This week we feature a very new Small Business, Indigo Flamingo Bell Tent Company. As part of a small village I know Ally and David from the school run, so I was over the moon when they agreed to be featured in our spotlight series. IF Bell Tent Company is in its first year so they are working hard to make it the success they dream of, to get that ideal work life balance, which is essential to all of us but hard to achieve. So read on to find out how this idea was born.
What was your inspiration when starting your business?
The seed was planted nearly ten years ago when we got married and had teepees at our wedding. Skip forward a few years and David had the opportunity to take a sabbatical whilst I was on maternity leave having had our second daughter. Towards the end of our time off together, we made the joint decision to change things up for our family and wanted a better work life balance. We wanted to start a business that would allow us to balance things better with a young family and had seen a few ideas around bell tents on line via social media and websites that looked great. We liked the relaxed vibe of the camping/glamping/party the bell tents could offer as a hire business, having enjoyed camping and festivals together since we first got together. Our daughters are called Imogen and Francesca and we wanted to incorporate them into the theme of the business as ultimately they're the reason we're doing this! As a result, Indigo Flamingo Bell Tents was born.
What do you believe makes your business unique?
We're small but we're very adaptable and so can offer anything from one bell tent for a glamping sleepover or party in your back garden to a whole bell tent camping village to accommodate guests at a wedding or corporate event. We aim to meet a customer's needs, however crazy their idea may be. Plus we saw a niche for this type of business in Pangbourne and the surrounding areas of Berkshire and Oxfordshire (and beyond!)
Describe a typical day?
IF Bell Tents Co Ltd is still in it's infancy so at the moment we're concentrating mostly on promoting the business and getting word out there. David will contact local magazines and publications about advertising, check social media and respond to queries. You may see him pounding the streets local villages with a handful of flyers in his hand, and a pushchair in the other! I'm also obsessed with pinterest and Instagram for ideas on glamping, bell tents and anything party related, so in the evenings once the girls are in bed I'll be scrolling through social media for inspiration!
What do you enjoy most about running your own business?
There's so much to love! The flexibility and the way it fits into family life, getting to meet new people, being able to get creative and definitely getting to be outside (although not so much of that at the moment, roll on Spring!)
What do you love about our local area?
The fact that we can look out of our windows and see fields and trees but still having brilliant local amenities and access to great transport. It really is a place where you have the best of both worlds. Where we live is fabulous for kids and families, we only have to step off the doorstep to find somewhere new to explore or revisit great walks or places like Basildon Park and Beale Park. There's a lovely village atmosphere and I love that I can walk down the road and everyone says hello.
What is your background and where are you from?
We've lived together in the area now for 12 years but David is Pangbourne born and bred. He has worked in FMCG operations and logistics for most of his career before taking a sabbatical which led to us setting up IFBTC. I am a farmer's daughter from South Lincolnshire and have and continued to work in product development in the food industry. I'd love to be able to add a food offering to our business one day, watch this space!
Check out their website here IF Bell Tents