Hearthworks Limited is well on its way to taking the title of biggest yurt and tipi manufacturer and hire company in the UK thanks to financial advice from Monahans helping them overcome the hurdles faced by a fast-growing business.
Having started as a hobby over 15 years ago, Hearthworks now attends 25 festivals a year, hiring out 115 yurts, over 200 tipis and 100 tipi tents, as well as manufacturing bespoke yurts and tipis from their Somerset base according to traditional Kyrgyzstani designs but with adaptations for the British climate.
Hearthworks was ahead of the glamping trend, having been one of the first companies in the UK to offer tipi hire. Based in Pilton, Somerset, they received their big break in 2006 when they were asked to provide 300 tipis for Glastonbury 2007. At that point, the company only had 25 tipis, so needed to immediately expand. Since then they have expanded slowly but with stability – with turnover almost doubling each year – guided by Chartered Accountants Monahans, who they appointed in 2007.
Tara Weightman, owner of Hearthworks, said: “When you’re a growing business you have to jump hurdles, particularly around VAT and employing people. We’re a small team here at Hearthworks; we have grown due a love of yurts and tipis and so we didn’t have a business experience to know exactly what we needed to do.
“Monahans have been great. They’re always on the ball with keeping us on track and have been very much part of us growing into the business we are now. They’ve helped us to manage our cashflow, how to deal with our surplus and planning for the future. As a seasonal business, we’re proud to have grown steadily and have matured into a successful, creative, community-focussed business.”
The local Somerset community is key to Hearthwork’s ethos, with local artisans providing the majority of components for the manufacture of the yurts and tipis, including seamstresses, blacksmiths and carpenters.
Tara added: “Our goal is to continue growing but still remain a manageable operation, with creativity through everything we do and increasing both the quality and quantity of our products.”
In the past year, manufacturing has become an increasing part of Hearthworks’ business and the company recently completed a structure of seven interconnected yurts for an outdoor education centre in Milton Keynes. Featuring central areas, dormitories, en-suite bathrooms, platform floors and insulation, yurts are becoming an ideal, modern choice for all sorts of businesses looking for additional space.
Stephen Fry, Partner at Monahans, said: “Tara has taken something he loves and made it into a thriving business. Being very much a seasonal business presents a number of challenges that we have worked with Tara to ensure he prepared and protected for the future. He has worked very hard and deserves the success he is enjoying and we are confident that he will achieve his future targets.”
For more information on Hearthworks, visit: www.hearthworks.co.uk
For more about Monahans go to: www.monahans.co.uk