Shacked up in New York City’s bustling indoor Chelsea Market, head shop Higher Standards blends in with the other upscale stores selling designer eyewear, vegan sushi, and swanky hot sauce. And keeping up with its classy neighbors, the Higher Standards flagship store offers its customers an elevated head shop experience catered to their curiosity.
Customer-Focused and Friendly
Higher Standards’ customers vary greatly in terms of experience. Some intentional regulars swing by but newcomers to smoking and vaping culture trickle in, intrigued by the impressive window displays of collectible glass pieces or custom painted Volcano vaporizers. The inevitable tourist will first find comfortable interest in the well-designed Malin + Goetz candle table display near the entrance, not realizing exactly what type of shop they’ve wandered into. Then, after being approached by a helpful and encouraging staff member, they may stick around to learn about Higher Standards and its own product line.
What’s clearly different about this head shop comes from its openness. Instead of a glass display case separating the customer from the product and the staff member with the knowledge, a Higher Standards employee comes to the customer hoping to fit them with the piece for them. Better than the close interest of the employees of the store, Higher Standards features an open display of their products. Rather than asking to feel the weight of a potential pipe from behind a smudged glass case, Higher Standards offers its customers open and artful displays of many different brands of pieces. so Customers can interact easily with pieces made by Grav Labs or Marley Natural, or even Higher Standards’ own product line.
An Elevated Experience
The store is designed specifically to entice customers to engage with their products. In fact, Robert, the store manager, says that Higher Standards wants its customers to learn about and physically handle their smoking and vaping products, an informative and approachable experience similar to the model of the Apple Genius Bar. Whether interested in Higher Standards’ own glass products or willing to spend the big bucks on collectible glass on glass or an Yves St. Laurent or Tiffany zippo lighter, the store presents a wide range products, some affordable, and others less so. No matter what, the friendly staff are there to help narrow down the best piece and promote conversations about vaping, smoking, or their store.
Travel all the way to the back, and you’ll discover an extensive wall of vapes and accessories. It’s in this more lounge-like area, spacious and fitted with a few chairs, that Higher Standards hopes to host some 101-style informative events about vaping and smoking accessories. And finally, to round out their eclectic and upscale offerings, the store offers an assortment of leather goods, like notebooks. The variety of goods that one can pick up in the store makes it worth sticking around and spending some time exploring and learning about smoking and vaping culture.
Higher Standards is Worth a Visit
Even if not in the market to buy a new piece, stopping by Higher Standards in NYC’s Chelsea Market is a window shopper’s dream. The Higher Standards staff delivers stellar attention to your smoking and vaping curiosities. And still, the best part is that you get to interact with the pieces yourself to learn what’s right for you. No matter the level of interest or experience, Higher Standards gives the consumer the opportunity to start up conversation about product lines, learn about the culture, or simply stroll through the store like the impressive art gallery it is.
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