Looking around the landscape of the cigar industry, one thing notably missing is the presence of African-American brick & mortar owners, especially females. Shirley McClellan opened the Fire & Smoke Cigar Parlor in Baltimore, MD with a mission.
One year ago, the IWCS conducted a survey of 500 women on their preferences, tendencies and approach to cigars. We’re now releasing the third part of the results.
Women in the cigar scene are no longer just an appendage to passionados. Passionadas characterize the cigar scene. They come “voluntarily”, not acting as chaperones but as attendees in their own right, to club nights, cigar events, tastings and trade fairs. They know pretty much what they want to smoke and are quite knowledgeable.
Back in 2009 a hub was set up especially for women in the branch – the International Women’s Cigar Society (IWCS). The platform not only unites the distribution, the manufacturing and supplier side, but also the cigar smokers themselves, and women’s cigar clubs have found their point of contact in IWCS.
Delighted by their success in London, Davidoff is now planning Ladies’ Masterclasses in Paris, Vienna and Madrid. Exploring London’s Cigar Rooms, aficionadas are not only defying the smoking ban and the British weather, they are also infiltrating one of the last remaining male bastions and, armed with their new-found Masterclass know-how, they’re doing it with great confidence and style.
Looking at cigars from more than one angle is important to us. We want to fully explore this industry, its changes, and how it is changing the world. Since the creation of cigars, women and men have worked in tobacco side by side. In this article we are featuring stories of some of the women leading the cigar industry today.