The television played Beavis and Butthead while two stoners sat on the couch in the middle of a session, when one looked at the joint and said, “Dude, wouldn’t it be awesome if our weed was wrapped in gold instead?” As cool as that sounds, that’s not how Shine 24 Karat Gold Rolling Papers came to be.
Owner and founder of Shine Paper Products Dave Brown previously was distributing and manufacturing cigars, when he came up with the idea to put gold on them. After execution of his plan, he soon discovered the price point on the already premium cigars was unaffordable to the majority of consumers. “As we started to run with that product, what we found is they were very expensive because of how we were applying the gold,” he recalled. “Everyone liked receiving it as a gift, but no one wanted to pay for it.”
Brown knew he had to find a more approachable way to use this technology, especially because no one had done it yet. He knew he wanted to reach a larger audience and that the retail price had to be more affordable. After careful brainstorming, 24 karat gold rolling papers were created and he made the first prototypes himself, which he found was not an easy task.
“Really the genius of it is finding a method where the gold will not come off on everything,” Brown said. “Edible gold, when you work with it, it’s extremely thin and it’s extremely hard to work with as a material.”
The gold blows all over the place with a simple breath, but once he perfected the process, he found that not only were the papers a great novelty item, they were functional, had a nice smooth taste and burned more like a cigar than a joint. The product launched in March of 2013 out of Charleston, South Carolina and quickly flooded social media and received several press hits. In their first year they signed a contract with Miley Cyrus on the Banger Tour and then with Tyga in the second. Now they’re online and in a thousand stores in over 40 countries, but OC has so many smoke shops, most people know what they want when they walk in and never look around. Matter of fact, Shine has many products the west coast hasn’t seen enough of.
“I know that our market saturation of people that know about us is still crazy low in terms of like a general number,” he said. “Which is great, there’s room to grow.”
Brown and his team have done so well building their brand that now consumers look to them for more than gold papers. Their collection of products includes gold condoms, grinders, black dry herb vaporizers, rolling trays, lighters, ashtrays, stickers, apparel and Phuncky Feel Tips. Their original idea has expanded a great deal, now gold papers come in two sizes and in white gold. He also has a beautifully crafted blunt handwoven with a checkered pattern of premium cigar and gold paper, a gold cone, and their newest product of leaf wraps. These delicate leaves are handpicked and so much easier on the throat. Plus the golden honey and double cup flavors are light and don’t take away from the tobacco or cannabis it’s filled with.
Though the primary focus has always been on the smoking products, Brown actually trademarked the word “gold” in smoking publications. He’s pretty inspiring considering he used to be a tennis player and now he’s monopolized this part of the smoking industry and continues to produce unique, one of a kind items that people everywhere love. According to Brown, the popularity on social media created more advertisement then most companies would have paid for.
“The first people to adopt the product and like it were consumers,” He said. “They were willing to pay full retail when we first came out and everyone else thought we were crazy. The demand came from the bottom up, we proved that people on the street want to use our products and were willing to pay the price.”