The idea of starting a business supplying innovative structures to creative people was imagined and after much research the company was born.
Spring 2004 saw the delivery of the first “Stunning Tents”, a Yurt, a small tipi and an Ouled Nail. A homemade website was created, flyers were printed, and a lot of legwork generated around 20 bookings in that year. We were proud of every event but it very quickly became clear that our clients wanted bigger structures. The search was on for something “Stunning” but much larger. We looked everywhere and found the tipis that we still use today in the far north of Sweden and placed our very first order.
Bigger tents mean bigger events and bigger events equal better brand awareness and customer communication. We concentrated on our brand and product offering and the response was great. The bookings for the big tents really started to come in and we proudly finished the year with 6 tents in stock and we were able to deliver multiple events at the same time.
We learnt from the previous busy weekends that we needed to concentrate on our operational approach to achieve the perfect experience for every Stunning client. We added a few more smaller tents to our range but concentrated this year on having a fully booked season with the 6 Giant Hats
We added some more Giant Hats to our offering for the 2007 season and we recruited our first full time Crew Chief. Another fully booked season ensued. During the summer of 2007 Jon, the then MD, met with Duncan Russell and Tom Bucknell for the first time when they came to view our tipis and fell in love with the Giant Hats. Determined to work with the tents they made a booking for December to prove the tipis were the correct fit for their business plans.
We added even more Giant Hats to our rental stock along with another Crew Chief. With the operational team now growing and feeding off of each other’s desire to innovate our offerings we designed, developed and tested new techniques for linking the Giant Hats including the famous Firecracker. This takes the tipi to a new level of event as it creates a single structure up to 30m wide. We also started to design and manufacture other items such as our custom built tipi-coloured walkway and solid oak double doors to name just a few. With our new collection of innovative items, we were able to transform the tipis from a beautiful summer offering to lovely cosy and warm winter venue.
With our even better product offering and our superb reputation becoming known, we had our busiest year ever by a considerable margin and found ourselves having to turn away a lot of business as we became fully booked. Also as we worked on bigger configurations, it seemed only natural to invest in more Giant Hats for the next year and that’s exactly what we did!
With more tents due to arrive in April, we added to our operational team with another Crew Chief and promoted our most experienced Crew Chief to Operations Chief to manage the growing team, a role which he is still doing today.
In May, on the inaugural Ride Across Britain, we worked closely with Duncan and Tom again. They were also supplying tents and assisting in the production of 10 days of events in a different location every night, for over 600 riders travelling from John O'Groats to Lands End. Having worked closely with the tipis and Stunning Tents on this event it was apparent that neither Duncan nor Tom had lost any of their original enthusiasm for the Tipis, so when given the opportunity to purchase Stunning Tents it was not missed. Over the previous years Tom and Duncan had built a very successful business specialising in another unique temporary structure and were now in the position to evolve. The deal was done and we moved into a shiny new HQ alongside our warehouse.
Adding yet more Giant Hats to our stock led us to deliver the largest group of Giant Hats yet with 21 Tipis joined to form a vast tipi conference centre. Tom and Duncan bought their experience and energy with them and we finished the year with an event for 350 that flowed through breakout zones of a presentation area and black tie dinner followed by a bespoke after dinner bar on a floating platform over a lake. It was a truly unique and creative setting for the event. In addition to the complicated layout we had designed to encompass this event and the scale of the job, we proudly rose to the challenge of having to build it in only 2 days. We have now worked with the client every year since.
This year started with some beautiful early spring weddings, followed by a busy summer delivering lots more great parties as the Olympic year took full swing. All this during a summer that proved to be the wettest summer in Met Office history. Nothing deterred our crew however and we are very proud to say, regardless of the weather and conditions we delivered 100% of our bookings on time and with a smile, albeit a soggy one at times.
We started the year with a new fleet of vehicles to ensure we were able to go about everything at the highest standard and were joined by another new full time team member. Having previously worked with us a Crew Chief he is now an integral member of our office staff. Amongst a myriad of private functions we also developed a new technique for branding the tents with a marketing logo or slogan wrapped around the apex and delivered some great events with many industry professionals and brands.
A brand new warehouse! In January we moved into our new warehouse. It’s in the same business park but designed to give us the space we need. We completed a record number of jobs including during 2014 and our biggest private job yet, combining our Tipis with Ten By Fifteen’s structures to create a brilliant event.
Now with our current full time team boasting 50 years of tipi experience between us we’ll continue to innovate and push forwards the boundaries of what is possible, whilst not losing focus on our desire to deliver a perfect service to our clients at every event. We proudly feel our high level of repeat clients every year is a great testimony to our reputation.
Having found the perfect combination of experience and location we are really excited to announce our new base in Masham, Yorkshire. We have joined forces with Mark, a qualified architect with an exceptional attention to detail and a passion for the outdoors. We had worked alongside Mark on various events and structures over the years and are really pleased to have him on board, heading up the team in Yorkshire. Based out of Masham they are lucky enough to be placed right next door to the Black Sheep Brewery, well at least during the Winter anyway!
Watch this space or twitter
for the latest...