It's been a busy couple of months for Buffalo Tipi and with next summer’s bookings already coming in I thought it was about time I took Buffalo online.
The Buffalo adventure began earlier this year when I returned home from a seven-month trip around the world with my girlfriend, Lauren. A trip designed for us both to escape from the same job for the same company, and get inspired once again. It was more than enough time for me to climb into volcanoes in Indonesia and to live in tree-houses in Sri Lanka, but just about enough time to explore what I wanted to do when I came home.
I did come home, and with all my geographical knowledge topped up and my sketchbook filled to the brim, I was ready to start something new. I have always been interested in the natural environment, not as a scientist though, more as an artist interested in the designs and structures within nature. So I applied to do a landscape architecture degree which seemed to balance my creative side and the environment perfectly. Accepted onto the course and weeks away from enrolling I didn't think at this stage something was going to make me change my mind. But it did, and it was only because I had seen another opportunity for me to design things and be creative outdoors.
I've always seen myself running my own business. I'd learnt a huge amount from managing a large team and most aspects of a business in my previous job, so I was also confident that I could. As long as it was something I was genuinely passionate about. But what's also really important to me is being able to complement this passion with a working environment and culture that I am in control of, and that makes me productive. Some people like the comfort amongst a team in a tidy office, others on their own in a cluttered studio. For me it would be leading a team with an outdoor studio. With this in mind a second degree at Uni wasn't going to be an option, so I began to write a business plan.
With my research, beliefs and figures now down on paper things started to happen. My brother was getting married in July and it looked like this was going to be the first time I could show everyone what I had been working on.
I’ve never been in a ‘marquee’ that has held an atmosphere like the tipis did on that day. An incredible family occasion helped, but I never expected the tipis to give the party so much energy and atmosphere. These tents are so symbolic with their structure and history but on that day they symbolised a lot more for me in many ways, and I’ll never forget it.