I am Joseph Pannell (Middle) the owner of TipiRent. I first decided to start a tipi hire business after teacher theatre and living in a teepee for five months during a long hot summer whilst I taught theatre on st Johns island on the San Juan islands of Washington State. I found living in a tipi a wonderful experience, as the sun set a group would gather in one of the tipis, light the fire and as we watched the flames dance and the smoke slowly rise we would play some instruments or just sit and talk for many hours. We did this every night. Whilst living on the island I helped set up and move the 50 or so tipis, made tipi poles, tipi pegs, repaired the canvas and learnt how to make the tipis from scratch. When I returned home in the winter I decided to launch TipiRent next spring.
Over the winter I sourced canvas, whittled pegs and by early spring I had my first hire. I drummed up business via my homemade website and through a great deal of flyer’s. The fire at the heart is what makes staying in a tipi so magical so I decided from the beginning that all my tipis I hired out would come with fires as standard. I also enlisted the the help of a local artist, Victoria Murphy to paint my tipi door to create a more dramatic, authentic tipi
The first year went well, we hired the tipi some 20 or so times and I was pleased that everybody enjoyed the tipis and I went away with a lot of happy customers and finished the year with the 4 metre and also a tipi twice the size as the last, our 5.5 metre buffalo teepee.
Many people hired our tipis for weddings so we wanted to create something unique and beautiful so decided to take it to the next level and create the most luxurious tipi on offer and created the lovers tipi.
With flowers, pims, chocolates, rose petals and a steel framed bed and memory foam mattress this teepee proved an instant success with everybody amazed how beautiful something so rustic on the outside could be inside,we soon had bookings for anniversaries and honeymoons. Once we even set up the tipi in a meadow in Devon for a marriage proposal, she said yes (of course)
As well as our new lovers tipi we had some more 5.5 metre tipis and started getting requests from larger corporate companies for team building events, shows and parties.
For one of our more unusual bookings we hired out 4 tipis on Trowlock island on the Thames. We transported the tents via a pull ferry from the land to the island and then used push carts to transport them across to the other end of the island. The below photograph was taken from the top of a tree from the other side of the river, this was accessed via kayak which we borrowed from a local resident.
We revamped our website, relocated to Devon and have had many repeat bookings from people who have already booked with us and from their recommendations. We have have also invested in some beautiful colourful bell tents for hire from boutique camping so that we can provide even more accommodation.
This year we will be teaming up with a local campsite and activity company in Devon to offer the complete holiday package. Book a tipi through us and stay at a beautiful campsite in Devon.
Have horse riding, fishing, mountain biking, surfing, coasteering all arranged for you. After a day of activities come home to a tipi and the bbq’s we are now supplying.