“I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.”
~Albert Einstein, 1950
The enjoyment of a fine, handcrafted smoking instrument has been around for quite some time. Famous thinkers, authors, musicians and kings – gentlemen the centuries over – have participated in this pastime that invites us to shun the hurried pace of the day, slow down and appreciate the moment.
Sean Eppers, founder of The Pipe Parlor, found this experience to be true as early as his high school days in Texas. “For guys [in high school], you’re constantly running around doing something. Pipe smoking provided the opportunity to just sit and visit instead.” So Sean and a few others started regularly smoking pipes and built great friendships over time.
While he has smoked pipes for years, his pipe-building trade didn’t begin until later. While working in Austin, Sean forged a friendship with a guy who shared his affinity for the experience and the finely made devices. The two of them began dreaming up their own creations, and eventually Sean started making his own custom pipes. Word spread quickly among friends, and their idea became a reality. “I love making them myself, but I can’t make enough of them. I have a backlog of people wanting to order them,” says Sean.
In the process of developing this craft, he noticed that the Internet didn’t provide what his friends and potential-customers were looking for. “Most of what is out there [on the web] is old and outdated. I wanted to make a quality site with quality pictures and quality pipes,” says Sean. So, he recently launched the Pipe Parlor, and uses a cleanly designed layout to showcase images of incredible pipes.
Pipe Parlor currently features pipes from six different well-known pipe makers from around the world. It also includes a selection of estate pipes that have been professionally restored. Once the initial stock of pipes are sold, Sean plans to continue expanding the selection.
He’s also educating and serving the future of pipe smoking culture. “Creating the website provided an opportunity to introduce a younger generation to the pipe world. There’s been a resurgence of pipe smoking because people desire to connect relationally,” Sean told us. “It’s not a digital connection, but an opportunity to connect with people.”
Perhaps pipe smoking and the Pipe Parlor are needed more today than ever. “In this fast-paced world that pulls you in a million directions, you need a place to slow down,” Sean says. “As a dad and husband, with work, and my family…sometimes I need to just grab my pipe and sit on the back porch.”