Not that many years ago the concept of “Glamping Pods” was relatively novel and the market was just starting to build, but by the time SREG got the application from a business named Anthropods, the feeling was that a start-up pod manufacturer in this now crowded market was going to struggle!
Thankfully SREG board member, Mark Cunliffe-Lister stepped in and offered to act as mentor.
Mark already had some experience of glamping, having established his own offer on the Swinton Estate. ”Swinton Bivouac”, which includes Tree Lodges and Yurts, had won the prestigious White Rose Award as an innovative tourism outlet.
Mark met up with Anthropod’s Chair Doug Adamson and designer Rik Currie for an informal discussion about their plans and concerns. “I needn’t have worried” said Mark “…these guys are seasoned business people and already have detailed designs and a business plan in place”. Rik’s design experience included innovative double-decker trains for the Dutch railway, so when his son asked him to build him a tree house………….!!
“Mark’s help was brilliant…” says Rik ”……not only could Mark provide an external perspective to our business plan, but he could offer some really valuable insights to the practicalities of glamping. Discussions ranged from the likes and dislikes of consumers and the profile of typical customers, to drainage and utility challenges that arise in remote locations.”
Mark, Doug and Rik continue to have regular meetings including one at the Anthropod stand at the Farm Innovation show in Birmingham, and when it came to publicity and brochure photos, Mark was able to provide the ideal setting in moorland on one of the estate farms. Doug added, “I am convinced that however experienced you might think you are, the value of having a business mentor is unquestionable.”
The launch proved to be very successful with Rik and Doug overwhelmed with visitors to both the Glamping and Farm Innovation shows. Subsequently Anthropods are selling in the Netherlands and UK and enquiries for their products continue to come from all over the world.