Rhonda Sellers smoked her last cigarette on March 7, 2013. After she started vaping, it was easy to quit. “I never wanted another cigarette again, the flavors of the e-juice were just wonderful and cigarettes were never that enjoyable for me.”
Like many of us, Rhonda started out with an eGo and a CE4 clearomizer. One day she came up with an idea that would eventually turn into a business. “I was using the CE4’s and they had drip tips that screwed on. My husband always turned pens and styli and different things on his lathe, one day I got the idea that if he could do that, then surely he could turn a drip tip.”
She continues, “I asked around on a forum that I was on if anyone could give me the dimensions of a drip tip. A friend of mine gave me the dimensions and my husband turned a wooden drip tip. I thought it was quite beautiful and I showed a couple of my friends on the forum and they thought it was beautiful as well. He made a few more after that, some with wood and others with acrylics.”
In the beginning, Rhonda’s husband did all of the turning while she did the selling. Rhonda soon became an accessories supplier on ECF (E-Cigarette Forum). Her husband continued to do all of the turning while Rhonda made charms.
Rhonda lost her job in May and went on unemployment. She started watching her husband turn drip tips but was afraid to try it herself. In July her husband told her he was tired of turning drip tips and after he had finished up the acrylic they had already bought, that was it for him.
“I was in a panic because I really wanted to continue to offer custom made tips and charms. He had a full time job and when he came home he had to go out to the barn and turn a few tips every night to keep up with orders. In August I decided that if I wanted this to continue then I was going to have to just jump in and do it, after all I had watched him enough and I knew how to do it, just not really hands on. It took me several trials and many broken tips but I finally got comfortable with turning and was doing really well with it.”
Rhonda soon realized that she was in love with turning drip tips and her customers were in love with the tips she created. “I was turning away and loving it. In November my lathe broke down and I was in tears. I told everyone who was waiting for a tip what had happened and, much to my delight, they were all so understanding. I hadn’t made enough money to buy a new lathe and I was so depressed. I wasn’t able to turn but even worse, these wonderful people were waiting so patiently on drip tips. I was praying for a miracle. My husband surprised me with a brand new Jet lathe that I received on November 13th, 2013. I have been turning like crazy ever since and making my dreams come true and putting smiles on lots of faces. I love all of my customers, they are my angels.”
There’s an old saying that when one door closes, another opens. Rhonda recalls having more jobs than she cares to remember before starting Angel’s Heavenly Designs. “I have worked my entire life in this job or that job but, I’ve never in my life enjoyed anything the way I do this. The last job I had was one of those nightmare jobs that everyone has had at some point in their lives. I am a firm believer that when God closes a door He opens a window. I was so miserable in that job, so stress and always sick from stress. I prayed all the time for God to give me strength to keep going back there day after day.”
Rhonda continues, “In March 2013 I was fired from this job because I refused to send out a forged document. The next day they called me in and wrote me up. I wouldn’t sign it because in my heart I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong. That same day they came up and fired me and escorted me out of the building. I was devastated. I had never been fired from a job before. I cried and cried and cried. It was then that I realized I was free…free to do what I loved. I was making charms and my husband was turning tips and I was happier than I had ever been. I’m even happier now that I am the one turning the tips. I love to get in there and just create something so beautiful. I always keep in mind the person that I’m making it for, wondering if they will love it, praying that they will, turning it and polishing it to a brilliant shine. I don’t stress when I turn, I just allow myself to create and love it.”
While money is nice and everyone needs to make a living, Rhonda feels that she is in the drip tip business because she enjoys making drip tips. “What I do, I do for the absolute joy of it. I believe that people shouldn’t have to sacrifice an arm or a leg to have something beautiful. I believe that everyone should be able to have a beautiful custom drip tip. I’m not in this for the money, I’m in this for the love of what I do and for the smiles that it brings to people’s faces when they see their own custom made tip. That’s what it’s all about. I try to help people out. I have huge sales to help those who I know don’t have the money for the tips. Sometimes I just send a tip to someone who may want one but can’t afford it.”
She goes on, “The most special thing about my tips is that each and every one of them is done with love and with the customer in mind, my angels. These angels have given me more than they can ever imagine. They gave me my life back after I thought I had lost everything. They are the kindest people. They are so good and so giving. I love them all so much.”
I asked Rhonda which mods look best with her custom tips. She laughs and says, “I have seen my tips on everything from an eGo to a Provari. I am amazed at the mods that people put my tips on. It just thrills me to see something I created on a beautiful mod.”
Rhonda believes in letting her customers create their own “little piece of happiness.” She does not make drip tips and put them up for sale, but makes drip tips that are unique and custom made for each and every person who orders one. The customer gets to choose everything from the material, to the shape and style to the colors.”I offer advice if they ask but they are the ones who create their pretties. I just turn them into what they want. I do tell people to remember to let the beauty of the material come through. If they want loads of blobbies, grooves and curves, it’s going to take away from the beauty of the material. Sometimes, simple can be magnificent.”
Referring to her Facebook page, Rhonda says, ” Someone once called them my fans. I laughed. They aren’t fans, they are my friends, each and every one of them. If anyone is the fan, it’s me. I admire each and every one of those angels.”