July 2016 Newsletter

July 2016
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Kurt's Corner
IPCPR 2016

           The 84th Annual International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailer Trade Show and Convention took place this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. XIKAR is thrilled to introduce several new innovations to our product line, as well as stunning new finishes to existing fan favorites and a variety of Limited Edition Gift Sets that will be available in time for the holiday season.
   These products were very well received by our valued XIKAR retailers, and we are overjoyed for them to deliver to stores throughout the upcoming months and into the hands of the XIKAR Nation!
   The XO cutter was perhaps the most highly anticipated launch at IPCPR this year. This ultimate cutting machine's revolutionary planetary gear system and unique circular form create an instant visual intrigue, with the popular opinion, "Once you get it in your hand, you’re hooked!”
   The Xidris single flame lighter was another popular item at the show, sure to fast track its way into your accessory collection. This high performance inspired lighter comes in a variety of eight striking color combinations and is equipped with XIKAR’s reliable Direct Inject™ Flame Technology.
   Find an overview of all new product introductions throughout this newsletter and on the XIKAR 2016 New Innovations Page, and keep an eye out for more exciting information including availability, coming soon!


July 2014 Newsletter


July 31, 2014

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Kurt's Corner
We are back from Las Vegas, and the IPCPR Trade Show
was a tremendous success! Our team works hard all year
to create the newest and most cutting edge cigar
accessories, and this year was no exception. The latest
XIKAR innovations were inspired by beauty and power, from
the heights of mountaintops, to the depths of the ocean.
You will be prepared to take on cigars bigger than you've 
ever imagined
, and will never again find yourself without a
cutter on hand
. Of course, all products exemplify 
superior form, feel and function, the Essence of XIKAR!

The industry received our new accessories with adulation
at the IPCPR Convention, and we look forward to getting them into your hands. This newsletter will introduce you to some of the new XIKAR innovations, and we will continue to feature a new product every month through the end of the year. 

 I want to thank you all for your loyalty to XIKAR as we progress with our commitment to revolutionary product development. I am certain that you will be impressed not only with the new releases, but the future introduction of creative concepts as XIKAR continues to serve you... for life!


Kurt Van Keppel

June 2013 Newsletter


June 2013

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Kurt's Corner
Business Start-up/
Entrepreneurship- Part 2
As Seen in the April Issue of Cigar Advisor

Continued from last month's newsletter... 

     Congratulations! Your solution, then an invention, is now a product. The market responded and demands the product.  Are you in business? Maybe. The answer really depends on your financial situation and skills related to the running the business you want to be in.  Prior to XIKAR, my career experience included sales and marketing management, and new product launches for several top consumer products companies.  Scott's included sales, relationship management, factory management and of course a lot of product design.  We were well suited to start and run XIKAR on our own.

Had we not been good candidates for our own jobs, I'm not sure that would have stopped us! Please heed this warning I have come to realize: inventing a product and running a business are completely different. Getting a new product to market carries both financial and business risk (a lot more on that in a later article).  Inventors who are not prepared for both stand to lose their finances and their market space as the business overwhelms them and the market competitors pass them by.
Business startups can be boot-strapped.  We did it; we did it with a unique, patented product in a marketplace that was booming at the time. And, I gave up my salary and home (moved my wife, two young children and two beagles in with my mother in law) for two years. I like to say that not all entrepreneurs have to give everything up, but they have to be ready to!
Partnerships with existing brand marketers and distributors provide a great alternative for most entrepreneurs to launch their products and enjoy immediate market penetration. Sales and profits that correspond with that far outweigh the startup years of a solo effort.  Sure, the inventor gives up a portion of the profit. But often the economics are still better - for the speed of profits and the lack of risk.

We are constantly looking for new products, as are all the other distributors in our trade, and in every trade! Consumers walk into cigar shops and say, "what's new?" I walk into a cigar shop, and the owner (always) says, "what's new?" The Ashtray Can inventor is a great example of how well this can work. I recently saw an invention that will be perfectly suited for the checkout at Wal-Mart, grocery and other big chains. The inventor is a salesman in a tech company, and a mutual friend suggested me to him. So, I passed him to a buddy whose company sells to Wal-Mart, Target and grocery - and I think they are both going to make a lot of money on this deal!
In my case, I was compelled by a new product solution to take to market. I was compelled to start a business because I was "a good employee, but not very good at working for someone else". Some of you out there know exactly what I am talking about! I hope you have a great product idea, and get it to market. Or, I hope you have a great solution, and let me, or another company know about it!

Kurt Van Keppel

New Products from XIKAR!


Contact: Chris Geisert
Office: 888-266-1193

XIKAR Introduces New Products

Form, Feel, Function drive XIKAR innovation

KansasCity, MO August 1, 2012 – XIKAR, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of cigar accessories, is proud to introduce their newest product innovations at the 80th Annual IPCPR Trade Show. XIKAR drives innovation through their focus on form, feel and function, all at a fair price.

As you would expect from XIKAR, new cutters are being introduced. First, to accompany its 7 and 9mm punches, XIKAR now has an 11mm punch, their biggest yet.  

The new 11mm Twist Punch has a modern, minimalistic style combined with a sharp 11mm blade.  XIKAR is also expanding its popular Room101 line of Xi1 cutters with an OSOK design meaning “One Shot, One Kill” and a Sakura design, meaning cherry blossom in Japanese. Both of these designs fuse Matt Booth’s Asian influence and Sunset Strip vibe with XIKAR’s quality and precision to deliver functional cigar accessories that are also conversation pieces.  Both of these cutters are available with matching EXII windproof lighters.

XIKAR is expanding its lighter collection with the sleek double flame Vitara and the powerful Pulsar triple flame lighter. The Vitara is a solid double jet flame with a slide action trigger and built-in 7mm punch.  The Pulsar is a sophisticated triple jet flame lighter with a side squeeze ignition and a built-in 7mm punch. Both new lighters are available in a wide array of finishes including the new G2. G2 is XIKAR’s new finish that is dark, sleek and completely gunmetal.

Following the success of the single flame Tech lighter, featuring a clear body, large fuel tank and oversized adjustment wheel, XIKAR is expanding this collection and will now offer this lighter in double and triple jet flame styles.  Now cigar aficionados can get the same dependable performance in multiple flames.

XIKAR is also introducing their re-designed HC Series Collection of accessories.  This collection features an Xi3 HC cutter with artisan lacquered handles and a new HC Celebration Ceramic Ashtray.  This ashtray will compliment any smoking den and is available in festive red, yellow and black.

Along with new accessories, XIKAR will introduce a new blend to the HC Series line of cigars. The Habano2 is amedium to full body cigar made utilizing Sumatran, Nicaraguan and Honduran tobacco, all pulled together with a rich Habano2000 wrapper.It’s a rich, thick, deep, cigar with the flavor of roasted almonds, hints of spices, wood and nutmeg.  Additionally, this cigar is box-pressed which provides a fresh look and comfortable feel for a more enjoyable smoke.  This new blend will be offered in Robusto, Toro, Belicoso and Grande sizes.

“I am proud to introduce a large variety of new products this year at IPCPR. With a dedication to form, feel and function all at a fair price, XIKAR plans on exceeding your expectations in 2012,” said Kurt Van Keppel, President and CEO of XIKAR.

“Things are very exciting at XIKAR right now. I'm excited about the new accessories and blends that will be shown at IPCPR this year,” said Scott Almsberger, Co-Founder and CDO of XIKAR.

XIKAR, Inc., founded in 1996 and headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., is the world's leading manufacturer of cigar cutters, including the well-recognized Xi cigar cutter, along with a full line of cigar accessories, lighters and humidification devices and containers.


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