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Our Story

This is a little story about a guy named Rich and why Chill Steel Pipes is majority owned by a 3-year-old girl named Hailey.

A Pandemic Baby

Everything we enjoy day-to-day has to actually be made by someone. Rich Gonzalez was that guy. He’d love to walk into a kitchen and point out that he’d invented your cutting board, your spatula, and most definitely your vacuum insulated water bottle. 

After a long career in retail, Rich spent the better half of the last decade manufacturing home goods, including millions and millions of vacuum insulated bottles and tumblers, helping to build one of the most successful hydration brands in the world. One day while visiting one of his factories, Rich had an epiphany. 

“This would make an amazing bong,” he thought. And he was right. 

In late 2019 Rich went to work, recruiting industrial designer Sam Judelson and BudsFeed founder Justin Johnson to help bring the product and brand to life. Later that December, Rich and his wife Breanna also welcomed their daughter Hailey to the world. 

As timing would have it, just as the team got started the world shut down due to COVID-19. But as millions of people were forced to sit idle, we got to work, finalizing industrial designs, building supply chain relationships, crafting the brand, and pursuing distributors. All virtually, of course.

Things Are Very Chill

In April of 2021, after a year and a half of hard work and a lift in COVID-19 restrictions, Chill Steel Pipes was a real product and kicked off online sales, quickly gaining popularity and being picked up by publications like Forbes and High Times, and recognized for design innovation by The Clio Awards. 

Product quickly hit the shelves of more than 4,000 stores and after our first holiday season, the team began to plan for the future, including the opening of a new warehouse and the development of a new venture studio arm to accelerate other accessories startups. Rich even moved to Colorado, where the company had always been incorporated, because he dreamed of moving there one day.

With a new warehouse secured and a vision for how we’d revolutionize the industry, Rich and Justin returned to Las Vegas in early 2022 to get the new warehouse in order, collaborate on projects with new partners, and prepare for the biggest trade show and marketing sprint of the year.

Fuck Cancer!

The day we signed our lease, Rich had been complaining of issues from a recent gallbladder surgery, and a sharp pain in his abdomen and between his shoulder blades. 

It was between his shoulder blades that we found a lump the size of a fist that would dramatically change our priorities. When he returned home to Colorado, Rich was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.

But he was a fighter. Rich battled cancer with everything he had, enduring more than 12 rounds of chemotherapy over 6 months, and in his waking hours, transferring as much manufacturing knowledge as he could to Justin and spending time with Breanna and Hailey, who was just 2-years-old at the time.

On October 7, 2022, just eight months after his diagnosis and nearly three years after we decided to go on this crazy journey together, Rich lost his battle with cancer.

Honoring Rich's Legacy

Prior to his passing, Justin assumed the role of CEO and Rich's majority ownership of the company was placed into a Trust, in Hailey’s name, so that she would be the main beneficiary of the company’s long-term success.

And despite the devastating loss of our leader, a best friend, and one of the most passionate people you could ever meet, we grew. We built out the warehouse, we began distributing in Canada, Europe and Australasia, and we launched new products and collabs with other incredible brands.

Our growth is a testament to the amazing product Rich designed and the people he attracted. That was clear by the response and outpouring of support we received from our community when Rich was diagnosed. And in Rich's spirit we will continue to build the Chill Steel Pipes into the brand and business he envisioned. 

After all, it's not just about bongs, it’s about Rich's legacy. It’s about our promise to him and Hailey. And with every purchase from Chill Steel Pipes, you are helping to honor Rich and support Hailey's future.

What We Stand For

It's our mission to deliver amazing experiences through modern products and above-and-beyond customer service. We are shattering the stigma with products built for seasoned stoners, but with materials and style that appeal to a new wave of consumers.
  • Craftsmanship

    We create innovative new products out of modern materials. We're serious about quality and meticulous about details.
  • Service

    We are obsessed with customer satisfaction. If something is ever wrong with a product we made, we'll make it right.
  • Style

    We envision a day when Chill can be found on the shelves of high-end department stores, and we design products with that future in mind.
  • Innovation

    The world is filled with cheap products that are all the same. We are building an ecosystem of innovative products that make life better.
  • Passion

    We got into this business because we're passionate about the plant and people's right to enjoy it in a way that supports their lifestyle.
  • Experience

    We want people to have an amazing experience with our products and we stand behind our work, from the product itself to our customer service.

The Chill Team

We’ve been very blessed to have a strong support system and have built our team through our community. Day to day, Chill Steel Pipes is this team of three.

Behind us is a literal army of amazing people whose support and contributions to our business cannot be quantified, including our investors, collaborators, the whole Gonzalez family and, of course our customers who have continued to support us through everything.
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