. New Year’s resolutions come to mind, and we at Magic-Flight are no exception to this annual tradition, learning from and letting go of the past, making plans for improvement, and looking forward with hope for happier, more fruitful lives.

This idea of the new year symbolizing a new beginning is common throughout many cultures around the world. Most Western cultures follow the Gregorian calendar, the first month of which being January, derived from the Roman deity Janus, the god of change and beginnings. In transitioning from one year to the next, Janus symbolized looking back on the old and ahead to the new. While the Mayan calendar is different, their celebration of the new year is quite similar, as they ritually purge old belongings, such as pottery and mats, and buy themselves new clothes and household amenities. Much like we do, Mayans hold intimate festivities with family and friends, dancing in the new year, showing gratitude for past experiences, and sharing optimism for new ones.

Even ancient cultures shared this same view toward new beginnings. Ancient, Pre-Christian Celts would celebrate their new year on Samhain, which is still celebrated by many today. This holiday, however, falls between October 31st and November 1st, and marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter. During this time, cattle were brought in from summer pastures, livestock were slaughtered, and preparations were made for the long winter months ahead. Believed to have cleansing and protective powers, bonfires were lit and rituals were held to commemorate the process of moving toward a safe and prosperous future. Ancient Egyptian cultures celebrated their new year in mid-July, associated with the annual flooding of the Nile River, which assured fertility for farmlands in the year to come. Their celebration was called Wepet Renpet, meaning “opening of the year”. This was a festival for rebirth and rejuvenation, featuring religious rites, lavish feasts, music, sex, dancing, and excessive amounts of alcohol. Even thousands of years later, it seems some things never change.

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In the spirit of reflecting on the past and letting go of what is lost, we at Magic-Flight are reminded of how humanity may have had a hand in such losses. While it is unhealthy to dwell on what cannot be fixed, it is still incredibly important to learn from our mistakes and make efforts toward avoiding them in the future. Thus, in this new year of new beginnings, we would like to take a moment and recognize some of the great losses nature has experienced at humanity’s hand, namely, certain species that have gone extinct. Roughly one thousand species have gone extinct in the last five hundred years, several of which have been related to human behavior, including the dodo bird, the Tasmanian tiger, the passenger pigeon, and the great auk. Each of these animals were either hunted by man for food or sport, or suffered as their habitats were destroyed by human settlements.

Even though these lost species can never be brought back, there are hundreds of other endangered species, plants and animals alike, that still have a chance at survival with humanity’s help. Thankfully, there are several organizations that strive to preserve these species. Generally, Magic-Flight is no exception. We take great care in only using sustainable materials when creating our products, and avidly avoiding the use of endangered woods. Thus is the premise of the dilemma we experienced with our new batch of Zebrawood Launch Boxes.

The story of the Zebrawood Launch Box began when a plank of beautiful exotic wood was found tucked away in our founder’s shop. It had been there for years, and naturally, the desire to create something beautiful with it was not far-fetched. Once this single batch of exquisite boxes had been produced, we were shocked and saddened to find that Zebrawood is now on the list of endangered species. What could we do? Torn between the desire to showcase this new product and our resolve to be environmentally responsible, we decided to shelve the batch until a solution could be found. Months later, diligent research led us to Eden Forest, a Vermont-based organization dedicated to preserving precious forests and wildlife, including Zebrawood trees. After careful consideration, we came to the following solution to our dilemma: a one-time-only release of this single batch of Zebrawood Launch Boxes, with a percentage of the proceeds going to Eden Forest. In addition, we ask that you to visit https://www.tpl.org/our-work/land-and-water/eden-forest to learn more about this wonderful organization.

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We can’t change the past, but we can help improve the future. We grieve losses and learn from mistakes. We take what we have learned and work toward improvement of both ourselves and our environment. Moving forward into 2015, we at Magic-Flight encourage you to do the same. Deforestation is a major environmental concern, and it is very fortunate that there are organizations such as Eden Forest to help replenish nature’s treasures. By enjoying one of our limited-edition Zebrawood Launch Boxes, you too can be part of the solution.

New Launch Box Packaging

blackpackaging1We’re a tight-knit crew, and although we are always looking for talented people who feel called to join us, we also love that Magic-Flight is a place where people can grow their careers over time. Some of this professional growth occurs in the form of on-the-job training, but we deeply appreciate our crew members who choose to continue their educations for their own betterment, and choose to share the fruits of that effort with us. magicflightpackagingRecently, one of our part-time laser artisans graduated from art college and choose to come on board full-time to use his newly mastered skills in service of our graphic design team.

Screen Shot 2014-11-14 at 11.31.23 AMSince then, we have begun updating all of our small-item packaging.This month, our flagship product, the Magic-Flight Launch Box, finally had its moment, graduating from the simple, unmarked, white box that has been its adornment for the last 5 years, to the elegant, embossed box (seen above) that illuminates the magic within, rather than obfuscating it.

Our new packaging has inspired great enthusiasm, speculation, and even a few false claims made by excited fans in the community. The truth is simple – we love good design, and are excited to be able to infuse our love, care, and attention to detail into not only our products, but all aspects of what we do!

Mailroom Mondays

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing- it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well”  – Voltaire

We have mentioned before the very special role our Expert Consultants play in ensuring that everyone who buys a Launch Box has a sensational experience. One of the best things about being a member of this bustling team is getting to read the flood of letters of appreciation that we receive on a daily basis. (see our office wall above) We wanted to share that not only do we open and read every single one, but we are continually moved to hear your stories of how the Launch Box is helping you breath easier in life! As a follow up to our most recent roundup of our favorite images shared by our customers around the world and across the web, here are a few love letters that are making us smile today!

“I just wanted to convey, that because of your product, my life is better. I have already invested back my money that I would normally spend on my medication in half the time I have owned it, and it’s only been 3 weeks. I can benefit from your product in all sorts of ways as far as medicating and saving money. But the proverb on the back is where I truly benefited. I am more self aware of my actions and how I effect people. Because of your product, I want to change my life around and just spread the love. Thank you for allowing me to love my life because of your product. I’m extremely choked up at the moment.
I love you guys profoundly. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store” -Ben

“I must express my heartfelt thanks that I was treated like a person. Your customer service is already well known and what a joy it was to experience it first hand. I like your products and I like how you conduct business. It feels like an appropriate way to operate. Thank you very much.” -Tyler

“I’m sure you all hear this a great deal but I wanted to thank you
so, so much on such an outstanding little product. This year has been
particularly rough for me—sudden loss and sickness in the family caused some
major stress/anxiety and illness in my own world. However, my little MFLB has
provided me such fantastic relief—my anxiety was becoming debilitating, but
even just holding onto my box and running my thumb across the quote would calm
my nerves and helped me relax and realize I was in control. I can’t say enough
good about the MFLB, how much better I feel using it, how meaningful it is that
your company maintains such a loving relationship with it’s customers. Thank you
so much for what you’ve provided. You keep it up!” – Andrea

Favorite Customer Photos

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Grattitude Grid! We love our online community, and how freely you share your love of the Launch Box, allowing us a peek into your lives to see how the products we make so lovingly become a part of your individual stories. Thank you! We hope you will continue to enjoy our handmade products and keep on sharing the love!

Photos by Instagramers: @cannamelier @vaporizerwizard @urcuchillay @killamonstro @luisjwessels @vapebeyond

The Premium Wood Flight Essentials Bundle Has Arrived!

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At Magic-Flight, we do training a little differently. Rather than focusing solely on levels of productivity, we dedicate a significant amount of time to training our artisans to stop and pay attention to each piece of wood, looking for unique characteristics in woodgrain or burl to be showcased by the act of cutting, sanding, and shaping our products. This process of really tuning in to the unique Figure of each piece of wood takes a little bit longer, but allows the wood to reveal to us its natural beauty. In this way, each and every product we make is unique.

orbiters2Another way that we have found to enhance the natural beauty of the wood we use for our Orbiters is switching from using mineral oil to beeswax as a protective coating. Our Flight Crew is made up of many a Magic- Flight product enthusiast, so we have an endless source of quality feedback on how our products withstand the test of time. Mineral oil was originally chosen as a natural way to protect our finished products, but after 4 or 5 months of use and occasional water exposure, we found our Orbiters where looking just a little bit dull.

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We decided to switch to beeswax for this product because of it’s known safety, being used to protect butcher blocks and wooden cutting boards. Rather than becoming dull from water exposure over time, the beeswax finish actually evolves slowly, creating richer hues and bringing out the beauty we encounter in the grain of the wood. See some of our our favorite examples of these above, including Flame Maple, Birdseye Maple, and Spalted Maple.

Having found a more enduring way to naturally enhance the patterns that so captivate us, we thought it was high time we introduced our Orbiter and Power Adapter Flight Essentials in premium cherry and walnut wood choices, to match our premium wood vaporizers.  These have been produced in limited quantities for the true connoisseur. It is our pleasure to announce that while supplies last, we will be offering these Power Adapters and Orbiters at a discounted rate when purchased together as a bundle.  Order any of these select premium wood accessories at a stand alone rate, or bundle a PA and Orbiter together (with matching wood or as a mix-and-match set) to receive up to $40 in savings! Discounted bundle rate available while supplies last. Visit our Web Shop to view the full details of this special offer, just another way for us to wish you a Happy Holiday!

The Tempest Voltaic Launch Box

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“Small, incremental changes, occurring everywhere at once are always more conducive to creative expression than any suddenly realized grand sweeping events.” – Forrest Landry

In addition to artisan woodworkers coming to Magic-Flight from the worlds of carpentry and furniture making, we also have craftsmen and women who honed their skills in the worlds of metal fabrication and jewelry making, having mastered many of the same tools, but using a different medium. One such artisan saw one too many otherwise functional Launch Boxes with small cosmetic blemishes piling up around the shop and became inspired. What if a small lid scratch or chip in the wood could be transformed into a beautiful, unique design feature with a little creativity?

magicflightartisancollection2At night, she began experimenting with some of her own art materials, burning designs into the wood and setting gemstones in key places to accent the design or even perform necessary functions, such as replacing a loose cover lock. After building up a collection of these and showing them to the CEO, he too saw both the creativity and the sustainability evidenced in the pieces, and allocated a laser to help produce more consistent designs in the wood than hand burning could offer. A laser artisan was added to the team, who promptly set to work designing jigs to fit inside the laser beds that would hold the boxes steady while they received their artwork. And with that, a new department (the Industrial Design Department) was born. Among the many other functions Industrial Design performs, its artist roots are ever present.  Transforming Launch Boxes into art, in addition to using our tools and materials to create limited edition accessories is still a favorite operation. The problem solving skills honed in these fun, short-term projects go right back into our production process, ensuring innovative solutions to our engineering process, and also assuring that we are always engaging in the most beneficial possible balance of work and play.

tempestvoltaicWe began by introducing our Sacred Geometry laser lid line. Since we are always refining and improving our process, we quickly moved on to  creating our own signature style of art, a specific blend of mathematics, organic forms, and function. This was followed by designs with gemstone accents. Our Thrive Launch Box was our first release of a box that was based on our original experiments. By combining what we have learned on all the more simple boxes along the way, we are finally able to achieve the level of detail that we originally envisioned at an elevated level of craftsmanship.  A combination of lasered wood and lid design, multiple stones, and functional lid cut outs, the Thrive box was one of our best-selling boxes to date. This inspired us to continue evolving the complexity and precious quality of our Artisan Collection designs. This week we bring you the Tempest Voltaic Launch Box. Inspired by thunderstorms and evidencing a large genuine Blue Apatite and Opal gemstones, it is one of our most ambitious Launch Box designs to date. Visit the Artisan Collection to learn more and get yours while they last!

Stealthy Stress Free Celebration

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Even here in sunny San Diego, we have by now all heard enough Christmas music while standing in line at the grocery store to realize that, in fact, the holidays are upon us, and those cookies won’t bake themselves.

The internet is awash with many thoughtful, well researched, and entertaining articles offering guidance on how to have a less stressful, more meaningful end of year, written by qualified mental health professionals, enthusiasts of all things Made in The USA, and talented DIY Crafters alike. In lieu of re-hashing any of the subjects covered elsewhere, we have instead opted to share with you some of the ways that we personally are ensuring maximum enjoyment of the “most wonderful time of the year.”

magicflight1. Celebrate in Style: Wear your ugly Christmas sweater every day, so you are able to be spontaneous when opportunities to celebrate the season arise. See example to the left of “How we wear it.”

2. Give the gift of juice!  We help each other feel good during crunch times here at Magic Flight headquarters by taking turns making healthy smoothies for everyone to be enjoyed during team meetings. We can further spread the love of feeling good by gifting loved ones with a gift card to Ritual, a gentle, enticing reminder that it is possible to sail through the season with all your healthy habits intact.

3. Support Local Artisans:  Avoid mall vibes and shipping hassles by shopping local!  One of our favorite places for thoughtful gifts at any time of the year is North Park’s Pigment. This locally owned boutique opened in 2007 and has since blossomed into a thriving mecca of local designer goodness, where you can pretty much find something thoughtful for everyone on your list, and feel good about knowing that you are supporting many of San Diego’s finest artisans in the process.

4. Give Thanks: Rather not express your love through gift giving? Give thanks for the air we breath by supporting tree planting through Eden Projects, help support free public access to timely, quality astrological advice by donating to the team behind Mystic Mamma, or support the arts by donating to Art Reach, a local non-profit organization that works with over 10,000 students in grades k-6 each year by providing free programs to schools that have no existing art programs or funding to provide them.

5. Try our Kava Vapor Oil:  In addition to actively relaxing the muscles and helping to clear the mind, Kava is known for its abilities to help groups to tune in and connect in a deeper way, making it ideal for those extended family gatherings.

6. Get Launched: And of course, the obvious – don’t leave home without your Launch Box or Muad-Dib, both of which, when used in conjunction with your herbs of choice, have a proven track record of reducing stress pretty much instantly anytime, anywhere.

Introducing the Mahogany Muad-Dib

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As lovers of both our craft, and the natural materials we use in creating, it is not uncommon to find our artisans perusing the lumberyards, on the hunt for the most unusual and special pieces of wood to create with. For some time now, our most veteran of artisans have been eager to have the opportunity to create some beautiful pieces out of Honduran Mahogany.

mahoganymuaddibSwietenia Macrophylla, also known as Genuine Mahogany has been highly sought after by artisan woodworkers the world over for its color, chattoyance, workability, and resistance to moisture and rot. These qualities have historically made Mahogany a natural choice for many projects, including boat building, cabinetry and furniture making. The ability to resist moisture and decay also make it an ideal choice for the building of humidors, (cigar boxes) contributing to its popularity in areas of the world where cigars are produced. It is also often used in the making of guitars, producing a deeper, more resonant sound in the body of the instrument.

Wood carvers and builders alike enjoy the machinability of Mahogany over many other types of wood. In Mahogany, an artisan finds a responsiveness to the tools of the trade,(chisels, saws, drills) and the wood itself seems an eager participant in the creative process. Despite all these glowing characteristics, it is also an endangered wood, meaning that great care is needed to ensure the sustainability and integrity of our supply. We want to know that these majestic trees will continue to exist and be enjoyed by many generations to come. Thankfully, we were able to import our supply through a plantation that grows its trees in a legal and sustainable manner, passing CITES Appendix II standards for the importing of raw lumber into the country. This tightly regulated process insures our Honduran Mahogany to be of the most reputable origin.

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When looking at Mahogany, an experienced wood worker will be able to tell just by observing the color and texture, weather the wood in question can truly be called Genuine Mahogany. This means that the tree was either grown in its native environment, or cultivated in such a way that preserves its natural personality profile. When a tree has been transplanted to a new environment or climate, it often needs to adapt to survive, taking on character traits belonging to trees native to the new region. An example of this is Honduran Mahogany grown in Mexico, which evidences a distinctly different color. To our delight, we observed the most favorable characteristics in the wood, indicating our source’s growth and harvesting practices to be of high standards. The result in well cultivated wood evidencing all the most desirable features of Genuine Mahogany.

A few weeks back, we began sifting through our lumber, selecting the very best pieces with the intent to produce a small run of Mahogany Muad-Dib concentrate boxes. We carefully sorted through each piece for consistency in figure and color for the sake of delivering a premium product. It was our first time doing a run of this wood, and despite mahogany’s reputation for machining remarkably well in relation to other hardwoods, we were pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was to work with, even remarking at some point along the way:

“This stuff was made to be turned into Launch Boxes!”
Each and every Muad-Dib produced in this limited release was hand run from raw stock to finished product by two of our most senior artisans as a special project and as such is truly a labor of love. Visit our Artisan Collection to get yours while supplies last.