Mike Terkildsen AKA M.Terk has amassed a substantial following in enthusiast vape circles. He is known for his pristine exotic coils, unique e-liquid offerings and even hardware designs so we decided to find out more about how he got to where he is today.
Q: When did you start vaping, and how did you hear about it?
I started vaping in 2014. I used to drive the guys to the job site when I was doing construction and one of them had a copper tube mod (the overdose). He would vape in the truck and I used to love how it smelled in comparison to Camel cigarettes. So he told me I should go to the vape shop and get setup. By January 2015, I was no longer smoking cigarettes and had fully switched to vaping.
Q: How did you first learn about exotic coil builds and what inspired you to make your own?
My friend saw that I started vaping and he showed me Instagram. From there, I started an account & I found pages like @blueeyedgoon83 @twistedmesses, @squidood & @ohmboyoc. @blueeyedgoon83 is what inspired me start coil building (as a hobby).
Q: At what point did you realise that selling your coils could become a viable business?
I started working at a local vape shop (Vvvapes) when I left my family business in spring 2015. I needed a major life change after quitting heroin. They weren’t hiring at the time, but I promised I would build coils and make money for the shop. So I just hustled really hard, not knowing where it would take me. In a very short amount of time, I was mass producing coils (eventually just aliens) & became one of the first coil distributors.
Q: The coil building scene has grown a lot over the years, who’s work do you admire most?
Thats a hard one…If we are talking about people that do it for a creative hobby, only one name comes to mind: @builds_by_talien from Germany.
Q: With the reputation you have built, customers have high expectations. How do you deal with the pressure of delivering a top quality product every time?
The pressure can be intense, but I just really take my time when I develop new products. I test them thoroughly until I am confident that everyone will like them as much as I do. Quality is what’s most important to me, with all my products.
Q: As an individual, you are an integral part of the MTERK brand, is this something that you enjoy?
I love what I do everyday. In the past five years I have been traveling all over the world, meeting new people, and seeing new places. None of that would have been possible without MTERK.
Q: What are the biggest changes you’ve noticed in vape culture since you became a part of it?
In the beginning it seemed to be more for fun. Now it seems to be a lot more business oriented, and very consumed by nationwide bans we are facing.
Q: What’s your process for developing new e-liquid flavours?
I usually fly out to the lab and spend a few days with the mixologist trying different variations of the same flavor profile. Once we find a good one, I spend more time tweaking it until it vapes clean, smells good and tastes good. I will then vape it for a few months to see how it ages, and take it from there.
Q: You clearly have an obsession with butterscotch, can you shed some light on that?
When I was 11 years old, I lived with my great grandma (mommom maff). She always had butterscotch hard candies in a dish. I never liked candy as a kid but I would have them when I sat with her. I guess it translated in a favorite vape flavor as an adult.
Q: Along with coils and e-liquids, you’ve also dabbled in hardware design, most recently with the MTERK V2 RDA, how did this come about?
Originally the Terk v2 was started with James from Rigmod. We were just making improvements from the Terk v1. After his passing, Kent @twistedmesses helped me finish the project. I love using it and I’m so happy to see how well it’s sold.
Q: Unlike many other hardware designers, you’ve taken the independent route, does this come with additional challenges?
Yes because I had to fund the project myself. So I had to save up for the first few years to have enough money. The V1 was a collaboration with Rigmod because I didn’t have the funding at the time.
Q: It’s been a challenging time for U.S. vapers. You and other prominent members of the community have lead the charge for advocacy – how can average consumers get involved?
Check out @mterk.net_ on Instagram or MTERK_net on twitter. We also have an advocacy page on our website www.MTERK.net that’s always up to date. Find pages that post a lot of advocacy & Calls to Action (such as CASAA) and actually do the calls, emails, etc…We need everyone to do it together because it has much more of an impact when you can show these politicians that we have the numbers.
Q: Finally, do you have any new hardware designs or projects in the pipeline, if so, can you drop us any hints?
Images by Vappix.