Tentsile's 9th Birthday + Tree Planting Raffle
Happy Birthday to Us!
It's been 9 years since the start of Tentsile, and we wanted to give a huge thank you to all the people who have joined us on this amazing journey.
Tree Planting Raffle
We wanted to celebrate our 9th Birthday with a Tree planting raffle that anyone can get involved in! Every tree that is bought is an entry, and there are unlimited entries!
The prize? The Safari Connect 2-Person Tree Tent and the brand new to 2022 Safari Duo Hammock!
Good luck and thank you for taking part! Enter the raffle.
A Word from Tentsile's Founder
Tentsile Founder and CEO Alex Shirley-Smith wanted to talk about the origins of Tentsile and a snippet of the journey that's been taken to get where we are today.
It’s a been a long, hard and fun road. After giving up architectural practice and starting a family, I wanted to make a difference, and so I became an inventor, manufacturer, and distributor of Tree Tents. It started with the modest intention of making just 12-14 Tree Tents per year and creating a small lifestyle business to support my young family. However, Tentsile very soon surpassed my expectations and took on a life of its own. It grew into something greater and more complex than I could have imagined and continues to exceed my wildest dreams….
I haven’t done it alone, of course. In the beginning I had a business partner and together we dug deep into the trenches, learning to sew, prototype and source materials. We travelled the country trying to find anyone who would agree to help us make our first batch of Stingrays. Nobody wanted to help us, but eventually we found a wonderful family-operated business who made parasails and who were just coming out of season. They had the tools and the knowledge and promised us 7 units a week. After 5 weeks, they were unable to keep up with our orders and we had to look further afield for a partner. Thank you, Brian Tripp & co.
Our dreams of having UK based production were scuppered by the costs of importing lightweight waterproof fabrics from the only country that produces it in volume, China. So, the two of us went over there, rented a floor in a factory and with the help of the coolest Chinese guy ever (who still runs our operations over there), we filled it with workers, machines, components and fabrics – and got to work! One of my brothers (carpenter by trade) joined us soon after that, as Tentsile’s reputation grew, and orders came in faster than we could keep up with.
We got lucky with a few major contracts from REI, Backcountry, MooseJaw, Blacks and others, which helped us cement credibility within the outdoor industry. Bolstered by a raft of flattering write-ups, reviews, awards, and accolades from all quarters. We were making a serious impression.
By year 2 we were four people, and still needed more hands on deck! We took on a tree climber and technical climbing gear whiz, who was soon followed by my other brother, who quit his job as a teacher and jumped on board as European Sales Manager. It was at about this time that we open an office / store / showroom / warehouse in Ogden, Utah.
Tentsile was still growing so fast we soon had a team of 8 staff in the US, 5 in the UK and 20 in China. We continue to run our own award-winning factory to the same high standards as those we hold to our products. It has all been organic growth, thanks to you guys. We’ve never taken any money out of the company. Everything we make is reinvested or spent on planting trees. We have no debts to pay and no investors on our backs. Just self-funded growth, driving the development of new designs, employing a great team and trying to save forests by helping create magical moments connected to trees. After all, if we’re all hanging out in trees, they can’t chop them down!