After moving from Sydney to the peaceful and picturesque Bellingen Valley, and then having her two beautiful children, Louisa Fallon found herself looking to start up her own business to allow her the flexibility to spend time with her kids whilst they were little. So, she combined her love of camping and the outdoors with the idea of a stylish and unique option not readily available in the area … and the Stylish Camping Company was born!
Hi Louisa. Can you tell us how you came to be living on the Coffs Coast?
I moved to Bellingen eight years ago from Sydney. It was a complete tree change, escaping the constant hum of traffic in the inner west, to the contrasting peace, quiet and beauty of the Bellingen Valley. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else now. Bellingen and the Coffs Coast is such a wonderful place to raise my two children, and Bello is a wonderful community that I feel very connected to. I never take any of it for granted! My children were born here, and I tell them how lucky they are almost every day!
How long have you been running The Stylish Camping Company?
I initially launched the business as an online store at the end of 2014 and then expanded to the glamping hire side of the business in 2016. Later that year I launched our own brand of premium quality bell tents to the Australian market, designed especially for the Australian climate, including an inner fly-screen wall that is great for hot days when you want to roll up the canvas sides. We sell them all across Australia, an achievement I’m just a little bit proud of!
Can you tell us about the idea behind the company? How did it get started?
When I was expecting my second child, I’d been working in the social work field and was managing the Bellingen Neighbourhood Centre, which was a busy and demanding full-time job. I liked the idea of having a home-based business, so I could be at home with my children whilst they were still so little, so I started thinking about unique ideas that no one else was doing! The synergy of combining my love of camping, with products that were stylish, unique and many of which you couldn’t find anywhere else in Australia is how the idea came to fruition.
When I discovered the beautiful canvas bell tent and saw how popular it was in Europe, particularly at music festivals and country weddings, I knew it was only a matter of time before interest would start growing in Australia. It was a very small market here, and the term “glamping” (meaning glamorous camping) was only just being coined. The
I’ve had great support from Bellingen Showground Trust from the very beginning to use the camping ground and arena for our Bello Winter Music Glamping Village, and many other local venues use our bell tents for extra accommodation too.
What are some of the most common events or situations you cater for?
Our furnished bell tents have been really popular at retreat venues, such as North Farm in Bellingen. We also head to a few festivals a year including, of course, Bello Winter Music and Mullum Music Festival, as well as Lost Paradise in Glenworth Valley. Weddings are now becoming more and more popular too, especially on family properties, meaning no one has to worry about off-site accommodation, drink driving, or missing the shuttle bus! Our glamping village is perfect for any weekend-long celebrations or events, including family reunions, birthdays or
What is the furthest or most remote place you’ve had to do a tent set up?
The furthest we’ve travelled is to the Lost Paradise Festival at Peats Ridge, which we’ve been at three years in a row now. I get lots of enquiries to travel incredible distances all around NSW and interstate, particularly for weddings in remote locations, but I prefer to keep the business closer to home. We primarily service from Taree up to Byron Bay.
What is the process of setting up and packing away like?
There’s a lot of preparation that goes into our glamping villages! All of our bell tents are completely furnished, with luxury airbeds, all bedding and linen, towels, bedside tables and lanterns, floor rugs, and fairy-lights! Each tent is set up to specific guest requirements, so logistically you have to be very organised! Depending on the size of the setup and the distance from Bellingen, we do most setups in a day, or day and a half, dependent on the number of tents. Once we’ve packed down and returned home, then it’s unloading, unpacking and laundry – the not so glamorous side!
You provide such beautiful set-ups; where do you source most of the interior furniture and decor?
All our bedding and linen comes from Pillow Talk in Coffs Harbour, who can take much of the credit for how cosy our bell tents are! Everything we use has to be practical and easily transportable, as well as look stylish and feel comfortable in all weather conditions! A lot of thought goes into every item we use, such as all the bedside tables have to be practical and stackable!
Other more unique items I source as locally as possible, such as cushions from Bellingen-based Tribe & Temple, or buying dream-catchers at markets. I also spend a lot of time in Bunnings for all things lighting!
Do you have a favourite event or type of set up to do?
My favourites are usually determined by the locations! If there are breathtaking views, where else would you rather be when you’re working? We are so blessed on the Mid North Coast to have such diverse and
Do you have a team you work with?
For smaller setups, I usually do the whole set up myself, but for anything larger, I have a willing crew of Bello locals to call upon for additional manpower!
People can also buy tents from your online store. How do canvas bell tents differ from the more common types of camping tents? What do you love about them?
Whenever anyone steps inside a bell tent, the first word I always hear is, “Wow!”
There are three things everyone loves about them: the space inside – particularly the amount of headroom; the ease of setting them up – they only have two easy poles, tap in the pegs and within 10 – 15 minutes your tent is up; and finally they are truly a blank canvas for adding your personal style, and framed by the amazing silhouettes that the trees and the sun reflect onto the beige canvas! It’s an ever-changing natural mural!
Bell tents are diverse in their uses too – they make a great extra room for guests, or a lounge space in the garden, for picnics, parties and events. Or throw one in the back of the car and go on a road trip!
Do you get out and go camping yourself?
Not as much as I’d like to these days! I took my bell tent for a solo camping trip to Byron Bay last winter for a few days, which was a wonderful way to recharge the batteries during the quieter season! I have a few acres at home, so more often than not I’ll have a glamping sleep-out in the garden with the kids!
Where can people get in contact or find out more about The Stylish Camping Company?
You can check out the website www.stylishcampingcompany.com.au for our online store and to find out more about our glamping hire options. We have a beautiful Instagram gallery for a visual feast of what we offer. If you’re thinking about buying your own bell tent, we can arrange personal viewings and demonstrations by appointment in Bellingen, or if you want to enquire about hiring our bell tents for an event, send us an email with all the details!