Just about a month after the announcement of his hiring by Mombacho Cigars S.A. as the company’s creative director, Jessi Flores has announced that he has departed the company.
While both Flores and Mombacho Cigars S.A. confirmed his departure, neither side wanted to discuss specifics. However, both Flores and Indiana Ortez, general manager of Mombacho Cigars S.A., alluded to creative differences between the two sides.
The announcement of Flores joining the Granada, Nicaragua-based cigar maker came on April 16 via a YouTube video, with Flores making the announcement and the video being posted by Mombacho Cigars S.A.’s account. That video has since been deleted.
In that video, Flores said his work with Mombacho would not be like his work of the past, noting that he would be focusing on his Nicaraguan roots and introducing more Nicaraguan culture to his designs.
Flores is best known for his approximately two decades of work with Drew Estate, who rose to prominence for being the director of Subculture Studios, and was the main person behind the majority of the company’s colorful pieces of cigar art. Flores was a street artist in Estelí whose work was discovered by Jonathan Drew. He joined the company as a driver and rose to become the leader of the in-house art program now known as Subculture Studios, which has produced custom Drew Estate-branded items as display pieces for retailers, including shoes, cigar molds, cigar cases, hats and ashtrays, and has been responsible for the silk-screening of some of the company’s boxes. In addition, guests to Drew Estate’s factory tour program, Cigar Safari, would often bring items—both large and small—to have custom decorated by one of the dozens of artists at Subculture. That also extended into getting tattoos, another medium for Flores. He left Drew Estate in February 2019.
He recently worked with Vintage Rock-a-Feller Cigar Group, doing the artwork for that company’s Art of Magic line, which was created to help raise funds for the medical bills of Flores’ daughter.
This is the latest in a series of personnel changes at Mombacho Cigars S.A. this year, which has seen the departure of Claudio Sgroi as the company’s president and master blender, the hiring of Ortez as general manager, and the return of Cameron Heaps, one of the company’s co-founders, as president.