Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in cigars but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Kevin Kauzlaric, President & Founder of Northwoods Humidors LLC, located in Chicago, IL, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are an eCommerce company that sells cigar humidors and cigar-smoking accessories. Our customers are people from all walks of life who enjoy the hobby of smoking premium cigars. They enjoy a fine cigar because it allows them to relax and unwind from a busy day. It also allows them to celebrate and elevate great moments in their life.

Tell us about yourself

I started Northwoods Humidors in 2014 because I did not see many other eCommerce businesses focused on cigar accessories. There have always been cigar shops that sell both cigars and cigar accessories, but not many focused only on becoming experts in smoking accessories. I am motivated every day to continue creating the best online store for cigar aficionados who want a wide and deep selection of their favorite cigar-smoking accessories. I want our customers to have an outstanding online experience so they can have an excellent experience smoking their cigars.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment is hiring amazing people to work for us and helping them grow and prosper in their roles. This leads to our customers having a great experience with us.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things over the last couple of years has been managing the disruptions in inventory levels and cash flow. External events outside of our control mean we have to quickly understand the issues at play and come up with solutions and monitor the results to make sure they address the issues. During this time, we had to change course several times until we had stabilized the business.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  • My first tip is to make sure you have the proper financial reports set up from the beginning so that you understand where cash is coming in and going. You also want to have enough cash buffer to weather uncertain times and also take advantage of any growth opportunities that come along that can propel your business forward.
  • My second tip is to understand what activities you should be doing and which ones you should outsource to others for your current level of sales. It will be difficult to maintain or scale the business if you do not have the proper people working on the proper functions.
  • My third tip is to have a long-term view of your business and create a list of all the possible growth opportunities you could implement or take advantage of. Then prioritize that list and tackle your biggest opportunities first. Over time you will see significant growth and have peace of mind knowing you are doing the right things at the right time.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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