My Buzz

Being an #SBS winner has validated our work and given us confidence. To know someone as respected as Theo has looked at what we do, and given their approval, is a massive boost. This first week has seen a huge increase of traffic on Twitter and we have had several leads from this. We will use the opportunity to release a press statement which will hopefully generate an interest locally. It is also already allowing me to form relationships with fellow winners which encourages business support and networking opportunities. And it has made me smile - a lot.

My Bio

I have been involved predominantly with food for the last 20 years, and have ran a catering business in Brighton and then a restaurant here in Devon for 5 years with my partner, Ben. We sold this on the day Alistair Darling announced we were going into recession and went travelling for a year in a 6 ton Mercedes truck, living and working in Greece on organic olive farms. On our return, we ended up living in a static caravan, and out of necessity, Ben began to make us a wagon to live in. His background is both as a conventional builder and a specialist in traditional carpentry. We lived in our first structure, and were then asked to build a lodge as a granny annexe, and from there Barrel Top Wagons was formed. The company is now in it's fourth year, and we have recently gone through a lengthy planning application to get permission to set up an eco-campsite using our structures. We were, ultimately, successful - hurrah! - and work has begun. In 2014 we also moved to bigger premises and have not only focused on producing beautiful, unique wagons and lodges, we also take on smaller bespoke carpentry projects. There are many shepherds hut companies around - in fact, we think that market has reached saturation point - but no-one is making wagons of this size, to this standard. Bens vision and design continues to astound me, and his craftsmanship is extraordinary to the point of making those in the know regarding woodwork, gaze open mouthed at his work. The challenging part has been to make sure these works of art are both marketable and competitively priced. 2015 started with 2 orders on New Years day and it is continuing with a feeling of great optimism and excitement. We now have a small - but perfectly formed! - structure going to RHS Chelsea and have had 3 more commissions so far this year.....

My Business Tips

Instinct is invaluable. Don't be afraid to fail but make damn sure you learn from it. Make sure there are people around you who give an honest answer. Be prepared to work hard - if you can't do that, forget it.

My Latest Offers

20% off living wagon extras & 10% off the new 2015 wagon design for all #SBS winners. Ideal studio / office space

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