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Octavia Toliver

Founder HERficionado

Octavia's first time smoking a cigar was on a date to a cigar lounge. She was very young, so her initial thought was, "Why did he bring me here?" However, that thought was quickly followed up with more positive thoughts. The atmosphere was much more sophisticated than many of the places she had been accustomed to at that time. She felt like an ADULT! She truly doesn't remember what she smoked that day. She thinks that she probably didn't even like the cigar, but she LOVED how she felt being in that space!

My love for cigars began upon her continuing my journey. Luckily, Atlanta is home to over 100 cigar shops and lounges. She ventured out to as many as she could, and talked with whomever would entertain her. She smoked what was handed to her because there was not a lot of education being offered. Unfortunately, at the time, women in cigar lounges were not as welcomed as they are now. There was condescension by the plenty, and it caused her to step away from the "scene" and to continue her explorational/educational journey alone.

The lack of inclusion is also what inspired her to curate events and experiences that kept women in mind. She wanted to create something that wasn't available for me. She wanted to create something that people (men & women) would want to attend and tell their friends about. She also wanted to create something that had not been done before; something that would leave a mark on the cigar community. This "thing" would be something that every woman and SOTL could call her own, because this movement isn't about me, it's about HER. Whether she is trying a cigar for the very first time, or if she is a 20-year vet, it’s all about HER!

In 2016, HERficionado began the She Smokes Too {registered trademark} event series. This event was geared toward female cigar smokers, but also welcomed men, veteran smokers and beginners alike!

HERficionado wanted to create a space that was inclusive to any and everyone with a desire to engage in and learn more about the cigar culture. She Smokes Too events were carefully curated with women in mind. Venues were selected based on aesthetics, cigar and beverage selection and presentation, and of course, it had to be female and beginner-friendly. This event created an international wave, and has become a staple within the cigar community.

In 2017, HERficionado co-founded Atlanta Cigar Week (ACW) which occurs every 3rd week of September in Atlanta, GA. This event is the first 7-day long cigar festival in the US, possibly the world, and is attended by thousands each year. This September, Atlanta Cigar Week celebrated its 5th Anniversary, activating 19 events at various locations around Atlanta. Atlanta Cigar Week inspired a movement, for at least a dozen “Cigar Week” events, throughout the country, to follow suit.

Octavia Toliver
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