Here’s the second in our profiles of who’s who in Bell Tent circles. This time is Tobyn Cleeves, the founder of Bell Tent UK, and its sister companies, Hotel Bell Tent, Camping with Soul and Get on my land. Here’s a quick overview from the man himself on how it all came about:
A DJ friend was given a Bell Tent by a promoter in Europe (rather than putting him up in a hotel) and after hanging out in his tent at a festival with the walls rolled up I had to have one as our Bridal Sweet at our wedding. The only ones I could find in UK were handmade here and cost £1,500 so I decided to get a sample made. Seven guests at the wedding asked where they could get one and Bell Tent UK was born in the Autumn of 2006 (God is it that long ago….)
I started selling them from my bedroom and it grew from there. As I love Glamping so much I was constantly on the lookout for special accessories and started selling them too. To not put off the professional buyers we rely on (Youth groups like Scouts etc.) we created a sister website called Camping with Soul for all the Glamping Accessories. We now sell over 150 wonderfully eclectic accessories, many of them exclusive to us – such as the Camping with Soul Naturalmat.
The rental side of our business Hotel Bell Tent came about in 2008 when Glastonbury Festival called asking if we rented out Bell Tents. We didn’t at the time but obviously said we did and the rest is history. The wonderful Tiffany Hunt came on board to run Hotel Bell Tent and we now have over 300 Bell Tents and Emperor Bell Tents with all the Camping with Soul Accessories and service loads of events and Festivals throughout the summer months.