Aaron Voss, 23, was born in Anchorage, Alaska, but moved to the Grand Strand with his family when he was a toddler. “The only thing I was really told about it was that there were a lot of moose,” he laughs.
A graduate of Carolina Forest High School, Voss has mixed feelings about college, primarily because he has noticed the trend in folks graduating after being saddled with staggering student debt and then not becoming employed in their fields of study.
“If you look at any other country, most of them either do school for free or [students] don’t have to pay for it until they are in a job that was for their student major. The way America is doing it I don’t think is necessarily the best way. It’s kind of weird. Everything we were fed at first is becoming the opposite.”
In September, Voss went to work for electronic cigarette retailer iVape [ www.ivape.net] after taking up vaping.
Never miss a local story.
“I started vaping because smoking was just way too much money,” he says, adding that when he enjoys something, he tends to go deep – finding out everything he can. “It’s something I really believe in,” he says. “It helps people save money. I can’t say that it’s healthier, but I can say that it has made me start feeling better.”
Much of his time is spent helping first-time vapers get started with a setup. “I’m not necessarily trying to sell them the most expensive product, but selling them what is best for them,” he says. “I usually run them by our starter kits because they are cheaper and good for people that aren’t sure exactly what they want to do. The kits that we have at my work are better than the ones I started on.” He stays busy ringing up customers, cleaning the store, stocking, doing inventory and attending to opening and closing duties.
No doubt many have heard rumblings that the FDA is gunning to get involved in the industry, and Voss has some thoughts on the subject. He is quick to point out that iVape e-liquids are certified by a by a trade organization called AEMSA, or American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association, a group dedicated to creating responsible and sustainable standards for the safe manufacturing of e-liquids.
“You want to be safe, and you want to know what’s going into your body,” he says. “The FDA has talked about putting warning labels on e-liquids about possible addiction to nicotine, which is good. Having the whole age limit thing is also good. But the whole huge tax on it – I’m iffy about that because it’s not a tobacco product. Essentially the main thing that isn’t FDA-approved is the nicotine. We use food grade propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, food grade flavorings, and nicotine.”
Downtime for Voss might include hitting up the Boulevard or hanging out with friends. “I like to go to music shows when I can. I’m into anything, but I don’t really like country,” he says. “I had a girlfriend back in ninth or tenth grade that pounded it into my head every day. I was just like, ‘OK, I’ve had enough of this.’” He enjoys anything from classic rock to heavy death metal.
A guitar player, Voss was involved with local bands Bring on the End and Abandonment. He says he still plays guitar every once in a while. “I have had so many things coming and going that I haven’t had too much time to put in as much effort as I should.”
As for favorite eateries, he enjoys Nacho Hippo at the Market Common. “I am also really happy that there is a Cookout in Myrtle Beach now. Back in the day, my friends and I would take trips to the Cookout in Wilmington (N.C.). We loved it that much.”
But what of the beach?
“I don’t go to the beach all too much,” he says. “I live maybe two miles from the beach. Last year I went two or three times. Everyone’s got the Salt Life stickers and things like that. I am just sitting here like, what’s on Netflix?”