Cigar & Spirits Magazine: What was your background before creating Privada Cigar Club?
Brian Desind: I was an aspiring singer songwriter from the age of 14. I worked on my first demo at the legendary Sigma Sound Recording Studios in Center City Philadelphia and learned the ropes of recording and songwriting from Scott Storch. Scott is one of the most successful producers of all time. I was young and in the studio with legendary people like Quest Love, Kurrupt, Foxy Brown, Gerald Levert and many more. For the next 17 years I was either in a record deal or being mentored by LL Cool J who signed me to a multi album record deal and groomed me for the business. I did this while working any and every job I could find in New York City. I worked finance to sales to retail to you name it. There was no job I could not interview my way into and lose within weeks to months. My last job working for others–I was 31 years old–fresh off tour, I decided to quit music and my vices. I moved to Miami and became a chauffeur where I had the realization that I made the world’s worst employee, so I decided to try my hand at running my own business. I started an auto transport brokerage and began to create success for myself as an entrepreneur.
That’s some road tour. What was the inspiration behind creating Privada Cigar Club?
The inspiration was that most of the American cigar market has no idea which cigars, manufacturers or tobaccos are special or not. I replaced a very expensive sneaker collection with a limited-edition cigar collection. I tried to get pricing for these amazing cigars, and the responses I got online in message boards, told me something was missing. The cigar culture had few people that knew good from bad and those who made the actual products. This industry has been commoditized from the beginning. Imagine, the world’s most time-consuming handmade product was treated like a commodity?
Oh, hell no, I had to change that. This was the beginning of Privada Cigar Club.
What’s the basic premise of Privada Cigar Club?
PCC is the largest cigar subscription business in the world. It focuses solely on limited-edition, rare and aged cigars from the world’s best manufacturers. PCC’s goal is to shine light on the people who actually make these craft products while educating the consumer on who these people are, what makes them unique and what the different types of tobaccos do in a cigar blend. What has organically grown on its own accord is the strongest community the cigar culture has ever seen. PCC has over 18,000 subscribers, some had never even smoked cigars before Privada launched. Privada is the craft cigar movement.