Christina Milian is no stranger to hard work. Before she was even in her teens, the ingénue first heard the calling of the stage and has since then spent a lifetime answering it. She has starred in television shows like Dancing With The Stars and The Voice, for which she won a primetime Emmy Award. She has starred in movies like “Love Don’t Cost A Thing,” and “Be Cool,” opposite John Travolta and Uma Thurman. As a singer, Milian has tasted Billboard success with hits like “Dip It Low,” “Between Me and You,” and “Say I,” while also scoring songwriting credits with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Paula DeAnda, and Justin Bieber. Simply put, there isn’t much this gorgeous entertainer can’t do, but with all of that work and not much time to relax, what’s a girl to do? For Christina, the answer to that question came a couple of years ago–when she discovered personal vaporizers. “It’s a relaxation thing for me for sure,” Milian explains via telephone during a studio recording session. “I love vaping in my car or sitting and reading a book. It’s great in a social setting, too, like pool parties, or clubs. In general, I find that it’s a great balance for me. Sometimes people overdo the alcohol, it’s almost like vaping gives you that other option to relax.” So infatuated was Christina with this newfound love of vaping, that she found herself buying vape pens for other people because they liked using hers so much. The experience has since added another hat to Christina’s beautiful head, as she has become an entrepreneur by launching her own company, Platinum E Hookah. It’s my brand because from beginning to end I’ve been interested in it and it’s a passion for me. I can use myself as the face of it, but this is me doing something that I love. I am fully involved in this company and it’s been great to see something that I love to find a degree of success.
What made you take an interest in the personal hookah/ vape industry?
I took an interest in the industry for several reasons. I’ve always loved to smoke hookah and when I found out you could have a disposable one or a portable one that you could carry on your own and not have to share with other people, I was even more interested. I first discovered them on Instagram and I went down to a smoke shop and got one. Unfortunately, it gave me a burning feeling in my throat and a headache, as it wasn’t a great model, but I still loved it so much that I continued to use it. I had people approach me constantly to find out where I got it or wanting to try it, and it got to the point where I started buying them for other people. After some research, I realized the first the one I bought contained nicotine which is what gave me a headache and throat soreness, and I found out you could buy flavors without nicotine. I thought, “I’m gonna do this, I want to make a business out of this. Everyone is already asking me for them and I’m spending money on them to give to people anyway, so why not make my own?”
When did you launch your line?
We launched it a little over a year ago and passed our year anniversary on Memorial day weekend 2014. The development the process took about three months. I did some research, one of my partners found two more partners that wanted to develop their the own line as well, so we met and connected and we’ve been going strong ever since.
How has the initial reception been within the marketplace?
Obviously, there is a lot of competition out there. This industry is growing, it’s getting big. If you drive around L.A. there are more vapor lounges than there are Starbucks! It’s been good so far, we’re constantly evolving and we have a few different models. We started off with disposable E-hookahs, and then we did one that was a more high end, which we call Platinum LUX E-Hookah, it has a diamond tip and its disposable as well – you’ll get about 600 puffs from it. We also have a standard one which is a little bit more masculine in the design without the diamond tip. Since then, we’ve grown into doing vaporizers, which are all rechargeable. We have an Elite vaporizer pen and we’re also doing E-Juices. All of our E-Juices are non-nicotine based.
Where can people find Platinum E Hookah?
We have all of our products on www.platinumehookahs.com, and we just actually opened up a big deal with Kmart, so we will be releasing our first E-Cigarette products as well as E-Hookahs with nicotine and non-nicotine E-Hookahs. Our first foray into that world will also be coming out through our website.
What types of E-Juices does the company make?
We have ten flavors so far, and my favorites are Cake Batter, Crushed Berry, and Strawberry Cream. We also have new flavors for our disposables, too. We’ve got a Banana Cream flavor for our Platinum LUX as well as Blueberry Cotton Candy and Strawberry Champagne. We’ve been very successful within a year, thanks to the celebrity appeal, not only from myself but from my other celeb friends who post our products on their Instagrams. It’s been very helpful in the growth of our business, and I appreciate them for doing that.
What do you think sets Platinum E-Hookahs apart from your competitors?
I think the best thing we have going for our product lines is quality. With our products, you get a nice big cloud of vapor from our rechargeables, and even from our disposables. I find that they all have a very smooth pull as well, making them perfect for relaxing with. Who knows? I might have to come out with one for singers, we do have a menthol one which is mint flavored and it’s really cooling on your throat!
How have you done any meet and greets or launch events surrounding the line?
Yes, we’ve done some events. We’re doing an in-store launch with Kmart, you can find the info on www.platinumehookas.com and on my Instagram @christinamilian. Right now, we also have four meet and greets scheduled in Las Vegas, Arizona, and Los Angeles for our official launch with Kmart. We’ll also be doing them in the Harrah’s casinos, not the one in Las Vegas but in all the other locations, and I will be hosting some pool parties for the launches as well.
You must be extremely busy launching the line while also maintaining your entertainment career as well!
Yes, and I also have my own wine company called Viva Diva wine, which has distribution in over 25 different states at Walmart, and the big liquor and wine chains.
With so much going on in your life, from motherhood to your entertainment career, to your entrepreneurial efforts, how do you balance everything? You must be under a lot of constant pressure to make everything function.
I ignore the pressure. The pressure I feel comes from myself. I’m thankful every day for my longevity in the entertainment business, and I realize that we are blessed to be in a time and age and generation where you can become your own entrepreneur. There are so many people ahead of me that I admire– it can be anyone from a Bethenny Frankel to a Puff Daddy or a 50 Cent or Dr. Dre. Those are people I look up to. I want to be my own boss and since I have become a mother, I’ve felt that much more of an importance in not relying on other people to help make your dreams come true, so you have to start doing it yourself. At the end of the day, I always like to know, win or fail – I don’t even like to use the word fail, because I think failure is a lesson anyways, but win or lose, I know it was on my terms and I was the one that tried and did everything in my power to make it work. I’m a very creative person, I love coming up with ideas and I’ve been very blessed with a great network of people and friends who have been very helpful in making a lot of my businesses succeed, and I feel very fortunate to be able to say that.
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