Looking for something different for your wedding? How about a teepee?
- Credit: Photo by Jonathan Bean (www.bean
A young brother and sister team has set up a business that could be the next big thing in the wedding market
Brother and sister team Charlotte and Tom Addison really know the ropes when it comes to setting up a new business – they hire out upmarket teepees for weddings, family celebrations and corporate event.
It had always been their ambition to work together and they found the perfect business when they spotted teepees at a Christmas fair.
‘We actually knew the people making the teepees – it’s the Tipi Company at Radcliffe in Bolton – so it all fell into place. They are the only UK manufacturers so it’s great to be working with another Lancashire business.’
Charlotte, 21, and Tom, a 24-year-old fully trained electrician, bought four giant teepees and opened Teepee Tent Hire last August at Higher Walton, near Preston.
It’s a remarkable achievement for Charlotte. ‘I was a pupil at Westholme School when I started to suffer from headaches,’ she said. ‘The school nurse recommended I should see a doctor but it was 18 months before it was confirmed I had a brain tumour.’
When she was 16 surgeons removed the tumour but Charlotte suffered a stroke on the operating theatre and was told she might never walk again. Since then she has been proving the doctors wrong.
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‘I was determined to work hard and get going again and with tremendous support from my family and friends I’m back on my feet,’ she said. ‘I still suffer from occasional fatigue but I don’t allow it to take over my life.’
Charlotte completed a qualification in accountancy and she has used those skills to help run the business. ‘It has been going very well. We have 14 bookings for the summer - weddings, birthday parties and corporate events.
‘Running our own company was something we’d always wanted to do. We are a really close family. My dad helped us a lot and the response we’ve had have been really positive. It’s fun but, when you are helping to organise weddings, it’s a big responsibility. We have to dot the every I and cross all the ts.’
Part of the success has been gathering around like-minded small businesses who form a flexible network providing all the ingredients required to make a wedding day special. That includes their father, George, who makes rustic furniture that fits perfectly into the tents.
All of them gathered together to put together this special shoot – showcasing everything from vintage clothing, weddings cakes and camper vans to china and bunting.
Each tepee, with a canvas exterior and a solid wood frame, can seat around 60 people with tables and chairs and they can interlinked to make much bigger spaces. Tom, a fully trained electrician, and his team take about five hours to fully erect each teepee.
‘Our aim is to become involved in some bigger events, particularly in areas like the Ribble Valley,’ said Charlotte. ‘It could be for a food festival or a music event or a dance show. They are very flexible and we can install dance floors.
‘They are more than a marquee. If you like, it’s a new era for the marquee, one that’s more relaxed and rustic with a real feel of the outdoors. I think people connect with that.’
Hiring a single teepee costs in the region of £1,800. Charlotte and Tom can coordinate other local firms to supply props and furniture.
To find out more go to www.teepeetenthire.com or call 01772 312 635.
Businesses taking part in the shoot were:
Styling, props, bunting and vintage accessories - Itsy Bitsy Vintage, www.itsybitsyvintage.co.uk 07840275536;
Vintage china by Queen of Hearts Crockery Hire, www.queenofheartscrockery.co.uk 07817587979;
Campervan by Just Joy Events, www.justjoyevents.co.uk, 07540122500;
Music by The Soul Convicts: www.thesoulconvicts.co.uk 07874890771;
Cakes by Darwen Deli; flowers by Ashton Flower Shop, www.ashtonflowershop.com, 01772 731152;
Bride: model Estella Le Lune, 07772542320 and bridesmaid Laura Bailey;
Illuminated letters by Typical Type, www.typicaltype.co.uk, 07977584566;
Vintage wedding dress by Very Vintage Bridal;
Tables, Chairs and flooring by Lancashire Events Hire, www.lancashireeventhire.co.uk, 01253 932091.