How the Tipi Company was born
Gary Harthern, Managing Director of The Awning Company Group of Companies:
“The Awning Company, from which The Tipi Company was born, has manufactured structures for the outdoor events industry for over 30 years. Since 1983, we have supplied tents and awnings to a variety of markets including major Motorsport teams, hospitality brands and utility & emergency businesses to name a few. We have worked with a number of worldwide influential brands including Red Bull; Coca Cola; Nivea, Peugeot; Dulux; Tissot Watches; Abu Dhabi; Mini; Honda; Williams; Old El Paso and Virgin.
We are a family-run business that is based in the heart of Britain. We believe that hard work, determination and dedication will always pay off, and it has. It’s simple things such as that that I have instilled into the rest of our workforce. I am extremely lucky to have such skilled, experienced professionals as part of our team.
Myself, I’m a creative soul, always coming up with new ideas on how we can stay ahead of the game. Over recent years, we’ve seen our clients gradually push the boundaries more; wanting something different for their outdoor event. And this desire is essentially the seed that blossomed. I grew up embracing the great outdoors with camping trips, riding horses and spending my spare time in the countryside. And I’m no different today! Every opportunity we have, we get the family together – of which there is over 50! – and have a BBQ or giant picnic in the garden.
Always though, the worry of rain overshadowed the build up to the parties! I started to think “Wouldn’t it be great if we could be outside with some sort of temporary weather protection overhead, while taking in the scenery”. It was only after going to an exhibition about Native North American Indians and the Plains, when the penny dropped. Tipis were the answer!
Taking inspiration from yesteryear, I developed a super-sized version of their ancestors, which are relatively unchanged from their ancestral beginnings. However, I used the latest materials and techniques to bring them into the 21st century. I’ve also designed a range of Accessories that make the tipi more adaptable to other times of the year. We offer Weatherproofing Kits, Entrance Porches and All-Terrain Anchorage Kits, which allow erection on a hard-standing surface. So now, not only can we enjoy BBQs in the summer, but we can also enjoy Christmas in the tipi too.
We are the No.1 provider of awnings in the UK, and the only manufacturer of large event tipis in the UK. We’re proud to have been awarded the Made in Britain marque – proof that our products are made in Bolton, Lancashire, by our experienced team of staff. We have a dedicated team who deal with our After-Sales and Repair Service customers too. It’s great for us to be able to offer a service that not only provides you with what you want, but assists you with every step of the way – before, during and after you have invested. My aim was to create something unique and original and together with my team, I believe we have achieved it!”