Canopies & Canapés Shepherd’s Hut at Thorpe Farm

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The Luxury Office Hut

Our shepherd huts have a multitude of uses, and a fabulous office space is just one of them. How about working from your own luxurious office that’s something a little bit different and makes your business even more special. This is exactly what Canopies and Canapés have done. Meet Zoe and Emma, who run their events business from their oak-clad shepherd hut office in Essex.

About Canopies and Canapés

I’m Zoe Shields and I have a Blackdown Shepherd Hut! The hut arrived on the cold morning of my 40th birthday in January 2017. It was a complete surprise!

I work with my business partner Emma Paradise.  We run an event planning business organising and styling all kinds of events, from kids parties to lavish weddings. I have been in the business for many years, and Emma joined me last year. I’m the creative, she’s the clipboard! We make a good team.

Why we got a Blackdown hut….

My husband bought the hut for my birthday. It contains a small kitchen area, fold out desk/dining table and pull out sofa/bed. Due to the fact I go to so many parties (not because I’m popular, just because I organise and style them!), I didn’t want to spend thousands on a party for my own milestone birthday. I wanted the money spent on something I could see and appreciate every day for years to come.

A special place…..

We live on a smallholding in Essex. I have four children and various animals including goats, pigs, chickens and guinea fowl. Running the business, looking after four kids, two dogs, and the farm is pretty chaotic but enjoyable. Even though I love it, every now and again I need a bit of time out! That’s one of the reasons I have my hut. It’s positioned in the furthest corner of our land with lovely views all around of farmland. I have direct water and electricity connections and most importantly…peace and quiet! I don’t get to use it as much as I wish but I fully intend to use it more in the future, even if it’s for half an hour with a cup of tea and a magazine.

We are currently in the middle of renovating our farmhouse, so the dust-free hut is a breath of fresh air. The hardest part is running up to it without one of the kids trying to follow me!

The hut as a luxury space….

A few weeks ago we had our first client meeting in the hut. The meeting was with a future bride. We welcomed her with a glass of Prosecco and sat discussing her dream wedding. It was a glorious summer evening. It could not have been more perfect. We got the job!

We don’t have much in the way of office equipment, it’s more about the setting and the feel of the place. It puts people at ease and allows them to discuss their dreams and visions easily without any distractions. We store a few samples of our work such as invitations, place settings etc and are able to work on our laptops and show our clients examples of our previous events.

Designing the inside of the hut…..

I plan to do so much with the hut. I want to buy all the original old mirrors, chests, trunks and frame pretty tapestries and art for the walls. Unfortunately, the main farmhouse has been taking all my interior decoration energy of late. I plan to spend a few nights on eBay in the near future!

A perfect client introduction….

The hut is beautiful and I love seeing it every day. I love everything about it. It is made so well and the colours are so ‘me’. I can use it all year thanks to the heating and lights in there.

Our area doesn’t have much farmland, we are extremely lucky to live on our little farm. To be able to invite a client for a meeting in a hut is pretty novel. It’s an icebreaker and conversation piece. Over half the weddings we get enquiries for are rather boho in their own individual way. The setting of the hut, sets the tone perfectly. I’m also looking forward to inviting clients for a cup of tea and a bacon roll in the colder months!

Blackdown’s customer service….

For Blackdown to arrange for it to actually turn up the morning of my 40th birthday was amazing. My husband dealt with them in the months leading up to it and has told me they were fantastic! Very relaxed and know their products well. He wants his own now!

Find out more about us….

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Posted on

September 7, 2017