One day back in 2009 I was designing an Adventurous kids cubby house for our kids. For the windows, I wanted to make army green canvas covers and I started searching on the internet for a wholesaler in canvas. That’s how I found a wholesaler in Nijkerk and I called him if he had the canvas on stock that I was searching for.
He told me he imported the Canvas from a friend in Pakistan, and that he would come over that day. At the time I was reading a book called “Tennis in Kabul” and I was always interested in that part of the World, so I asked him if I could meet the man.
That evening I drove over to his farm to buy the canvas, after which he introduced me to his friend from Pakistan. We drank some coffee and he showed me some pictures of Bell tents and Marquees. For the inside, he used the most beautiful fabrics with amazing colours and patterns. I was already impressed but then he showed me a picture of a Safari Tent. He told me he had sold a few of these Luxury Tents to Camping the Hertzhoorn. When I saw these pictures I was totally blown away.
Later that evening I drove home and showed Leon the pictures and said this could be something for his brother (he owned a Caravan Park at that time). If he builds it on a platform with a trendy Scandinavian interior this could be something new in the market. Leon said this is not only for my brother, I think we can build a business on this idea! Between the lines: Leon was in the military and he hated camping, but looking at the Safari Tents he said; this is the way I would like to go camping. The next day he discussed the idea with our friend and neighbour Patrick and together they immediately saw the same opportunities.
This is actually how our story starts… Two neighbours of a small town called Emmeloord in the Netherlands started a company called Luxe Tenten. At that time Leon was working as an economic Advisor and Patrick was a sales manager. We imported the first Luxury Tent from Pakistan and on a Saturday Leon and Patrick build a platform at a farm in Dronten on which they put up the tent.
We bought some furniture and added some styling items from our own house (to keep the costs low). After we set up the Luxury Tent, we made some pictures, build a simple website and placed an Advertisement in the Recron (hospitality magazine).
Within the first week we received a phone call from the owner of the Molecaten Group, she wanted to visit our showroom. The Molecaten Group owned several Caravan Parks in the Netherlands. We were quite impressed that they were interested in the concept. The lady (who was one of the founders, a high-class lady, visited our showroom). At that time we even didn’t have a toilet inside our “factory” which felt a bit embarrassing when she came over. She looked at the Luxury Tent and there must have been something she saw in the concept too as she called in later that day to request a Quote for 40 Safari Tents.
At that time we never even made a quote for 25 Luxury Tents. OMG, how are we going to handle this?! At least Patrick was very experienced in making quotes and that night we calculated the margins and decided just to send it out. How could we know that the next day she would order them all…
Saying that the moment she ordered we all knew we hit something in the market and the company of Luxe Tenten was born… Within a few years we became market leaders and trendsetter in Europe and had built up a worldwide network of dealers and agents. 10 Years later and living on the other side of the world, we can still say “we are born for the passing of glamping”. Every day we learn new skills (especially working within different climates and parts of the world) and have now built a Glamping family around us with the same passion!