View from the Slow Lane
You + your team: Sammy & Colin
Where: Forfar, Angus
2/ Describe your workspace:
A constant split between the garage & our office at home. Both spaces are a modge podge of the practical & the creative items we need, from power tools & sewing machines to fabrics; ribbons; polish & of course the WD40 is never too far away.
3/ Where did it all begin?
We were just back from working for 2 years in the middle of the Masai Mara in Kenya. It was therefore a little hard to know what was the best direction to go in after that. We were tucked up around the fireplace (still acclimatising to Scottish winters) looking for properties online, when in amongst the house listings we came across an advert for a classic camper van holiday hire company in England. The more we looked into this business the more we realised there was definitely a market for it in Scotland too. That same week Colin’s mum had said that their Triumph Gloria, the family vintage car, needed to start earning her keep. Most people of course (including ourselves at times) thought we were totally mad with our idea of a quirky collection of vehicles, that could be hired out, not only for weddings, but self drive holidays too. So Gloria has become a ‘working girl’ & 3 VW vans later, and an ever growing fan base, it is probably safe to say there was method to our madness.
4/ favourite work to date?
Of course we couldn’t possibly say which our favourite vehicle is; however, as we have done the interiors of the vans up ourselves, we would have to say our most recent 4 wheeled creation, the 1967 VW Splitscreen, has to be our favourite work to date. Blood, sweat & tears have literally been shed over this project. Her name is Lickety Split – she is now cream & pale blue but until recently she was racing green & white. Unlike our other 2 vans, Lickety Split is our tailored wedding vehicle & so she didn’t need kitchen units or storage, leaving a much brighter & simpler space with seating & a champagne bucket corner unit, what more do you need really!
The focus is therefore on unique tailored pieces, such as the Scottish burred Oak side tables; true vintage accessories, our 1950s French Champagne bucket & lots of handmade details, from the curtains & upholstery to the cushions & bunting.
5/ What inspires you?
Travel, sunshine, surprises & dreams, the list goes on. However, enthusiasm, appreciation & excitement in others, when helping them to plan their wedding, is our greatest inspiration for the service we provide.
6/ Describe a typical day:
Our busiest day is often a Friday, getting all the prep work done for the weekend weddings &/or van hires. The morning usually starts with a route recce to the wedding venues, to double check all timings. Then up to our elbows in soap suds & polish getting the vehicles to a spotless shiny finish; filling the vans with fuel, the fridge with ‘bubbly’, choccies & strawberries, the hampers with specialty goodies & making sure the ribbons & bunting of choice are all pressed and ready to go on. The afternoon is then handover time for the holiday hires, a short drive around the block with our guests to make sure all the quirks of the 40+ year old vehicle is known, followed by a little demo of the elevating roof, fold out double beds, all the electrics and a wave off on another adventure. All in between the boring stuff – updating social media & responding to enquiries.
7/ where’s your favourite place to go?
Any Hebridean island, remote, white sand & blue sea; but in particular the journey to get there. Bimbling along in a camper van getting endless waves & smiles along the way. Stopping whenever the urge takes us to put the kettle on & admire the gorgeous scenery.
8/ favourite wedding venue:
Oo a difficult one, I would have to say most of the byre venues or steadings & barns, as there tends to be a very relaxed & natural feel to them. We are looking forward to one next year in Tentsmuir Forest, that is sure to be a gorgeous ceremony spot.
9/ best piece of advice you’ve ever been given:
Well a motivational proverb I have always loved is “if you think you are too small to make a difference then you have never spent a night with a mosquito.”
Watch out for new images of the super-cute Lickety Splits new Bespoke interior coming soon..
Can I justify a fridge of bubbly, chocolates & strawberries in my car?!