Member Spotlight – Bo Mclean from Yurtspace

Updated on: July 16 2013

Member Spotlight

This month we thought we’d bring you a Member Spotlight that was a little bit different…

This month we interviewed the lovely Bo Mclean from Yurtspace, a lovingly grown business supplying a sustainable and eco-friendly yurt for a range of requirements. Manufactured from chestnut, oak and pine and insulated and lined to provide the ultimate comfort, Bo’s bespoke Mongolian yurt provides an authentic experience that’s second to none.

Here’s what she had to say about running alternative accommodation and caring for her yurts linens:

1) Hi Bo, your yurt looks like so much fun! Could you tell us a little bit more about your business?

Yeah the yurt is brilliant, it’s a lot of fun and I love it so much. I tried very hard to find the highest quality yurt available, and I’m really pleased with what I bought.

I started the business last year, after eleven long years of dreaming about it! I first came across yurts back in 2001 when I was living in South Australia with my then partner. We were expecting our first baby and living really simply, and I wanted to start something that represented all the positives of low-impact living. Over the next few years I became friends with a couple who make yurts and, finally, bought my first 14 foot, fully insulated yurt last year.

One of my main pushes to start the business was the fact that I home educate my son autonomously. I needed a way to make a decent living, through work that I felt ethically comfortable with and that would fit around my family and lifestyle, rather than us fitting around it. It hasn’t disappointed; I feel really excited to be running my own business and, despite the inevitable twists and turns, I just love the creativity involved.

2) What is the biggest challenge you face as an owner of alternative accommodation?

My main challenges as the owner of an alternative accommodation company are finance, the planning laws and peoples’ perception of the seasonality of being in a tent.

While outdoor accommodation like this might be seen as a summer activity, our yurt is also ideal for year round use. Being fully felt insulated, waterproof and including a fab little wood-burner, it’s been specifically designed to stay lovely and cool in summer and cosy through the winter.

Another challenge was fitting in suitable, sustainable furniture. I have rejuvenated hand-made furniture to fit the yurt, and purpose built a wooden yurt-bed by my own hand. I also chose the best (portable) flooring and roll beds to create a really natural, organic experience for our customers.

3) What would you say is your busiest time of year?

We are currently in the middle of the wedding season which is possibly our busiest time of year, although our clients do use us for all kinds of events. From honeymoon nights and Burns night celebrations, to kid’s parties and family holidays, the only limit is the client’s imagination. We even hold workshops and training events!

The yurt lends itself well to them all, bringing people together and sometimes even shifting perspectives.

4) How often do you change your linens? Do you find them facing more wear and tear in the yurt?

We have a variety of different styles for the yurt, which depend on the linens and fabrics used to create the desired atmosphere for our clients. We strive to use only the highest quality products throughout the yurt, as they need to last well and remain in a condition that’s as good as new.

Because the linens are used often we make sure they’re laundered after each check out. In this sense they’re put under the same wear and tear as in any other business, possibly with the added muddy footprint or five! We have been disappointed by poor quality pillows before and are on the hunt for the best available, which is why we came to Hilden Linens. After placing my first order for duvets, pillows, sheets, duvet covers and towels, I couldn’t be more pleased with their quality and how well they fare in the yurt.

If you’d like to learn more about Bo’s unique yurt accommodation then click here to visit her website, or take a look at her Facebook page for plenty of pictures of her yurts in action.

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Michelle Pegg is the Assurance and Compliance Manager at Hilden Linens.