Camperhappy.co.uk is the newest addition to our family business run by Jay and Jen. We are not quite sure how we got here or where we are going but were enjoying the ride!
In 2004, whilst bringing up a couple of kids and renovating a Victorian town house, Jay decided to leave his job working for a large marine metalwork company and set up a fabrication business. Jay Wolfe Metalwork Ltd www.jaywolfe.co.uk was started from the corner of a farm yard. Jen was on maternity leave from her role in HR in a global cosmetics brand, and so did the admin and accounts from home in between sanding floor boards and going to toddler groups. Left to find new customers from scratch we set about doing all the horrible jobs no-one else wanted. Warranty repairs for a new importer of Narrowboat Hulls kept the pennies rolling in. Re skinning the underside of a barge in the cold wind and rain brings back some memories! With help from my 2nd customer and my good friend Alan at Top Class Designs we now had a space in a corner of a workshop! A guillotine was bought for £300, a bench made and the search for new work commenced! We soon realised there was a niche for metal marine tanks and with my background in tube fabrication, balustrading featured quite heavily too.
We still make everything from balustrades to industrial mixing tanks although Jay Wolfe Metalwork now specialises in bespoke stainless steel and aluminium fabrications for boats, Andy and Steve do the fabrication work now. A great duo that are as much my friends as they are employees.
In the early days of tank manufacture we started to source parts to help customers install our tanks into their boats. Simple things such as fuel pipe, fillers etc… As our self-taught product knowledge grew, we started buying a small selection of stainless steel marine chandlery. Customers were pleased with both the price and quality of the parts, so on customer feedback, we increased the range of chandlery to the point we started an online shop www.floatyourboat.co.uk. As our roots are firmly planted in the world of metalwork, our product focus has always been beautiful, shiny stainless steel. However, over time we have diversified the range.
For 10 years we have been selling marine chandlery alongside our tanks through our tanks website www.shop4tanks.co.uk as well as on Ebay. Then 2015 happened.
2014 was the year we decided we needed family time. With 2 young boys we needed to balance our lives, spend time with them and keep the business running. We have always holidayed in a tent since we met for our main holidays but time away was becoming rarer as each year passed. We have always enjoyed exploring but we wanted to make more of our weekends too. A plan to buy a motorhome was hatched and to take 4 weeks to explore what Europe had to offer. The perfect family vacation station!!!
We bought an American RV and set off for the summer holidays with no experience and no plans just a fold up map and a scribble of a rough route drawn on it. What followed was an amazing trip. We saw mountains, cities and villages made new friends and even made the local newspaper in Cuneo. But amazingly we did it all while still working remotely!
SO returning with a new hobby, (repairing the RV) we found ourselves learning more and more about the motorhome lifestyle with most weekends spent anywhere from modern campsites to festivals or pub carparks to motorsport event. Because many of our marine parts are sold into leisure vehicles too it seemed an obvious step for us to start selling leisure vehicle parts and accessories. So Camper Happy is born, where we bring all what we have learned in selling marine parts to the leisure market. We hope you like it.
And that’s our story to now. 18 years on we’re a little older, the eldest boy Jacob is now taller than us and officially on the payroll Saturday mornings in the metal workshop while the youngest, Reuben is eyeing up a business plan to start a Mobile Nacho Bar – watch this space ?. And fingers crossed we plan for another European trip of a lifetime in the not too distant future!
What’s important to us?
- Being Green – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
We reuse our packaging: rather than splashing out on expensive branded boxes, we reuse what we have already. Not only does this save costs, but it’s better for the planet too. Jen is a master at making unusual, shaped items fit into whatever size boxes are available.
- Traditional Values – Being Ethical Is Always Win – Win.
We have an “old fashioned” honest approach to customer service. We want it to feel like buying from your local store, even though we might be a hundred miles away. There is no call centre here. The same team of people answer the phone, reply to emails, and pack the boxes.
Although Float Your Boat and Camper Happy started as side lines running along our main marine metalwork company; it now holds its own and grows bigger every day. As we look to the future, we want to increase the range of products that we stock. Our loyal customers advice has always been our best source of new products. If there is something you are looking for, then please contact us and we will do what we can to track it down for you.
Our goal is to supply customers with high quality, reasonably priced items Whether your pride and joy is a VW conversion requiring a USB socket, a caravan that needs a battery compartment door or a horse box conversion that you want to upgrade with LED lighting we hope we can give you that Camper Happy smile and service.
Jen, Jay and the team look forward to packing your order.