A damp music festival experience five years ago led a Lancaster man to create a new generation of pop up tents.
Jake Jackson, 33, packed himself off to V Festival in 2009 with some friends, borrowing his dad’s tent for the weekend.
Unaccustomed to tent erection processes, Jake found himself soaked after the canvas blew off during the night.
The next year he bought himself a pop up tent, but the cramped and limited conditions led him to think outside the box.
“Most pop ups are single room tents,” he said.
“Very basic, but I wanted a porch for my muddy boots and beers.
“I searched online for a pop up tent with a porch, but couldn’t find anything suitable.
“I designed a tent while living in my mum’s garage, and I’d had some experience with clothes manufacturers abroad, so I asked Eastern Nova in China to make a sample and put it on Ebay.
“It was snapped up and got hundreds of views, so I borrowed some money from my mum, and got a run of 500 made up, and they sold out with fantastic reviews.”
Jake said he then “hit a brick wall” as an application for a bank loan was turned down due to the economic climate.
“The bank wouldn’t lend me any money for any more, even though they loved the idea,” he said.
“They did offer to match fund me though, but I was in a Catch 22 situation, making it impossible to grow the business organically.
“So I looked into a Kickstarter campaign, which is basically crowd sourcing funds.
“Since setting it up, my Facebook site - Cinch! Pop Up Tents - has gone from 1,000 to over 8,000 likes.
“We’ve got a £50,000 campaign total, but I’m quite hopeful that we’ll smash that.”
Jake, who lives in St Margarets Road, Bare, and attended Our Lady’s High School, said he had had calls from Amazon America, and had been given an account manager.
He has also arranged shipping logistics, ready to start selling the tents across the world.
“It’s all very exciting. There are other pop up tents out there, but none like this, which weighs just 9kg, has lanterns, LED tent pegs, and a solar power pack built into the roof which can power electricals inside the tent.
“Everything seems to happen for a reason, and what the delay has enabled me to do is listen to what customers are saying and respond accordingly by making changes and add ons. Working with customers to get them the tent that they want.”
Jake’s immediate goal is to raise enough money to get to the next level, stocking the tents in American and Australia.
He added: “The long term goal would be to have a factory here in the Lancaster area, employing local people, with a worldwide market.”
Jake is now waiting for decent weather to do a shoot at Heysham Barrows, and hopes to go live with the Kickstarter campaign a week later.