My latest guest on the Country Bumpkin Chic Chats to blog series I consider a female role model in the country and equestrian sector. She’s a true inspiration & I just know you’re going to feel inspired after reading the interview.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the talented & inspiring Emma Warren, who you may be familiar with as the MD at Hiho Silver. However, today we’re chatting to her about her gorgeous west country business Dimpsey.
Welcome, Emma to Country Bumpkin Chic Chats to… blog series, please can you give readers an overview of your background into business.
Most people who don’t know what I used to do are usually quite surprised! I’m actually a person who hated maths and somehow ended up as a qualified accountant working in manufacturing businesses. I rose to become Finance & Operations Director of a management buyout company which we subsequently sold to a massive American corporation.
My specialism was strategy and change management, but once we had our family, the amount of work versus the small amount of time I had with the boys each day just didn’t work for me, so I gave up work and hubby and I purchased a Precision Engineering company which he went to run and I was supposed to be staying at home.
Hands up, I was rubbish at being home all the time, raising children is the hardest job in the world in my humble opinion, they are relentless! So, I started a business helping entrepreneurial businesses to grow, tentatively whilst the boys were small but as they got older, I ended up being a non-executive director on a number of boards, which in fact was how I ended up working with Hiho Silver back in 2007.
I was a fellow at Exeter University Centre for Leadership and really enjoying looking at things like innovation in business and the buzz of working in different sectors, I learnt so much!
Roll on to the present day, we still have the engineering business and I’d say my job is still very forward-looking, but now with much more creativity involved in my day to day role. I now own Hiho, have a glamping business called Dimpsey, a holiday let in Braunton called Dimmet, a little business called Doris & Co and I work with Blackdown Shepherd Huts Ltd on their business development.
Most of my time is spent with Hiho & Blackdown, who are both amazing businesses to work with. Over the years I’ve gradually moved what I do so that I generally work with people that I enjoy being around, doing things that I love doing. I consider that a real bonus in my life!
1. Tell us where did your inspiration for the gorgeous Dimpsey Glamping originate from?
It’s an amalgamation of two very unique places which are very different but somehow slid together in my mind to create the vision for Dimpsey.
The first was the Yurt Farm in Wales, we stayed there a few times as a family a few years before we started Dimpsey and loved it. Organic, with 5 yurts spread round a huge field in the depths of Wales, I just loved the simplicity and how connected to nature and the outdoors it all was – the wild & natural part of Dimpsey comes from there, the warmth of fire magic and the beauty of being in nature is absolutely captivating.
But if I was honest, the compost loo and the long walk to the bathroom at night was a step too far for me, although entirely enchanting at the time, it wasn’t quite what we wanted to offer.
Then, hubby took me to Babington House near Bath for a special birthday and it really resonated with me. Laid back country style, amazing food, fab service and everything provided, what more could a girl ask for?
When I was Dimpsey dreaming, that was what came to mind I wanted the earth magic of the outdoors and total indulgence inside, that meant ensuite, dreamy bed and all the home comforts.
So that’s what we did, it was five years ago and the early days of glamping and everyone thought I was bonkers, I was making it “too luxurious” but I was after Babington House in a field but in a stripped back way. All of the service and luxury of being looked after, stylish interiors and nature right outside your door.
We opened in 2015 and have never looked back, we love doing it, we have been judged best glamping in Somerset twice and we have seen absolutely loads of lovely guests. It’s a real privilege to host their stays.
2. It must be hectic trying to juggle Dimpsey & your other businesses, how do you manage to stay on top of everything? Any top organisation tips?
Lists! I have lists and I try to prioritise my top things to get done in a day. I let go of the need to know what is going to happen in my day a long time ago, as often things will change as the day develops, so I just use the list as a guide and don’t beat myself up if it doesn’t get done. I also try and regularly look at what I’m doing and see if I should be doing it, rather than just adding extras in on top of what I was already doing, as unless you make a point of reviewing it things can soon get overwhelming.
3. What has been the biggest learning curve running a glamping business in Somerset?
How much linen you need, how hard it is to keep the linen clean and how much marketing you have to do to keep yourself front of mind for people.
4. When people visit Dimpsey what is the biggest takeaway or memory of the experience you want them to leave with?
The fact that they’d forgotten what having time together (or for themselves) was like and how nice it was to rediscover it. We help them leave the world of busy behind.
5. Do you have any exciting plans for the future of Dimpsey?
We have wanted to get a way for people to have some of the Dimpsey experience at home for a long time and I’ve finally gotten around to redoing the website and getting products sorted out. I’ve been working with local designers and I am so pleased to launch it all very soon, I’m hoping people will like what we’ve done.
6. And finally – what would be your one piece of advice for anyone looking to start a new business?
There is very rarely an overnight success, do the legwork, keep going for longer than you thought you would need to and one day you’ll turn round and realise you created something magical!
Quickfire Country Bumpkin Chic round:
1. Best wildlife spot?
I would say this but sitting on the swing outside the Yonder Hut is a veritable nature safari with deer, pheasant, owls and many others.
2. Favourite spot to chill out?
3. Best restaurant to dine at near Dimpsey?
We are so lucky this area is becoming a veritable foodie destination, so on our doorstep it’s The Candlelight Inn or the Cotley Inn. Sea food wise it’s Rockfish at Exmouth or the Hive at Burton Bradstock.
4. Best activity to do near Dimpsey?
5. Sum up Dimpsey in 3 words….
Relax. Recharge. Rediscover.
Thank you Emma for taking part in Country Bumpkin Chic Chats to blog series & we can’t wait to see what’s next for Dimpsey.
Tell us where are all the places we can find Dimpsey online:
- Website: https://dimpsey.co.uk/
- Insta : @dimpsey_glamping
- Facebook : @dimpsey.uk
- Twitter : @dimpseyuk