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This week, Tentsile turns two years old. So firstly, we'd like to thank all of you for keeping us alive. We hope we will do the same for you as you ratchet up that flimsy construction of ours and pray that the straps really can carry all six of you through the night! You keep us alive and we'll keep you off the ground in suspended intentsity (see what I did there!).
We opened our online shop in April 2013 and sold a tent. You know this part; then we sold two and three and then got someone else to make them and so on. Little did we know that within a year, we would have started up production in China and hatching a plan to open our own factory so as to gain control of quality. A bit nuts, we always knew that, but we had nothing to loose and going back to the day job was the only alternative.
Year one we operated a one model only business, the Stingray, our flagship. A break through concept in outdoor living equipment. Last year, we added the Connect model with an added degree of versatility and incorporated a little more of the technology we had developed as we progressed. We also got into REI last year which was a bit of a coup for us, as many new comers to the outdoor market must prove themselves for years before a store like this will touch them. We probably got in on wow factor and REI wanted to be the first to carry “tree tents!” The public, the media and the industry seemed to welcome us with both suspicion and awe. Like Rumpelstiltskin who promise to spin straw into gold but who run off with your first born in a trice. Who are these guys? What do they think they are doing? Are they onto something, or is this just a crazy joke they are trying to pull off? Well, most of you know this is not a joke. It is our life's work! Both of us founding partners were paddling through life, mid-thirties, young kids and a yearning for freedom and wilderness. Living in London, you have neither. A parking fine each time you leave the house and green areas you can walk across in 10 minutes and full of dog mess. Now we've started a company that allows you guys to have those things while we are up to our eyeballs running the company and haven't achieved either of those things yet. They say it take three years from starting a business before you see any benefit. Well, here's to next year!