Veteran-run glamping business reconnects people with nature and each other

Glamping isn’t your parents’ version of camping. Instead of small tents, sleeping bags on the cold ground, and the light of a campfire, think of spacious structures, carpets, comfortable mattresses, pillows, and fairy lights.

This luxury camping style has exploded in recent years. It allows people to enjoy the beauty of nature with fewer of the usual attendant ailments.

John and Tameika Roames would know. John served 20 years in the Army and Tameika served 14 years and is still in the Army Reserve. After years of being forced to sleep outside on the hard ground because of their jobs, discovering glamping was a dream come true. It allowed them to enjoy the outdoors while enjoying the comforts of home.

Surviving the pandemic in a small apartment, the Alexandrian couple came up with the idea of ​​starting a mobile glamping business to share the dream with others. Inspired by a company in Portland, Oregon with a similar model, they started Evolution Glamping in March. The premise of mobile glamping is that they set up the tent, facilities, and special touches for clients wherever they want, whether it’s a campground, park, winery, or backyard, within a two-hour radius of the DC metro area.

They came up with the name Evolution Glamping as it represents what they wanted to achieve with their business. “There’s camping and then there’s permanent [glamping] websites, but that is the evolution of glamping. It puts it in your yard, it puts it everywhere,” Tameika said. “This is the evolution of being outdoors.”

The words comfort, ease and reconnection drive the business.

“The convenience is not having to sleep on the floor, how do you make camping nice so people want it. Ease is making it easy for people so they don’t have to set things up, and not only reconnecting with nature, which is very important because of Covid, but also reconnecting with people after Covid is over.” explained John.

Customers can choose from a variety of packages based on their needs. The basic package includes a tent and a queen, two full or three twin mattresses, as well as tables, lanterns, chairs, linens, ottomans and outdoor lighting. One of their most popular packages is the Sleepover package, a tent with up to six single beds, all furniture and a custom theme. This package is a hit for bachelorette parties and birthday parties.

Evolution Glamping also offers a Theater Package, Picnic Package, Outdoor Package, Lounge Package and as the newest addition, an Indoor Blanket big enough for kids and kids at heart. There’s plenty of room for customization and add-ons. “We can only do what people imagine. They’re like, ‘Oh, we don’t have the space, we can’t do this,’ that’s not always true, we can find out,” John said.

The Roamese own and store all the furnishings they provide in a converted garage. Most larger pieces are neutral, allowing them to work with a variety of themes and color schemes. Aside from a few larger events where they hired extra help, the couple set up most of the packages themselves, giving themselves an hour per tent to set them up and set them up.

As winter approaches, demand for outdoor adventures may be less, but Roamese are already booking for 2023. Word of mouth, social media and targeted marketing have helped the company grow rapidly. Additionally, they currently offer indoor mattress and furniture rentals, perfect for all those extra friends and family members visiting over the holidays.

The Roamese would love to see Evolution Glamping expand and become their main business. John is a real estate agent and Tameika runs two shops, Nomadico Shop and Black Lady Whiskey, in addition to the Army Reserves. “Our plan is to really get into the big events and also have these little backyard events at the same time. We don’t want to take that away because we think it’s really important to our customer base, not just that, but getting people to connect outside again,” explained John.

They are also looking at a potential franchise in Dallas, Texas and a permanent glamping location somewhere in the DC area. It’s important to the couple to support small businesses, especially other businesses run by veterans and black people, whether it’s the company that provides their tents or the caterers and handymen they work with for events. “We know that it’s not that easy and we can support each other,” emphasized Tameika.

Find out more and book your glamping adventure at www.evolutionglamping.com and follow us on Instagram @evolutionglamping.



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