The premium-cigar industry is a pretty traditional one; one that has deep roots often through many generations each passing along the family’s traditions and philosophies. Often time, new cigar brands are launched trying to mimic these time honored brands and legacies, but without that true lineage and passion, the “Don Nobodies” (as we affectionately call them in “the biz”) fade out quickly. However once in a while, a brand pops up with the balls to be different; to push the envelope in new directions that our industry isn’t used to. They’re not posers, in Guayaberas and straw hats standing in a tobacco field or smelling curing leaves in an ad campaign. They’re authentically themselves, drawing on their own lineage, traditions and philosophies for inspiration and ultimately securing a place in the time-honored premium tobacco field of fame. Drew Estate and CAO were pioneers for the premium cigar business in thinking outside of the box during the 1990’s. Tatuaje’s Pete Johnson and Illusione’s Dion Giolito also found their own style of doing things in the 2000’s that the industry didn’t just flat out reject, but rather embrace. And each one of these companies has done something different than the other. There are others. But NOT many.
And now, LaLa Land’s Matt Booth can be added to that short list of industry innovators. Mr. Booth, a musician and Marine has been creatively combining his life experiences, cultural influences and favorite hobbies into products since 2003 with his Room101 jewelry collection, a successful line of funky chunky rings, bracelets and other accessories that use only the finest sterling silver, gold and precious stones, and has been featured in print, movies and network TV. In 2009, Booth launched the newest piece to the Room101 portfolio, a Premium Cigar. But the launch was anything but conventional. In an aggressive ad-campaign cocktail of 1 part social, 1 part viral, 1 part print, with a splash WTF, cigar enthusiasts were drawn to and looking for these new cigars, before they even existed. Fortunately, under the close supervision of Camacho’s Christian Eirora, as well as Camacho’s marketing guru Dylan Austin the gap was bridged from anticipation to arrival, and a complete line of Honduran-made premium cigars were finally made available.
The cigars are made up entirely of Honduran tobaccos, including a unique seed developed specifically for this special project called “Semilla 101”. Just like his jewelry that will often throw a little gem in for color and individuality, the gem in this case is a little bit of Dominican Tobacco used in the filler in order to add complexity and balance to these medium-bodied smokes. There are 6 sizes currently available in the line. Each come packaged in a silver on black box of 25 cigars amd they range in price between $7.50-$10.50 per stick.
Booth has also expanded his premium tobacco category to accessories, outfitting Zippo-Style lighters featuring torch flames with the Room101 silver motifs (around $800), as well as breathtaking custom humidors sporting lavish Croc exteriors, Cedar-lined interiors, and Asian-themed silk-lined drawers to house accessories (around $40,000)
Mr. Booth explains his products as “designs that will stand the test of time” and assures that there is “something for everyone” within his product range. The “everyone” – those who enjoy the Room101 collection as well as those who share their interest via Booth’s incredible social network – are affectionately known as “The Conspiracy”. And the funny thing is, like it or not- you just became a part of it.