1. First came the Spark.
I, Leanne Tucker, moved back to Tennessee (my home state) after an amazing 18 years of chasing my creative career, mostly in Southern California, only to find that I didn't "fit in" any longer! Everyone in TN seemed to really be into the outdoors and camping so I decided that even though I didn't totally love camping and bugs, and the heat, and hiking... I had to figure out a way to make it work for me. It was this thought that led to the idea of glamping and how to bring this uprising concept to Nashville, Tennessee.
I want to revamp the way you camp! Why does enjoying the outdoors have to be so drab in color? Who says we have to blend into nature? I wanted to break all these unwritten rules. After a bit of research, I noticed that no one was doing this. The camping/outdoor industry hasn't changed in forever and maybe this was an untapped market for luxury design and experiences instead of the mainstream rustic look and feel. Why aren't tents more colorful or patterned? How do I stay cool in the heat of the summer if I want to camp? Where is the bathroom and my catered lunch? NOWHERE, is what I deduced!
Now that a spark of an idea was born, it needed a name...
2. Then came Tara.
Tara Ross is Leanne's cousin (she loves camping) and she gave reCAMPed it's name! Tara and Leanne were having lunch one afternoon, discussing Leanne's new glamping idea when poof, reCAMPed was born. We were toying with different names like Chic Camp and Glamp Camp but when Leanne mentioned the phrase and now tagline, revamp the way you camp, Tara piped up and said, "hey, just put that together and you get reCAMP!" It was genius and Leanne loved it. So now that there's a name, what next?
3. Getting Creative.
As a long time creative director, I knew the first step was to secure the name, create a logo and a website. Luckily reCAMPed wasn't taken as a business name or as a URL, yay!
I worked tirelessly for over a month designing, writing and building the website. Finally the finished product was live and I was able to share my vision with close family and friends to get their opinions. Thankfully my idea began to garner quite the excitement!
The research and planning stages starting shaping up as well and it was clear that this was a much bigger idea than initially thought. After finishing the website and seeing a clearer vision of what reCAMPed could possibly be, I called Tara again. I needed a partner, a hype girl, and someone to share this with. Obviously Tara, being an outdoor lover and the reason reCAMPed has a name, was my number one choice! Thankfully she accepted the task and a business partnership was formed.
4. Leanne and Tara go to Hollywood.
So, I was reading up on Entrepreneur Magazine online when I stumbled upon a contest for entrepreneurs, called Elevator Pitch. Without even giving it a second thought, I applied, then I called Tara!
About 3 days later I received an email stating, "Congratulations, you're a finalist!" I was floored. So, I called Tara...
"You'll never guess what just happened?," I said! "We're going to Hollywood!," I said! We had been chosen to be filmed for an episode of this new reality, "shark tank-like" tv show! "OMG," Tara said! Yep, it was true, and we had to be there in like two weeks!!
We did everything humanly possible to prepare for this exciting opportunity. We hired a lawyer, spoke with accounting and business pitch experts and we made a crafty presentation to boot! We even launched a Go Fund Me account to raise money for our trip out to Los Angeles, which was very successful.
On the day of the shoot, we woke up early and practiced our pitch. The rules entailed preparing a 60 second pitch that you'll perform on camera, in an elevator. All the while, investors are sitting in a boardroom watching you on video. If your pitch is successful and enticing enough, then you may enter the boardroom where a team of 4 investors have 5 minutes to grill you about your product or business idea. Nerve-racking to say the least!
And guess what happened? We made it up the elevator with a near flawless pitch and we were invited into the boardroom. BOOM! We did it. Well sort of! We didn't get a investment but we did gain an unforgettable and priceless experience full of amazing advice!
Our episode of Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch hasn't aired yet but we'll definitely let you know when it does. It's a must see for sure!
5. The search is on!
We're now back to reality ;) But seriously where do we go from here? Well I'll tell ya, as Ellen or Dori would say, "Just keep swimming!" Not literally but you get the idea!
After we calmed down from the high of being filmed in Hollywood, we realized it's now time to search for land. If we wanted to make this dream a true reality, then we'd better get after it! After all, what is glamping if you don't have land to "glamp" up?
Tara and I have seen several properties that were either just not quite right or was snatched up so quick that we never had a chance to put in an offer. We're looking in the outskirts of Nashville, preferably no farther than 45 mins away. We'd love to find a place with a water source and a charming house that we could reCAMP and make our own. So the search is on and we won't stop till we find the perfect place to call reCAMPed home!