With a focus on luxury and comfort, glamping is a style of camping we can get behind. You can enjoy the great outdoors with a twist — instead of a night spent on the hard ground in a pop-up tent, you can get resort-style amenities such as upscale bedding, a fully decorated tent and soft floor coverings.
With COVID-19 putting a halt to so many experiences, an adventure like glamping may seem like a far-away dream. But thanks to a Memphis husband-and-wife team, glamping can be a reality as close as your own backyard. Liz and Brad Barksdale opened Glamp901 with the mission of celebrating life’s special moments and making memories to savor.
“We come to your home and set up an experience for you,” says Liz. “We want to bring together families and friends in a unique and memorable way. Whether it is for a birthday party, a date night, a girls’ night out, or a family ‘glamp out,’ we work with you to create the perfect experience.”
Unique to the Memphis market, Glamp901 offers a big tent with room for up to six twin beds for an overnight celebration. A king-sized bed is available for a romantic date night or in combination with twin beds for a family night under the stars. You can also opt for no bedding for an afternoon or evening hang out. Perfect for sleepovers are smaller indoor teepees for up to six children, with each child getting their own teepee and cozy bed. In addition to clean, soft bedding, a Glamp901 experience includes options such as benches, chairs, small tables, decorations, rugs and floor pillows.
The price for each glamping experience includes full set up and takedown. “One of our goals is to make your event as easy as possible for you,” Liz explains. “We set everything up at your home, either indoors or in your backyard. All you have to do is show up!”
Glamp901 opened on August 29, relying on social media and a successful giveaway promotion to spread the word. They had their first booking on September 6. Why open in the midst of a pandemic? “We were stuck at home for five months with copious amounts of time on our hands,” Brad says. “Liz and I started thinking about things that would be fun for our family to try, and we remembered a casual conversation we’d had with a friend who loved her glamping experience. We knew we couldn’t travel, so we started thinking about ways to bring that experience to others.”
For the Barksdale’s new endeavor, Brad handles the financial aspect, logistics and setups, and Liz brings her love of decorating and celebrating to the design of each Glamp901 adventure. “I take the client’s vision and run with it,” she says. “I love creating tiny special places and adding unique touches.”
Liz considers the age of the glampers, the type of celebration and the desired theme to create the perfect experience. She uses lanterns, twinkle lights, rainbows, garlands, plush pillows, greenery and more to create a feeling that is magical and welcoming. A unicorn birthday party, a sports-themed sleepover, a pink pajama and champagne girls’ night — whatever you dream of, Glamp901 will bring to life.
“Our goal is to create the memories and the moments that people cherish forever,” says Liz. “My favorite part of my job is the pleasure of seeing our clients’ faces when we’ve created that special moment — especially the children.” Brad agrees, adding, “When it all comes to life for someone — right in their own home or backyard — it is magical.”
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Going forward, Brad and Liz say the challenge will be to focus on growth without becoming overworked. Currently, they do not have a bricks-and-mortar establishment but say they’ll consider it for the future. “It might be nice to have a space where a customer could come in and pick and choose their options,” says Liz. “But I think part of the appeal of what we offer now is that we do all that for you. Our customers decide on the celebration and the theme, but we do the rest. We take all the hard work off the host.”
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