Articles Tagged with: crew

Meet the Crew – The Life of a Tipi Man

Having just completed his second summer season with us, Bertie has been a huge asset to the team since he joined Country Tipis. We had a quick chat and asked him a few questions:


How did you wind up working at Country Tipis?

I saw the job advertised on Gumtree and noticed it was just down the road and thought hey, brilliant! I didn’t really have any expectations, though I knew it would be a physical job working mostly outside and I hoped it would be good fun!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items could you not live without?

Music (to keep me entertained)

My Tipi Team-mates (because they’re great)

Alcohol (I’m hoping that the high water content will keep me hydrated)

Walk me through your typical day at work.

I start the day by getting picked up from my place, arriving at work for the designated time, then have the piss taken out of me from the start of the day until the end of the day. Once we arrive at the set-up location, we measure up, build the Tipis or Celeste, kit them out with flooring, furniture & lighting. We then sit down to enjoy a bit of lunch, after which we return to the yard, unload, reload and go home to get some rest before the next day.


What aspect of the tipi build do you enjoy the most?

I prefer building to taking down. I love going up the ladder and rigging up the electrics – fairy lights, chandeliers and everyone’s favourite – the disco ball.

What do you do with yourself throughout the quieter winter months and how does it compare to building tipis?

I work for private families as a household manager / chef in the winter. This is very different as I’m working alone, whereas I work as part of a team in the summer. I do enjoy the camaraderie that comes with working as a team!


What’s your favourite aspect of working at Country Tipis?

Every day is different, every job is different. I like the people the most – they’re a good bunch of people who have fun whilst building these structures. Who wouldn’t have a good time working here?!

If an alien walked up to you asking for your advice on tipi building, and you only had 30 seconds to give them your best tip, what would it be?

Get a reliable, hardworking crew who have a passion for doing it. It’s not easy work – carrying tables, chairs and other heavy kit in often boiling weather. You’ve got to have a passion to get up in the morning and come to work – it’s not easy getting up so early in the morning to carry stuff!

What makes Country Tipis stand out from the rest?

Country Tipis is a very professional outfit who take pride in what they do. The whole crew show attention to detail with everything they do, no job is rushed – everything is finished to a high standard and is nothing short of perfect. 


What is your favourite product that Country Tipis offer

The rustic pallet-wood bar finishes the Tipi well, as well as the nimbus Tipi which creates a separate area outside.

Thanks for the insights Bertie, until next year!


Working with Wood

We love to work with wood, it is such a magnificent, rustic and quirky material. Our crew become adept at this throughout the year, learning to love carrying the solid woodwork and even welcoming the odd splinter! In this post we’ll outline the story behind the wood we use: both our well travelled Tipi legs, and the wood we build our furniture from. We’ll also show a few “day in the life of a Tipi Man” shots, to give you an insight into an average day with Country Tipis.

Legs

Our Tipi legs are made from slow grown, de-barked spruce which is hand-selected for strength. They are sourced from the forests of North Scandinavia, then shipped over to the UK to be refined up in Bolton by The Tipi Company. The timbers are chosen for their straightness and represent the best specimens found in Northern Scandinavian. The poles, which are over 80 years old, are light but very strong which makes them ideal for outdoor structures. They can be carried by one person on the shoulder, as long as they get the balance point right!

Furniture

We hand-build all of our tables and benches from refined scaffold boards, then added our own custom end bands. After that we treat them with dark Danish oil to prolong the life and to complete the unique rustic look.

Whilst this solid construction means they are stable, the weight of them makes them slightly less popular with our crew. Though they invariably grow to love them!

Meet Richy

He works out in the French Alps throughout the winter, plying his trade as a ski fitter whilst enjoying time on his snowboard. In the summer you’ll find him on site building Tipis, making jokes and generally soaking up the rays.

Hailing from Barry, South Wales, expect numerous Gavin & Stacey quotes accompanied by the sounds of Goldie Lookin’ Chain on repeat.

Come join us!

If you love working in the great outdoors, we’re on the lookout for enthusiastic crew members to start in late April 2019. Please get in touch here or email hello@countrytipis.co.uk for more information.


Crystal’s introduction to the world of Tipis

Two months ago I was working in the dentistry industry, organising annual conferences and awards ceremonies to promote the highest levels of clinical excellence within the profession. I loved managing the organisational aspects of the several awards ceremonies we hosted, and seeing the teams working hard to give their patients the best possible care get the recognition they deserve. But, coming from a hospitality and events background, I really missed the variety that the events industry offers and knew it was time for a change.

Lloyd Goodall @lloydsfreelancephotographyandvideo

The world of tipis

Once I found the role online, I did some googling and was introduced to the world of Tipis. Not having really seen them before I was fascinated by how they looked, how they worked and how they formed part of such unique events. After looking at photos of some of the events Country Tipis had done, the lovely venues they work with and most importantly all the fairy lights everywhere, I knew this was something I wanted to be involved with. Although, I was a little worried that working in an office with just men would be a bit awkward, I’m a bit of a neat freak and like things in certain ways. Boy, did I have nothing to worry about, both Richard and Ceri, are just as organised as me! Phew!

Learning the ropes

In my first month with the company, I had been shown so much. I learnt how to PAT test and helped to test all of our equipment; all 400 cables worth (now that’s a lot of fairy lights!). I also assisted on a site visit to understand how to measure out the tipis to ensure they will fit into a space and that the ground is suitable. Best of all, I became a crew member for the day and helped set up and take down 2 tipis. This was for one of our open weekends at the Letchworth Centre for Health Living. It was a really great way to understand how these unique structures work and a brilliant introduction to the team.

I was actually surprised by how prepared the team were for my arrival, it really made me feel welcome. And, since joining the company, Richard & Ceri have enlisted my help to decorate the office to ensure the space is inviting for both us and our visitors. As I’ll be in the office most days, Richard even bought me a toaster for my morning crumpets! Based at Vanstone Park close to Hitchin, our office is a little unconventional but with the right decoration, some decking and flowers, it really has become an unique place to work. There’s also a pen for the staff’s dogs!

Always moving

It was an exciting prospect to come and work for a company that was still early on in their journey, however, I was amazed at the growth Country Tipis has seen already. Not just in the number of events they host but also in the services they offer. Continuing to develop, we will soon be launching our new Celeste Pole Marquee and I cannot wait. It gives clients another avenue to consider for their events without losing the rustic outdoor theme.

Having done some local research into different tipi companies when I first started, I was able to understand structurally how our tipis differed to many other companies. Although, I really believe it’s the attention to detail that sets Country Tipis apart from the rest. I’m looking forward to supporting the team and helping to make it the busiest and best year yet!


Meet Charlie: Tipi flooring extraordinaire

On the first day of meteorological Autumn, as the diary starts to change down through the gears, we offer you an insight into Country Tipis through the mind of Charlie: Tipi flooring extraordinaire. As you can see from the photos he is a natural in front of the lens, enjoy!

 

If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you bring with you?

The sensible side of me would bring a boat, some water and a Freddo. In reality, I would first take my samurai sword. I do not know what else is on this island and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. It would also come in helpful when constructing a tree house or shelter to live in. My second item would be some factor 10 suncream. Although a low factor, I can withstand the sun quite well. You wouldn’t want to burn on one of your first few days there because it just ruins the rest of the trip. Hopefully by the time I got through the whole bottle I’d have adapted slightly to the sun. My last item would be a copy of Country Tipi’s pamphlet for when I’m feeling lonely and want to see some Tipis (they paid me to say that).

Teepee flooring

How long have you worked for Country Tipis?

I’ve worked for country Tipis for 2 summers now. I was lucky enough to join very early on in Country Tipis existence when no-one really knew what was going on. It has been amazing to see how far the company has come and how the construction process has changed. The time taken to take a Tipi up and down has halved in the last 2 years and even now we are learning new tricks.

Tepee flooring for a wedding

Walk me through a typical day at work. 

If I’m going to run you through a typical day I must run you through the night before first. If I know I’m working the next day I always make my lunch for the following day just before I go to bed, which is usually at a sensible time so I’m full of energy and ready to seize the day the following morning. Most days require a pretty early start. Therefore a few alarms and a few snoozes are necessary. When I finally get out of bed I head downstairs and grab myself a nice of cup of Joe and maybe a slice of toast if I’ve left myself enough time. Then when I see the 15 minute mark approach I dig out my aforementioned lunch, slip into my steal toe capped boots, and rush to work because I’ve left it a bit late. Once we’ve loaded the trailers for either a set up or take down we hit the road. This could be driving just down the road or the other side of the M25. We usually aim to be at the venue by about 8am. We then get to work which can be tough as Rich is a merciless boss who is happy with nothing but perfection. Most of the build is complete by lunchtime, and the period after lunch is always a bit lethargic for me, but we smash it out, put the finishing touches on the tipis and head back to Vanstone Park to unload the trailers. Then Rich tells us thats it’s going to be another early start, Jason grumbles, we all say Ciao for now and head off home.

What aspect of the Tipi build do you specialise in?

Without coming across too arrogant, when it comes to laying the carpet I am second to none. I was born with great hands and for the first 20 years of my life I was endlessly wondering why on earth I had been blessed with these beautiful paws. Then I joined Country Tipis and it became very clear, very quickly that I was destined for the carpet life. There are few things in this world that excite me more than nailing down a tight bit of carpet. There are 3 key processes to laying carpet, and I have perfected them all. Hammering is crucial. You need not be hugely strong to sink a nail as it is more an art of precision. Then there is the gentle velcro-ing of the carpet to the carpet strips which requires steady hands and a keen eye for detail. Finally, (and my favourite) is the chuckie shuffle as I like to call it. This involves shuffling your way down the carpet to remove any rucked bits of carpet and nailing it down tight. Only once you have mastered these techniques can you lay a tight carpet, and ultimately find inner peace.

Yes, these actually are Charlie’s hands!

What do you do with yourself when you’re not erecting Tipis?

This summer, when I haven’t been working, I have been jet setting off on holiday and spending every penny that I’ve earned. Other than holidays I occasionally play cricket. Depressingly I can’t think of anything else I do in my free time.

What’s your favourite thing about working at Country Tipis?

This one time, Rich bought us all Mcflurries. That was the happiest I’ve been in a long time. On a serious note, I enjoy being out and about with an okay bunch of guys and throwing trees & canvas around. It’s a rewarding job: seeing the happy faces of nearly and newly married people definitely makes the long hours and hard work worthwhile.

Tipi wedding in Hertfordshire

If a kid walked up to you asking for your advice on Tipi building and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

Firstly I would tell the kid he’s not old enough to put up a Tipi because it’s dangerous work. Once I’d wrapped him/her up in bubble wrap I would give them my advice. It would be to work on communication and teamwork. You need a minimum of 3 people to put up or take down a Tipi, and for it all to go smoothly every one needs to know what they are doing, as well as what everyone else is doing. With such heavy equipment flying about you have to be careful and constantly aware.

 

What makes Country Tipis stand out from the rest?

If I’m brutally honest, I don’t know. All I know is that, despite everything I may have said, we are a very hard working group. Especially Rich, who’s only days off this summer were spent on his own stag do, where he was working hard to not lose his dignity completely. I have it on good authority that he failed. We, however, will never fail to do a top notch job of making your dreams come true.

Tipi flooring flowers


Meet Nathaniel, one of our crew!

To give you an insight into Country Tipis, after the hectic summer season we asked one of our crew members Nathaniel a few questions to find out about his time with Country Tipis so far, as well as forcing a camera in his face, thanks for being so willing Nathaniel!

Defender, Land Rover, Crew, Job

How did you hear about Country Tipis & how did you get the job?

I first heard about the job and Country Tipis through the magic of Gumtree.  The advert caught my eye and I was like “yeah, that sounds awesome, I’ll give it a go!” Two weeks later I was hefting tree trunk sized poles around Vanstone Park.

How long have you worked for Country Tipis?

I’ve worked for Country Tipis for one season now, so I started in May 2016.

Table, sanding, work, summer, job

Can you describe a typical day at Country Tipis?

A typical day would start off at the crack of dawn, sometimes before the sun has even risen. Heading to Vanstone Park to pick up the trailers and then setting off to the venue. Once there, we’d measure out the space where the Tipis will go and then over the course of a day or two we would erect the Tipis and deck them out with all the trimmings. Then, we’d head back ready for good rest before doing it all again the next day!

What’s your favourite thing about working at Country Tipis?

I think my favorite thing about working for the CT is probably getting buff over the course of a season. Ha! Nah, probably the sense of achievement after putting up 4 Tipis and creating an incredible space!

Floor, Crew, Country, Tipis, Jobs

What’s your m​ain achievement since starting work at Country Tipis?

I think my main achievement was probably putting up 4 Tipis, it’s damn hard work! Either that or having finished painting the containers where we store our gear!

What makes Country Tipis stand out from other tipi hire companies?

The main thing that makes CT stand out is the care and attention that’s given to every build. It’s doesn’t matter if it’s 1 Tipi with fairy lights or a huge 6 Tipi build with all the bells and whistles, every one is done to an incredibly high standard. The beer in the Peggy’s bar is pretty good too!

Aerial, drone, photo, crew, work

If you like the sound of the job, we’re on the lookout for full time crew members for the upcoming season starting in March, please email hello@countrytipis.co.uk for more information.


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