We had the good fortune of connecting with Nawaz Ali and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nawaz, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I felt that there was no smoke shop in Houston that was offering a complete experience; they were either dark and dingy, carried an odd assortment of inventory, and lacked in several other areas. I’ve never been afraid of a challenge so I ultimately decided on finding a retail location in the Heights area, more specifically on Washington Ave. near the night life. I knew that HOS was certainly not the first smoke shop to open on Washington Ave., at the time we opened there was four established shops in the same 1-mile stretch and a new shop only about a block away. Despite, the competition and risk I pushed forward and I’m proud to say that we are performing well.
What should our readers know about your business?
House of Smokez is a modern smoke shop with a curated product selection, knowledgeable Sales Associates, and a variety of other factors that differentiate HOS from other retailers. I’m most proud that we have performed well and have grown despite having four other smokeshops within the same 1-mile stretch on Washington Ave.. We officially opened our doors on January 1st, 2021 and initially found driving foot traffic and customers to the store difficult as many consumers were still quarantining at home and limiting time out in the public. However, by maintaining our open times and providing customers with excellent service we were able to gain a foothold on Washington. I’ve learned that consistency is good but Improving and adapting is even better to growing and maintaining a business. I would want the world to know that HOS is an up and coming head shop that looks to provide customers with quality products at quality prices. It wasn’t easy to start HOS as a college student managing a full class schedule and working overtime to keep overhead low.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Downtown, Heights and River Oaks Areas have a variety of restaurants, shopping, and activities for someone visiting Houston to enjoy. There is Buffalo Bayou Park where you can bike during the day or enjoy city views at night. For food, Id have to say YoYo’s hotdogs, Tiger Noodle House, Cowboys and Indians, Donerekai, and Main Chick to name a few.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would definitely like to shout out my entire family, all of my friends who have supported me and the store, the entire HOS Team, and of course all of our clients who support us every day.
Other: Tik tok: @HOUSEOFSMOKEZ