Shelter Co. brings luxury tent and event planning to the great outdoors. As creative director with Alison Events of San Francisco, Calif., Kelsey Sheofsky knows... Read More
Shelter Co. brings luxury tent and event planning to the great outdoors.
As creative director with Alison Events of San Francisco, Calif., Kelsey Sheofsky knows how to stage a luxurious event. Now, she and husband Mike are applying that knowledge to the “glamping” (glamorous camping) trend with a new company.
In its first season, Shelter Co. offers pop-up lodging in luxury tents along with furniture, amenities and event planning services.“The bulk of our business is based on groups of 20 to 40 people—creating an all-inclusive weekend for guests of a wedding, family reunion or special event where everyone stays on the property, making it a destination event, even if it’s in your own backyard,” Kelsey says.
Shelter Co.’s tents are European-style canvas camping tents 15-feet in diameter with a center pole. Additional inventory includes lounge and children’s tents, vanity tents with rolling racks for bridal party prep, Adirondack chairs, hammocks and camping boxes with welcome kits (think lanterns and bug spray). Planning services range from wine tasting itineraries to delivering the day’s New York Times and iced coffees to tents.
With a background in construction and custom furniture fabrication, Mike has built much of the company’s furniture inventory in his workshop, such as a table that wraps around the center pole.“It’s low to the ground so kids can eat sitting on pillows,” Kelsey says. “And we’ve used it for adults too—adults love it for hanging out.”
Identifying event locations in central and southern California has been challenging, but the Sheofskys have had luck with properties that provide lodging for a small number of people but want to accommodate larger groups.
“This is a sweet spot for us, especially for weddings, because there is an indoor space with a real bathroom where the bride can get ready, but everyone else can be out having the camp experience,” Kelsey says.
The business is a sweet spot as well for the Sheofskys, whose first official date was a camping trip. But Kelsey emphasizes that a Shelter Co. event appeals to clients beyond the dedicated camping crowd.
“Yes, you are sleeping in a tent, but you are in a real bed with a down comforter and 450-thread-count sheets,” she says. “It really doesn’t feel like roughing it.”