Fine Tuning

The last year and a half has been full of changes here at Pipes and First, we had to physically move all our inventory and equipment to our new location, which was quite a task. Shortly thereafter, we realized that we wouldn’t be able to expand things the way we needed to with the web-hosting company we were using. It took about six months, start to finish, to build a new site on our own server, but (not without a few hiccups here and there) we got it up and running. Just recently, we launched the mobile version of our website, which affords a much better experience for shoppers using a smartphone or tablet.

A couple of things that never change: our customers offer us their input regarding what they feel can improve our site, and, we listen. We’re constantly on the lookout for products that you want, and if they’re not out there, we create them ourselves. We also continue to make shopping easier for you. Sometimes, what makes sense on paper doesn’t translate very well to the real world. One area was the look of our pipe pages. Our IT staff has come up with a number of ways to improve it, and they’re working right now on how to make it happen. Part of their direction comes from customer comments. I was just shown the concept of how the pages will look when the project is complete, and it will be great-looking and much easier to use.

We’re also going to refine and clean up the characteristics for pipes and pipe tobaccos, which will make searches a whole lot easier. I’ll be spending weeks looking at the copy for all the items on our site, and when I find descriptions that seem inaccurate or incomplete, I’ll rewrite them. When you consider that we’re looking at over 10,000 individual items, that’s a pretty daunting task, but it needs to be done.

The point I’m trying to make is that nothing is so good that it can’t be improved, and that the more feedback we get from a larger group of people, the better our chances of getting it right. Don’t hesitate to email me your thoughts and suggestions at, and keep looking at the site as we continue to make improvements.

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About Russ

Russ Ouellette is the blender/creator of the Hearth & Home series of tobaccos for in Bethlehem, PA. He has been a pipe smoker and blender for over 30 years, and enjoys feedback from the pipe smoking public. You can reach Russ at or by calling 1-800-494-9144.