It was time for a much-needed refresh in the smoking cessation category. Pharmacy shelves full of outdated and undesirable products just aren't going to cut it for the next generation. Good thing model Josephine Pearl Lee, also known as Princess Gollum, came up with the idea to start Blip. Co-founded by Brian Bordainick and Julie Schott, who have created some of Gen Z's go-to brands Starface, Julie, and Futurewise, and the brand-building expert Alyson Lord, Blip is here to help the next generation quit smoking and vaping. With FDA-approved products and a first-of-its-kind community-driven approach, Blip is urging young people to "die another way." We spoke with Lee about her smoke cessation journey and the brand's roots/priorities.
If you don't mind sharing, can you discuss the challenges you faced when quitting smoking?
I’ve always been able to “quit” smoking cigarettes, and it wasn’t until I made the switch over to vapes when old tricks (quitting cold turkey) weren’t working, which is actually a way more common experience than I thought. Dr. Mark, Blip’s Head of Medical Affairs, not only helped me through my own quit but also helped develop the supportive, community-driven approach that would become Blip. When they say that “the opposite to depression is connection,” I felt that, especially while quitting nicotine.
What are some common misconceptions about the smoking cessation journey?
There’s this misconception that ‘you can quit if you want it hard enough’ and that you should do it alone and in secret. And if you fail, there must be something wrong with you. This couldn’t be more untrue. When you decide to quit smoking + vaping, you’re essentially making a commitment to a better, healthier self, and that should be a moment worth celebrating.
How did the idea to start Blip come about? Talk about the initial moment that you came up with the idea!
Yes, I actually first connected with Co-founder Julie Schott, working as a model on set at a Starface photo shoot. I’ve always admired her approach to offering optimistic solutions for the next generation and especially gravitated toward her stance on acne care, which I still struggle with. I love the stars and the shapes – and at the time, I was starting my quit journey for what felt like the 30th time. And that day, we shared a true lightbulb moment to create a fresh perspective around quitting. This later became Blip.
Why is it important to approach the quitting journey from a new and fresh angle?
We’re in a new era. If you really think about it, it took a little while until e-cigs and vapes became a thing, but it’s been happening since 2006. They’ve already lived through many looks, trends, and phases thus far and probably will live on throughout our lifetime. Now they’re everywhere. On every block, there seems to be a new smoke shop popping up. If our smoking equipment and how we smoke change, then the support and the way you quit need a major update. Everything, even cigarettes, has gone digital—the way to get off should be too.
What are you most excited about when it comes to Blip?
I’m most excited to be able to use my voice and platform for a cause that is personal to me. My goal is to ignite a movement that revolutionizes the process of quitting smoking and, ultimately, makes it cool. As a former smoker and vaper myself, I know firsthand how difficult quitting can be, and it's an honor to be able to tap into my creative and design brain power to inspire others to quit nicotine.
If you had to describe the Blip brand in just three words, what would they be?
Die another way.
How do you want consumers to feel when they start their Blip journey?
I want Blip consumers to feel however they want to feel.. but what we don’t want is unnecessary shame and guilt or feelings of impending doom. The other prevalent theme is “What is wrong with me?” “I want to stop, but I can’t,” and “I just don’t know how” Just having a good friend tell you that you can make a world of difference. For me, that was Ask Dr. Mark. I want everyone to feel supported, empowered, and unashamed, knowing that they 100% can do it and don’t have to do it alone.
Check out Blip's store locator map on the brand's website to find Blip near you. Blip products are available at www.blip.world and in select CVS locations nationwide. To learn more about Blip and join the community, visit their website and follow @blipworld on Instagram and Tiktok.