When it comes to those with knowledge of creating and using tobacco pipes, Mike Lancaster is the person you want to speak to. In fact, Lancaster is a member of a close-knit group of pipemakers and smokers who call themselves Team TPC (Tobacco Pipe Collectors). As the founder of the TPC group, Lancaster has established an excellent team of pipemakers dedicated to selling their wares online.
Tobacco Pipe Collectors is made up of at least 23 pipemakers located in eight different countries – and that number is growing. Each week, patrons find dozens of new pipes for sale. According to Lancaster’s website, inspiration comes from the “very skilled and professional retailers that have come before us.”
According to the Tobacco Pipe Collectors blog, brainstorming sessions are the norm. These meetings are used to make new connections and explore potentially fulfilling ideas. Brainstorming sessions end with promises on the horizon. Additionally, the blog comments on an upcoming trip to A Global Show, one that Lancaster “dreamed of attending for years.” His excitement of meeting master carvers is palpable in this entry, and it is very likely that there are now people looking up to Lancaster’s talent in the same exact way.
Inspired by other retailers, Lancaster and his team have found tremendous support in the tobacco community. People are quick to support an indie artisan pipemaker, and for good reason. Each pipe is crafted with tender loving care by somebody who actually uses pipes regularly.
If anything is clear, it is Lancaster’s passion for pipemaking. Upon reading Lancaster’s personal accounts, it is also evident that he is a solid team member who supports strength and diversity in the pipemaking community. TPC’s growth relies on building connections and remaining a solid family unit.
With representation in the form of spectatorship at a Chicago show, the Tobacco Pipe Collectors are well on their way to success. With plans to reveal TPC as a vendor in upcoming convention appearances, this self-identified “pipe geek” has his sights set on the future. The only promise is that this will be one wild ride for Lancaster and his group.