Ellon born-and-bred, there was nowhere else Sarah Christie would have considered launching her very own business – and we couldn’t be happier to have her! On that joyful note, meet Happy Campers – one of the newest businesses in our modern market town…
Travel with a smile
“After many years of helping entrepreneurs make their dreams reality in my day job (chief financial officer at an investment business), I finally felt ready to do something for myself and launch my own business.
With no-one in Ellon offering campervan rental and me knowing firsthand that there’s no better way to explore Scotland than in a camper, my big idea came naturally. I wanted to provide people with the freedom to travel wherever the mood takes them in a camper fully equipped for any adventure. It was all about creating an unforgettable experience.
The first priority was coming up with a name for my venture… And that took several months! When it came to branding, my daughters were involved and together we decided it had to be fun, friendly and colourful.
VW Transporter “Tilly”
In terms of the campers themselves, I wanted something that stood out from the motorhome rental options already available in the area – and something I’d be happy to drive myself. I opted for the VW Transporter as it’s compact but oozes quality and comfort. Then it was time to kit Tilly out to the highest of standards. My OCD streak is probably Happy Campers’ unique selling point – I want customers to feel everything has been thought about, even the things they haven’t thought about yet!
Getting everything finalised for launch was a challenge but in May 2022, I was ready. And although it’s early days, I’d say we’re doing really well. The number of enquiries we’ve had so far is far greater than I expected, and we’re almost already fully booked for summer. Not just that – we’ve reached more than 15,000 people on social media with photos of Tilly looking stunning!
I’m still working full-time so Saturdays are spent doing everything from reviewing bookings to preparing customer handover packs to scheduling Facebook posts but I wouldn’t have it any other way.“
I love #ellonlife because…
“It’s a genuinely lovely place to raise a family. It has a lovely community feel and so many amenities – it has all the shops you need and lots of opportunities to support local. Our modern market town continues to grow and provide a central hub for many of the smaller, surrounding villages so as a business your reach is so much more than Ellon itself.”
Where’s your favourite place to head in a camper?
The whole ethos behind campervans (the fact you can decide on the day where you want to go) makes it hard to choose! But I’d have to say Stonehaven. Nothing beats heading down there at the end of a hard-working week and relaxing by the sea.
In a nutshell, how did you get to where you are today?
My career gave me the skills and knowledge to be able to establish and run a business, my daughters have given me the confidence to turn my dream into a reality and my parents provided the love and support I needed to see it through.
What’s next for Happy Campers?
Adding more campers to the fleet – and some that are especially quirky! We’re also planning to hire a caravan adventure assistant to make our customer service even more special.
Best business advice you’ve heard?
The only thing worse than starting something and failing is not starting something.
Special offers, just for you…
“Follow Happy Campers on social media to be the first to hear about some exciting competitions coming up!”
Happy Campers (Ellon) Ltd
Athrath Farmhouse, Athrath, Ellon, Aberdeenshire AB41 8YN
Call: 07974 391933
Open: Open Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm, and Saturday between 9am and 4pm
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