We catch up with the lovely Sarah from Glawning and Retro Runaways, one of our fantastic glamping retailers. They share our love of camping trips, VW festivals, and generally living the good life - this is glamping at its best! Check them out for gorgeous VW campervans, beautiful, functional awnings and absolutely stellar customer service. Over to you, Sarah...
Our small business in North Yorkshire - www.glawning.com - makes beautiful awnings for beautiful campervans. We've camped a lot since joining the VW campervan owners world in 2010. Our beloved VW T2 Brazilian Bay Campervans, Babs and Jemima, have taken us all over the place, even as far as Salzburg, Austria.
We also hire them out at www.retrorunaways.co.uk. We decided in 2013 that we'd had enough of our boring, dark green, nasty nylon awning though. It was flappy, chilly and it seemed to rip a bit more every time we put it up. It was an embarrassment to put alongside our stunning campervans and we were convinced we could do better. Glamping was on the rise and we loved the look of this glamorous camping world of toasting marshmallows and sipping wine by cosy wood burning stoves whilst the unpredictable British summer weather did its worst. We had a brainwave whilst camping one (chilly) summers evening of marrying an awning with a bell tent to attach to the side Babs or Jemima to result in a glam awning that could be attractive AND warm and calling it 'The Glawning' in keeping with the glamping craze! We started out by getting a bespoke glawning made during 2013, as a one off, not entirely sure how well it would work but willing to accept anything better than our green nylon disaster. We were delighted with the result! We used a simple figure of eight connector or pole and clamp to attach a canopy to the gutter rail of the campervan which then attached to the four metre two door bell tent awning and we only had to do a few tweaks to the canopy part before 'the glawning' was born.
We googled wood burning bell tent camping stoves and found Anevay and their Frontier Stove which provided more than enough heat to keep us toasty - even in winter. Some rugs, bunting and Moroccan lights later and we had everything we needed to begin glamping with a vengeance.
We'll never forget that first camping trip with our glawning, log burner and glamping accessories. So many people dropped by, amazed at how cosy and pretty it was. Our campervans used to attract a lot of interest - now it's our glawning! We have camped in it in ALL weathers, and it has done us proud. The one central pole and strong guy ropes mean excellent stability in the wind, the quality cotton canvas and our wood burner keep us lovely and warm all year round.
Every camping trip resulted in so many people asking where they could buy one that we decided we’d have to start selling them ourselves. And so the glawning was launched in April 2014, retailing at £799. We were delighted to become trade customers of Anevay and sell all of their fabulous products too, on our own website and at shows.
We love attending as many VW festivals and shows as humanly possible to spread the good news and have been so encouraged by the response so far. Everyone loves a glam awning!
Having obtained the European design rights we hope to bring much comfort and joy to campers everywhere who can now glamp in their very own glawning. As if that wasn't good enough, without the canopy it works as a standalone bell tent - bring on the garden parties and kids sleepovers.
After high demand we have recently launched the 5 metre glawning for those with bigger families. Take a look at www.glawning.com, our blog www.glawning.wordpress.com for more information, not to mention facebook, twitter and pinterest. Watch this space as our passion for glamping sees us roll out more innovative glamping products in the near future.
Cheers right back at you, Sarah! We can highly recommend Glawning and Retro Runaways for gorgeous awnings and the full glamping experience.