A Look Back at 2014
01/02/15 by Sykes Wilford
It has become something of a tradition that I write the newsletter introduction for the update that falls closest to January 1st. In the past couple of years, I've written about the emergence of a new enthusiasm for pipes, especially among men in their twenties and thirties. In looking over those, they feel dated now. Not because they were wrong, but because they were so very right. We've really come to take for granted that pipe smoking has been enjoying a renaissance over the past few years. That was something that I had hoped was beginning a few years ago, was excited to see some confirmation thereof two years ago, was quite sure of last year, but now just feels like a normal part of the landscape.
And it's in all sorts of ways. Seeing younger guys at pipe shows is no longer surprising. Long gone are the days where I'd look around the room and I'd be the youngest guy there by twenty-odd years. Youtube is absolutely filled with videos of younger gents writing about pipes and pipe tobacco. Other social media outlets, from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter, are awash in pipe discussions and commentaries. None of this is surprising anymore: it's just the way things now are. The pipe world has thoroughly changed in the past two or three years. And I think the pipe enthusiast community is vastly enriched by those new voices.
It's also been a year of change for Smokingpipes.com. Not only have we moved to much bigger, better organized digs, complete with a massive pipe mural, it's changed in other ways. Yes, we've grown rapidly in the past couple of years, but a lot of the changes have been in us and in the way we work. We totally revamped the blog, for instance, and we've worked hard to make that a regular, robust, serious pipe publication (but not so serious that it's not fun). We've slowly, but surely, redesigned most of Smokingpipes.com, giving us a better platform to showcase pipes and pipe tobacco. We rolled out the Tobacco Locator analog to our longstanding Pipe Locator. Actually, while we wrote it with customers of Smokingpipes.com in mind, the Tobacco Locator has proven so useful that we who work here constantly use it to find new tobaccos, too.
We like doing new, interesting things. And we like pipes. Your continued support in 2014 meant that we could keep up to our elbows in both. And your continued love for our shared hobby has led to the renaissance in pipe smoking that I barely dared to even wish for a few years ago. For both, and much else, I thank you. Happy New Year.