by Caitlyn Stout
I first met Pat, former owner of Contentment Camping, at an Glamping Industry Expo. I had already sold her 60+ tents that year, and was thrilled that I was able to win her business from a direct relationship she had with a Chinese supplier in the past, but we hadn’t met in person yet. I was nervous to sit down with her, since we were creeping into her large event rentals segment of the event world, but it turned out to all be unnecessary worry. Pat and I clicked instantly. We spent hours sharing stories about life on the road, discovered a mutual interest in long-term partnerships, and laughed about the involvement of our Dad’s in the R&D side of this business.
For the next few years, Pat and I kept in touch over the phone and email, and Pat continued to purchase her wholesale tents from us, and to sub-contract us on her largest gigs. It was such a nice feeling to have each other’s backs, and have each other to lean on for advice and troubleshooting in this fast paced industry.
As Pat approached a point of transition in her career, she reached out to me, and offered to sell me Contentment Camping. It was one of the biggest honors of my life to even be considered. I reached out to a few business consultants, some who encouraged me to up my marketing to compete with her and steal her business away instead of investing the money into purchasing her company. That didn’t sit well with me, we had built a relationship of connection and collaboration and I felt confident that going forward in integrity would serve us both well. I knew we could have a win/win arrangement here. We went forward with the sale.
Pat accomplished so much during her time in glamping industry. She brought glamping to the largest camping music festivals. She gave event producers another whole new stream of revenue and festival goers another level of experience. She focused on the customer, the quality, and in all 12+ years, was never late setting up for gates opening (something that most new glamping businesses can’t brag about!). She fostered a warm welcome for our transition, and I remember the moment that the bank called and told me that the deal was complete, we texted each other the champagne glass emojis from separate music festivals in different parts of the country.
I was honored to have her pass the torch and am completely stoked to watch Stout Tent take music festival glamping
to the next level!