The Glamping Business: Beach Canyon Authentic Tipi

Written by: Alexandria Autrey had the pleasure of interviewing the owner of  Beach Canyon Authentic Tipi.  This handmade authentic tipi is tucked away in Topanga Canyon, California and was recently featured on The Venue Report’s, “Top 25 Tents & Tipis” list.

How Long has Topanga Tipis been in the glamping business?
We have been in the glamping business for just under two years, however we have had our Farm House for much longer. 

When did you get involved in the glamping movement? 
We officially decided we wanted a glamping feel last Spring. 

When did you first hear about glamping? 
I was raised in Canada near an Indian Reserve, so I am very familiar with tipis.  In addition, my husband is from Tennessee and essentially lives outdoors.  Between the two of us, we are really into living that kind of lifestyle and I have noticed with glamping, people are wanting just that.  They are wanting that outdoor experience but, with certain comforts.  After coming to this realization, I started researching and found your site.  From there, we started the planning process. 

How long did it take to start up your glamping?
It took about a month. 

Where did you find all of your glamping supplies? 
We are constantly looking on auction sites, yard sales, ebay, antique stores and even craigslist for the perfect decor.  In addition, we have our family scout in Canada or down south for antique items.  Our tipi was hand made by a native man, who is from a Native American reserve.   For us, it is an honor to have an authentic handmade tipi. 

Are there any hurdles you have to deal with when owning a glamping property? 
The biggest hurdle for us, is scheduling.  With our personal life, children and our careers its all about balancing both. 

Between the Farm House and the Tipi, where do people like to stay? 
They are such different places, it just depends on the people.  The farm house has air conditioning, wifi, gaming system and five bedrooms.  The tipi is for people who want to be alone but, still be able to access the house for certain amenities.  Every glamper that has stayed in the tipi access the trails and want a spiritual experience, which is the exact reason we built it. 

What activities do guests like to do when stay at your property? 
We’re are located in a really cool place halfway up the canyon.  If you go 4 miles north or even south of us, you will find the beach.  Guests can take surfing lessons, go paddle or swimming at the beach.  Guests can also hike, bike or go horseback riding on the trails near our property.  With Malibu so close so people can get back to the urban life and enjoy things such as wine and sushi at local restaurants. 

How long did it take to put up the tipi?
It took a weekend to erect because, we decided we wanted the tipi off the ground.  We were advised to build a raised deck which took 24 hours.  The deck is 24 feet by 24 feet, stained with a rustic look.  After that, my husband and Paul (whom built the tipi) installed and erected the tipi.  It’s a beautiful process to see it come together.  

What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
Everyone is different and everyone is trying to get to get a different experience.  However through this, we have now formed new relationships with some of our guests.  This is something I never expected to happen. 

What is your profitability for the tipi?
Essentially, the tipi has paid for itself.  It cost around $4,000 to put up and  we are now starting to make profit off of it.  In addition to glampers, we have had many people come out and do photoshoots with our tipi which is extra profit. 

Do you have any plans to expand?
No, we do not have plans to expand.  The only area that will be expanded, is our stables.  Next spring we will be buying livestock and horses so, we can take guests horseback riding.

What is your target demographic? 
Originally, we thought that we would have nomadic hippies ages 21-31.  However, we are  having inquiries for bachelorettes and people in their late 50s.  We realized that we stereotyped who we would draw in and have actually been seeing a wide array of guests.  When speaking about demographics we now say “come one, come all.”

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