$50K/Month Creating Portable Treehouses for Outdoor Adventures – Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile

INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 56:45)


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Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile shares his journey of revolutionizing outdoor accommodation with his unique range of portable treehouses that combine comfort, versatility, and adventure, leaving zero environmental footprints.

Episode Summary

Alex Shirley-Smith, founder and CEO of Tentsile, shared the story of how he came up with the idea for his company. After witnessing the destruction of the Amazon rainforest as a child, he became determined to do something about it. He later became an architect and worked in the treehouse business. After the 2008 financial crisis, he created Tentsile, offering cheap and transportable treehouses that people can store away when not in use. Shirley-Smith’s adaptable design uses tension rather than compression and was inspired by the biomimicry of a spider’s web. The tents are also adjustable to accommodate occupants of varying weights and can be calibrated for fine-tuning. The business grew organically with no marketing spending but had to shift to a more conventional marketing approach as the novelty factor wore off. Tentsile focuses on education through YouTube videos, providing customer service and support, and directing customers to their website for product details before making a purchase. Tentsile also plants 20 trees for every tent or camping hammock sold, aiming to create sustainable economies at the local level while protecting primary forests that are at risk of deforestation. Shirley-Smith believes the best businesses are born out of passion, sustaining one’s lifestyle while doing good for the planet.

  • 00:00:00 In this section, Alex Shirley-Smith, the founder and CEO of Tentsile, shares the story of how he came up with the idea for his company. As a child, he saw the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and became determined to do something about it. He later became an architect and worked in the treehouse business until the 2008 financial crisis. He then pivoted to create cheap and easily transportable treehouses that people can store away when not in use. Tentsile is the result of that effort and has been in operation for 10 years. The design is unique and was created from scratch by Shirley-Smith himself.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, inventor Alex Shirley-Smith explains the inspiration behind his tree tents, which he describes as a more comfortable alternative to hammocks. Shirley-Smith drew on his knowledge of architecture to develop a solution using tension rather than compression, as found in conventional buildings. The result was a tent-like structure suspended in the trees that used ratchets and tension created by lightweight materials to achieve a flat surface. Shirley-Smith credits his partnership with product design graduate Kirk Kirchev as the catalyst for improving the design of the tree tents. Their collaboration led to a product that combined the benefits of tensioning with the practicality of attached lightweight aluminum poles, resulting in a more portable and comfortable design for outdoor adventurers.
  • 00:10:00 In this section, Alex Shirley-Smith explains how his invention, Tentsile, was inspired by the biomimicry of a spider’s web, which always creates a triangular framework within which to build its web. Shirley-Smith adapted this design into a 3D shape and used reinforced polyester nylon composite mesh with a nylon hexagon thread and a thin PU coating to produce a lightweight yet strong structure. The tents are supported by a frame made of seat belts, which is reinforced by the fabric stretched between the frame. Tentsile’s target market initially included families with children, but has expanded to include campers, hikers, and adventurers. The tents are also adjustable to accommodate occupants of varying weights, and follow a calibration system for fine-tuning to ensure everyone is separated by a spine of seat belt.
  • 00:15:00 In this section, Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile discusses how his portable treehouses have reached different demographics, including adventurers, families, and even wheelchair users. He explains how the growth of the business in the first five years was organic, with no marketing spend, primarily through word-of-mouth. As the novelty factor wore off, they had to shift to a more conventional marketing approach but continued to innovate, making headlines every once in a while.
  • 00:20:00 In this section, Alex Shirley-Smith, the founder of Tentsile, talks about the growth the company has experienced and how it has shifted its approach to marketing. Tentsile is lucky to have strong intellectual property that protects them from legal competitors. However, they face Chinese knockoffs that lack the specific tricks that Tentsile uses. Education about the product is extremely important to Tentsile, and they have created many YouTube videos that show their customers how to set up and use their tree tents. Additionally, Tentsile aims to be efficient by directing customers to their website, where they can access videos, product descriptions, and details before making a purchase. Tentsile also provides customer service and support, which is crucial considering the sophistication of the product.
  • 00:25:00 In this section, Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile discusses how they handle customer service, with their staff being available during UK office hours and the busy times in the evening via online chat. He addresses concerns customers may have about needing perfectly-sized trees for the tent and how they combat it with their flexible tether straps. They also emphasize that their ground conversion kit can be used if trees are not available in the area. Shirley-Smith describes their tents as a versatile camping solution, and that they sell in multiple global markets through e-commerce fulfillment.
  • 00:30:00 In this section, Alex Shirley-Smith, the founder of Tentsile, explains the company’s distribution process and how they manage different markets. They ship their products in bulk to warehouses in their biggest markets and then distribute from those hubs within three to five working days. If they don’t have a warehouse in a particular territory, they direct their customers towards support options for real-time shipping quotes, as international shipping without a warehouse can be very expensive. The company is always streamlining and finding more efficient ways of doing things, although there are still parts of the process that are manual. When Tentsile started, it was just Kirk and Alex, but it quickly grew past their capabilities, so they now have a team of directors, managers, and staff in different markets.
  • 00:35:00 In this section, Alex Shirley-Smith, the founder and inventor of Tentsile, shared the story of how they came to own their factory in China. Initially, they started with a third-party manufacturing factory, but due to recurring issues with every batch, they were encouraged by their client manager to open their own factory. So, they rented a floor in a bigger building and purchased seven machines, but soon after they opened, the government shut them down due to the claims of the corrupt officials that they had stolen their design. However, they didn’t let it stop them and instead opened a second factory on the other side of town, which they only referred to as storage, to fulfill the orders while going through court procedure against their accusers.
  • 00:40:00 In this section, Alex Shirley-Smith discusses the history of how Tentsile’s factory in China came to be and the fortunate circumstances that allowed them to find a trustworthy partner who understood Western values and the importance of quality. He explains that they are slowly disentangling themselves from their partner in China and looking into diversifying their risks by starting a small US manufacturing base to have a backstop and to produce an American-made range. This is because the world is uncertain, and it’s essential to keep an eye on the next thing to give their legs enough.
  • 00:45:00 In this section, the founder of Tentsile, Alex Shirley-Smith, talks about the company’s initiative on sustainability and tree planting. For every tent or camping hammock sold, the company plants 20 trees, which they carefully select partners to manage and maintain. They aim to create sustainable economies at the local level, encouraging individuals who used to cut trees to now plant them instead. While they recognize that new trees don’t compare to the biodiversity of a mature primary forest, it’s crucial to protect these primary forests that are the real problem in deforestation. Shirley-Smith recommends the book “Let My People Go Surfing” by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, for entrepreneurs looking for inspiration on running businesses that do good.
  • 00:50:00 In this section of the video, Alex Shirley-Smith shares that the best businesses are those born out of passion, which can sustain one’s lifestyle while doing good for the planet. He discusses his passion for creating tree houses and tree tents that connect people with nature in different ways. He also recommends electric bikes as an innovative product that can take cars off the streets and bring people closer to nature. When it comes to productivity tools, Shirley-Smith praises Shopify for simplifying e-commerce and web-building, calling it a marvelous tool. He is inspired by the influx of creative outdoor startups that are geared towards making the natural world more accessible, comfortable, clean, and preserved for future generations. Finally, his best business advice is to stay focused on the passion that inspired the business and to walk more lightly on the earth, doing good for the planet.
  • 00:55:00 In this section, Alex Shirley-Smith, the founder of Tentsile, talks about the reality of starting up a business and being an entrepreneur. He explains that it’s not about avoiding failure but rather about how many times you try again despite being kicked down. He believes that perseverance is the true grit and drive of an entrepreneur. Alex also lets viewers know that they can purchase his portable treehouses at strengths Tentsile.com.

People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Book: Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile

00:59The business idea
04:38The product design
13:56Target Market
22:36Educating the market
29:45Fulfillment and warehousing
35:25Factory purchase in China
45:09Tree planting initiative
49:04Rapid fire round

Rapid Fire

In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile

  1. Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard)
  2. An innovative product or idea and the current eCommerce, retail, or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: Electric Bikes)
  3. A business or productivity tip that you would recommend (Response: Shopify)
  4. Best business advice you ever received (Response: You will always be kicked down but it’s the number of times you can find the energy to get back up and keep going. That is the true grit and drive of an entrepreneur)

Interview Transcript

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Hey, there’re entrepreneurs. My name is Sushant and welcome to Trep Talks. This is a show where I interview successful e-commerce entrepreneurs, business executives, and thought leaders, and ask them questions about their business story, and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses.

And today I’m really excited to welcome Alex Shirley Smith to the. Alex is the founder and CEO of Tenile. Tenile is a company that sells three tents and giant hammocks with a mission to get more people to take interest in our forested environment. And today I’m gonna ask Alex few questions about his journey and some of the strategies and tactics that he has used to start.

So thank you so much for joining me today at Trip Talk. I really 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: appreciate it. Thank you very much for having me, and thanks for that introduction. Very. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, very, very interesting, uh, company. And it seems like there’s definitely a mission, uh, behind it. So can you share a little bit about how did you get the idea for this, and maybe even a little bit about yourself.

Like, what were you doing before starting this company and, um, you know, how, how did the I idea come to you and, and what made you really decide to start your 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: own business? Uh, well, when I was six, I’ll start the beginning. Sure. . When I was six, we had a, uh, very informative, uh, children’s news program in, uh, in the uk on the b BBC called News Round.

And one day they showed the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest, and I couldn’t believe my eyes, uh, couldn’t believe that the adults of the world were allowing that to happen. I couldn’t believe that, uh, you know, by the time I became. An adult, there might not be much of it left. Uh, even as an eight, uh, six year old, I understood that this was one of the most important, um, environmental ecosystems on the planet, you know, and, uh, if you put the world in imbalance, we are headed for catastrophe.

That was just something I already knew innately as a child. Um, and, but of course as a six year old, you’re like, well, what can I do about that? . Um, and then about two months later, or same kind of time period, my grandmother took me to see Return of the Jedi, the second, uh, the third, sorry, star Wars installment at the time.

And, uh, when the Ewok Village appeared on screen, I had a eureka moment and I was like, that is how you save trees. You put people in trees and you give the trees a. other than their monetary value as timber or their cutting down to make farmland. So if you can put people in trees, then you save the trees and the people get closer connected to environment.

Of course, as a six year old, I didn’t know how to do that, but I did know that. Then I wanted to start, you know, learning about tree houses and how to build tree houses. So I basically went on that journey, um, and. . By the time I got to 18, I realized that if I wanted to be a Treehouse architect, I had to jump in the deep end and become a, you know, registered architect and do the full 70 year program, which took me a bit longer than that cuz I was , you know, doing other things as well in my life.

But, um, I did qualify as an architect and then I did work in the Treehouse business for about 10 years until the crash in 2008. and then no one was buying expensive, architecturally designed tree houses. Anymore after that financial crash. Uh, but I wasn’t done build, uh, giving tree houses to people. So I, uh, pivoted and I went into tree tents.

Uh, decided that I would make very cheap tree houses that were easily transportable, easily portable and easily stored away when you didn’t want to use them and pop up when they, when you did want to. So effectively tensile was born out of the drive to make a, a treehouse in a bag. That’s what it is. Tree tensiles are treehouses and dyna hammocks in a sports size bag that you can put up with practice in about 10 minutes.

Um, so that, that was the genesis of tensile and, uh, we’ve been going now for 10 years. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And the design for this product is that, is that something that you came up on your own, like, um, or, or was that something that already existed and uh, you’re just that product and selling it, or you have like modified the design that, that was already in existence?

Cause I know hammock was like, uh, or is a common idea, but seems like, uh, your three are kind of like, uh, uh, a more developed version of, uh, 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: Yeah, so I, I did start, um, camping out in hammocks, um, but I never found them. That’s satisfactory. You, you know, I’m, I’m a front sleeper for a start, and it’s hard to do in a, in a piece of material that’s kind of hanging between two points and bending in the middle.

And even when you get the big ones where you, you know, supposedly lie diagonally to get a flat lay, it’s never that comfortable and quite restrictive. And being on your front or your side, you’re definitely like enclosed and, uh, a little bit claustrophobic. Mm-hmm. so, Um, you know, with my knowledge of architecture and, uh, my drive to do, uh, lightweight architecture, um, you know, with what I’d learned, I, I was on a kind of mission to build and, and come up with a concept that created the maximum usable space with the minimum amount of materials.

And of course, Um, conventional architecture, conventional building uses the principles of the principle force of, um, compression. So you put things on top of each other and everything sits, you know, on, on stuff as it’s being built up. Um, but. There is another type of architecture, which is tension architecture.

Um, sort of pioneered by a guy called Buckminster Fuller in the Ameri in, in America in 1920s. And, um, and, you know, uh, suspension bridges and lightweight structures like that, born out of that architecture. And that is instead of. Using, uh, compression, you use tension to create space. So I kind of decided that if I could make something that was intention being pulled out to create usable space for a human, uh, that would use less materials.

Um, so it has less of a carbon footprint, but also it’s. Lighter and easily, more easily transportable. So, um, it’s tensile was born out of a, uh, desire to use tension instead of compression. And I made a few very clumsy prototypes in the beginning stages. And luckily, you know, that got picked up by some, uh, green web design forum.

Um, which went viral to a certain extent. Like I had a small website and it, it got crashed the, the day that my article got published and 40,000 hits overnight on the website and many, many more emails than I could keep up with, um, responding to. But one of those guys, uh, was somebody who sent along a picture of his.

Which I really liked it, used the same principles of tension to create his tent. And I said, well, where in the world are you? Cause I was having emails from all over the world and he said, I’m in South London. And I said, brilliant. I’m in North London, let’s meet up. And this guy, Kurt Kirche, I’ll give him a name, name shout.

Um, he, uh, He had just finished product design, um, one of London’s premier product design schools, St. Martin’s. And uh, and he said, well, why aren’t you using any poles at all to keep the roof up? Cuz I’m, I was using sort of all kinds of complicated systems cuz I’d sort of made myself the mission to not use any poles at all.

Everything had to be, you know, uh, straps or fabric and pulled into tension. And he said, but if you just let go of your, uh, Of that one principle, uh, then you can create the base out of tension, but the roof can be lightweight and pop up with aluminum poles. So a kind of combination between our two, um, visions came together and we prototyped it and it worked.

And it sound, uh, you know, it worked really well. And, 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: and off we read. . So the, the whole idea of the tent rather than a ham, like an enclosed space. W was it like what, 10 style, uh, 10 style. Was the, uh, the first company to do that, or were there other, uh, uh, structures out there that were using like, uh, you know, as you said, poles and stuff to do that, and, and your design was a, an, an 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: incremental improvement of that?

We, we were the. Company to, uh, go into production yet on a, um, tension tensioned platform, uh, using ratchet straps and ratchets to create enough tension to, to maintain its flat floor, um, even when people are on it. and, and, and that’s how we created the tension. Ham much don’t use tension. They, they kind of hang between pub, pub points.

Yeah. But what we did was, um, well what I did before I met Kirk was I decided that, um, you know, uh, a spider’s web would be a very good sort of, um, model to use for. And so it was born out of biomimicry really. So, um, seeing what a spider did, and a spider always makes a perfect spiral. Within a larger TI triangle, which goes to three points, always three points.

And it doesn’t matter how far away one of those points might be, they’ll always find a line in and create that triangular framework within which to, so I decided you, if you look at a spider web like that, but you turn it horizontally like that and you, you kind of pull it down like that, you start to become, you have.

3D shape. Well, if you, if you push it up with poles, you get a 3D shape also, and you, you use that spider web as your inspiration to make a very lightweight structure that’s very strong and you know, usable. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And I see on your side, you definitely have the three, you have one, one person, three, two, it’s a difference that if it’s a, if it’s, if your time is 40 more person, it’s.

it’s somehow more, um, uh, uh, reinforced like with the material, what, what material actually is this, that, that actually is able to hold the weight of people 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: well. Most materials will actually hold the weight of people because fabric is actually inherently very strong. It’s got thousands and thousands, hundreds of thousands of fibers that are interwoven, um, you know, this way and that way, warp and weft.

So, and they, and they interlink and they spread any load between them. Um, so, you know, even a sheet, um, if it’s. By enough people will hold a person in the middle. Of course, point loads become tricky because, uh, if you stand on a pencil, you know the point load will perforate that. But if you are sitting down or lying down or even kneeling up, your knees are enough of a, uh, area, um, to, to spread that load enough that you’re not gonna make a point load that’s sufficient to, to break through.

But we, we, we do use, um, a pretty. Uh, you know, sophisticated fabric graft laws, which is a polyester nylon composite mesh, which is, is mostly comp, uh, polyester, but it has a nylon, uh, hexagon thread through it. So as a kind of rip stop material. And then we reinforce that with a thin PE coating, which is waterproof base, basically, uh, for ev any camping tent, high-tech camping tent.

Um, and that stops. Any of the fibers getting out of shape or, um, you know, pulling in one direction or another. It’s like a glue that holds the whole lot together. So with, with that, um, reinforced around the edges and through the middle, uh, with, by. Seatbelt, five ton seat belts, uh, car seat belts. Um, you, you can, you make a frame out of the seatbelt, and then the, um, fabric is stretched between the seatbelt frame and, and there you have something that’s adjustable.

So that’s a very important thing, uh, to have it adjustable, um, which our early prototypes didn’t have, but it needs to be adjustable because certainly on the two person models, If it’s not adjustable, uh, you’ll either be rolling outwards or you’ll be rolling inwards because it’s very unlikely, you know, certainly in a married couple, the, the two people weigh the same, and you’ve got to have a way to calibrate the tent, uh, in order for those, for the lightest one to not always be rolling towards the heaviest one or the heaviest one, not to be thrown onto the lightest one.

So we, we have. Calibration points in all of our tents. So you can fine tune, um, any of our tents to the occupants that it’s going to hold so that everybody is in their own bay separated by a spine of seatbelt. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. And so if someone wants to use a treat, and obviously in order to hold the, you need three, at least three trees or three poles or something to, to tie the, the ends of the tent.

Um, in terms of user, like I’m, I’m assuming the people who camp or the camping, uh, uh, crowd would be like one target market for you. Um, do, uh, and I, I, I see on your website you also offer like ground and, and things like this. Um, , can you share a little bit about, you know, who your target market, like, it seems like you, you, you’re definitely targeting all the different kinda people who are camping and stuff.

Um, what have you learned about your market market so far and 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: who’s actually buying the market’s? An interesting one because at first, at first we were aiming them at, you know, families with. And, uh, because it’s a portable treehouse, right? Who doesn’t want a den? Who doesn’t want a, a, a, something that you can climb into, hide away.

Um, secret spot in the middle of the woods that’s comfortable sleep out, you know, without any creepy crawlies, insect mesh, you know, proof, uh, from the bugs and stuff. Um, but actually it was the really, the American adventurers that picked us up first. So it was those people that wanted. Go a little bit further, trek a little bit harder.

Um, camping places, no one’s ever camped before. And those were the guys that were really our, um, our pioneers, the people that, you know, really helped us take off. Uh, the slack liners, the high liners, the, uh, kayakers, the, you know, the people that really did use the outdoors for adventure. And, and then slowly though, Kind of widened and widened and we, and we started to create new models that targeted different markets in different ways.

So your lone hiker, they needed a really lightweight, super lightweight, super quick, fast, uh, solution to stick up, um, the families. Um, Came back into, uh, back into the kind of wider demographic because of course, after adventurous and campers, other people want treehouse in their backyard. And then we started, you know, stacking them and creating solutions for stackable tensile module.

So having it modular so you can build them up over time and enclose them, make them weatherproof on all levels. Um, and so now there really isn’t, um, A limit really apart from your imagination, how you can use our products, whether it be from the one person super lightweight to a nine person super stack, uh, or 12 person or however high you want to go with, however strong those trees are that you’ve got.

Um, we wouldn’t suggest doing it with. Poles or chimneys or, uh, posts because the lateral force is actually much, uh, bigger than, bigger than you think. And, um, of course you tension it up as hard as you can before you even get in. And then, so, so it’s under, you know, about nine kilotons of, of pressure before you get in and then you get in and that puts even more pressure on.

So we, we have a, a kind of. Uh, tree diameter guide for every model. So you can use this one with smaller trees, you can use this one no less than 15 inch diameter trees, whatever, whatever. So, uh, we hopefully now have a range that spans pretty much a very wide demographic. Um, just interestingly though, um, one of the demographics we really didn’t consider, but has been a really nice surprise for the wheelchair users and the people with.

And older people, so with bad backs and, uh, people with, with spine problems, because of course you’re off the ground, you don’t have any of that hard ground issue. And for the wheelchair users, um, because the tents are raised up, you can actually set it at the same height as a wheelchair. So it’s easy for.

Wheelchair users to, to maneuver themselves from their chair into the tent and back rather than down onto the ground. And then trying to get back up into a wheelchair. You can have them on par with each other. So we really are reaching demo demographic, uh, demographics that we hadn’t intended to, but really well, nicely surprised that.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: and, uh, in terms of reaching your target customers, um, have you seen growth year over year in your business and, and is it really coming from the product being more, um, or the market becoming more aware of this kind of a product or, you know, you are doing more marketing to, to educate the market and, and 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: bring them in?

Well, I would say that for the first five years, um, our growth was completely organic. We didn’t really pay for any marketing. We didn’t pay for any ad spend. We hadn’t, we had no marketing budget and we didn’t need it. We were kind of growing through word of mouth. Um, and, and then as the, as, as the kind of novelty factor wore off and, and fewer publications were writing about us without us.

Them to, um, we obviously had to sort of conform into a much more, uh, ordinary, uh, market, uh, marketing shift, uh, and become, you know, we were, we were sad to become just a normal company, a normal outdoor company. Um, and so it has been a slow shift towards, um, a much. A conventional approach. Um, but we continue to innovate.

We continue to make headlines every now and again, not as much as we used to, but because we were a category divi defining product when we first came out. No one had seen anything like it before. Um, and now we are known by people. I don’t think we’re known by that many people yet, but we, we certainly have become much more conventional in our approach to marketing.

Um, and, uh, what was the second half of that question? Um, 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: yeah, I mean, uh, has your growth been, um, are you seeing like, oh, has it been growth? Yeah. Are, are you seeing like more and more demand in the marketplace or, um, well, I’m, I’m assuming there will be other competitors also entering the marketplace, but, uh, but are you seeing real quote.

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: we’ve been quite lucky, um, about competitors. Uh, we’ve got very strong ip, uh, so we haven’t seen that many, um, what you would call legal competitors. We’ve certainly seen our fair share of Chinese knockoffs, and we’ve, we continue to battle some of those, and some people go out and buy those. And I, I think most of the people that do that are sorely disappointed because the, um, the people that are copying.

Don’t know some of the tricks that we use to stop everyone rolling into the middle. So people buy ’em and everyone rolls into the middle and they say, ah, this didn’t work very well. And we’re like, well, you know, you, you, you buy what you pay for basically. Um, but year on year growth, we, we, our website certainly, but what we did, uh, between years kind of three and eight is we went out quite hard on wholesale.

Um, and so we grew. Fast when we went out to wholesale and, uh, we reached a wider audience and, and, you know, had a, had a bigger market share. But what we found with the wholesale route was that very few of the retailers actually spent the time to learn about our product. So their customers would come in, buy a tree tent, go.

And not be educated properly about it. And, and the, uh, you know, customer service assistance in the retail shop. Hadn’t any real idea or any real knowledge about how to put the product up so the people would bring it back and say, I couldn’t put it up. Oh, you didn’t tell me it needed three trees, or, you know, whatever, whatever.

Um, and, and the retailers would give ’em a refund and then that would come back to us and in the end we were just like, well, this isn’t working for us. Really, the educational piece isn’t, isn’t filtering through to those retail customers. So we decided to pull out of retail and educate people properly.

So, You know when people had a problem, they had customer service, who knew, had a deep knowledge about the product and knew how to help. . 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So are you, I mean, in terms of education, are you, do you have like a YouTube where you’re creating, uh, videos to educate the market or even, you know, educate the retailer for people who are working in, in the, in retail trying to sell your product?

Uh, is that, uh, I mean, one, I I find a lot of businesses that are in this kind of a situation where they have to do a proper education of the market. They leverage YouTube very well. Are you, are you doing some of. 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: Uh, well, all of our YouTube videos are embedded also into our website, so when people go and see the product, they, they’re also able to see, you know, a, a setup video, a pack down video, and a quick features video overview, which is the, the first video they actually come across.

So they, they can see the pictures, they read the blurb, then they see the, the kind of short 32nd, these are the features, this is how to use it. And then like the, the, the more, um, Knowledge they gain and the deeper the research they do. I mean, our tents are not cheap, so they’re not usually, um, you know, um, impulse purchases.

These are considered purchases. These are people that visit the website two or three times before they buy. Um, some of them are a thousand, thousand dollars tents, so, They people, our, our customers do their research. They watch the videos, they get educated beforehand, usually. And then when it turns up, they’ve been, they’re ready to go.

They, they’re, they got, they understand how to use a ratchet. They’ve seen all the videos. Um, and uh, we get very few, uh, people coming back to us and saying, oh, I didn’t understand how to put it up. Cuz they’ve done their research before. . 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And do you, like, do you have people on the phone or like salespeople who, if, if it is, um, a kind of a, a product where people want to understand all the ins and out before making the purchase, do you have like more of a selling kind of a model where people can call, call in and try to understand, talk to a person who’s more deeply, um, understanding of the product and its features and how it works?

And so, 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: Yeah, so there have been many times when we’ve been offered a kind of worldwide customer service service. Um, but the educational piece is so huge that to get a kind of third party customer service provider to be fully educated as a three or four month process. And then even then, they’re gonna be coming with questions that they, they don’t know.

So what we, what we tend to do is we tend to leverage the, uh, the chat, the live chat function. Uh, on our website, uh, because that can be manned, you know, in UK office hours when we are all at work and, you know, on, on busy days. We can do it in the evenings as well cuz we can spread that burden between members of the team.

But, um, in, in 2019, uh, up until 2019, we had, uh, US staff based in, you know, Utah. So we were able to do that customer service piece, um, in real time. Um, during the working day in America, but it didn’t, you know, that, that became very expensive. So we’ve pulled back and if people wanna get hold of us, we are, we’re available at, you know, support@tensile.com or on our live chat on the website.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, so, uh, I’m on your website. I’m looking at these 10, I mean, like, the, the photography looks really good. And if you look, I think if you look from the top, it almost looks like, uh, you know, you do get an impression of what spider web and so forth, but to me it seems like it’s almost in order to, if I were buying something like this, let’s say my, my big question would be, or my big concern would be that I have to find those three.

Perfectly diameter trees in order to be able to use it. And if I’m going, uh, you know, anywhere, let’s say by a lake or something like that, how are, how am I going to find that in order to position this? Uh, so why not just purchase like a regular camping tent? Um, how, like, do you, is that a concern for a customer?

Can, if yes, how do you deal? 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: I think, um, it is a concern of customers and I think it is a barrier, uh, that people come across when they’re, you know, thinking about buying, uh, one of our tents. The diameter I’m not too worried about because, you know, many places have trees with a diameter of 10 inches or, you know, between 10 and 20 inches.

That’s not, not hard to find. I’m not even worried about, um, the triangulation because as I say, just like. Spiders Web where sometimes they have one or two very long. Um, Tensioned tethers, uh, are our straps do the same thing. So within any, any, uh, sort of combination of, of three trees, as long as it’s not more oblique than a right angle, our tents will fit in.

And if there’s more than three trees in your area, so forest, then sometimes you might have to bypass. The closest one and get the one just behind it, that’s in a better angle. But once you start seeing the triangles setup really is not a problem. It’s just, it’s a bit of a mind shift, uh, to start seeing everything in triangles.

Um, but once you do that, you know, they’re really. The, the, the places to set up become very, very numerous. Uh, plus about two or three years ago, we, we did bring out a ground conversion kit, and most of our tents now do convert to ground tents. Um, if you are in a place where trees aren’t, um, available, but, you know, one, one of the things I would say about ground tense is you always need a bit of flat ground.

And, uh, God didn’t make the ground. . So you know, whether you wanna be right next to a lake or a stream or a river or, or side of a mountain, or top of a hill, or, you know, uh, in a, in a forest. Or anywhere in the wilderness. It’s quite hard to find sort of empty flat ground unless you’re in a desert, uh, or, or grass planes.

Um, uh, but other than that, you know, you’ve got lumpy, bumpy, wet, muddy, snake ridden. Scorpion, uh, inclined this way, that way, you know, ground conditions are not perfect. Um, and the one thing about our 10 is it really doesn’t matter what the ground conditions are. You can set up over a, you know, hillside as long as it’s got trees that are all obviously all vertically pointing you, you.

Set your tent up and, uh, you’ve got a flat platform to sleep on with no, with no problems. And a lot of kayakers and canoes when they’re going down on river trips, you know, there, there are beaches, but the, the banks of the river are not flat, so you can set up on those trees, um, right next to your canoe over the river in some cases.

Um, I, I, I believe it’s a, it’s a much more versatile way of camping than, uh, traditional. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. Um, I see on your website you do, uh, charge or you do, uh, seems like you’re, you’re selling in multiple markets, Australia, Canada, China, Europe, uh, us. Um, is it really, uh, e-commerce fulfillment or do you have like presence or warehouses in each 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: different market?

Yeah, we have to do that. Yeah. We, we, we bulk. Our products to warehouses in each of the, in each of the locations that are our biggest markets. And, uh, and from those hub warehouses, we can distribute within, uh, three to five working days to any of our customers. There are cust, there are places in the world where it takes longer and those count as kind of international shipping.

Um, I think in general we do not allow. Customers to go through automatically. We, they’re, they are kind of, uh, sign posted towards, you know, support at, for an email and, uh, a con or, or the live chat for a conversation so that we can get them a realtime shipping, uh, quote. Because if, uh, if we don’t, if we don’t have a warehouse in their territory, it gets very expensive, very fast, um, to have anything shipped.

So yeah, that’s how we work. Oh, 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: cool. Um, So how, how, how difficult is it to manage different markets? How big is your team? Are you the one who’s, or, or is it really you have created systems in a way where, you know, everything is automated, you know, uh, your supplies can be shipped to different warehouses and then the warehouse takeover all, and, and your orders are transmitter using the software and so forth.

Uh, so it doesn’t really require a lot of in-country management. 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: It’s a constantly evolving process, so we, we are always streamlining, we are always come, coming up with more efficient ways of doing things. And yes, to 90% degree, um, if the warehouses are fully stocked, an order will come through, get diverted, or click through to the right warehouse, and next day it’ll be shipped without us having to touch it.

Um, invariably though, somebody will stick in an accessory that the Warehouse doesn’t have. Hmm. Cause we, we have quite a large range of add-ons and mod cause it’s all modularized. Hmm. Um, We’ve got, you know, a big, a big range. And of course, they’ll pick the one thing that, you know, we don’t have in stock or is just run out of stock.

So their, their order, they can get stuck in the system. I can’t move forward. The warehouse can’t dispatch it. We’re missing a piece. And then in those cases, we have to manually come in, uh, override the system. Uh, maybe email the person to say, that piece isn’t yet in stock, but it’s coming next week. Or in, you know, Month’s time, it’ll follow on.

Uh, so there, there are definitely parts of the process that are manual still and will continue to be as far as I can see, you know, into the future. You, you always need to have, uh, a finger on the pulse anyway. It’s pretty good to have a reason to keep an eye out on what’s going on and make sure that you are regularly in touch with people who are having difficulty or need a special, you know, bit of.


Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Can you share a little bit about your team? Uh, you. How you’re managing the business and, and how has your team evolved since you launched the product? Uh, 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: this business? Yeah. So when we started, it was, uh, Kirk and I, um, and then it quickly grew to, uh, pass our capabilities to, to, uh, manage on our own.

So I brought in a brother. . And then, and then I think we, I brought in another brother, maybe a couple of other people first. Um, but eventually, like both my brothers started working for us and then we started opening shops in u in America. So we had one in Utah, one in, or, uh, Washington, uh, no, Oregon, pardon me, bent Oregon.

And uh, so at some point there was like, you know, six staff in America and 12 staff in the uk. Uh, we bought our own factory in China so that we could have full control over, uh, quality and uh, supply. Um, so we, we do run the factory in China as well, that’s got 22 people in it. Um, but that kind of runs itself.

We’ve got a factory manager there that’s kind of a, a nice. Piece by itself. Kirk left us in 2017, uh, and now we have, you know, marketing director, finance director, sales director, me as c e o. Um, and then we’ve got three people in marketing, you know, uh, one running e-commerce, one running the communications, and, um, And, uh, imagery and assets and one doing collaborations, partnerships, and our sort of brand outreach.

Um, then we’ve got a general manager who works under me and makes sure that everyone’s doing their job, so I don’t have to. And, um, And we’ve got various people in operations just making sure that the stuff’s being built at the right time. Uh, going to the right factories, right, right. Warehouses and making sure that we know where the ships are, where the containers are on the ships, on the sea, uh, any one point point so that we know when they’re about to arrive.

So yeah, between the 12 of us, we’ve got it pretty much all covered at the moment. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, it is a, it’s a big theme. Um, I definitely am very interested to learn a little bit about, more about your, uh, manufacturing. And you said, you know, you purchase, you decided to purchase the whole factory. Can you share a little bit more about what that is, um, how that came about and what, what does it take to buy a factory in China?

Like what are the considerations from like a legal perspective or. Was it, was it just that the factory that was producing it, you basically bought it and all the workers that were working continued working? 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: No, it certainly wasn’t that. Um, uh, we, we did start off manufacturing with a third party, 10 manufacturing, you know, historical, 25 year tent manufacturing factory.

Um, tent factory. Um, but they, you know, our, our tents are complicated and they kept getting something wrong. Every batch had something wrong. This missing that, missing that was too wiggly. That line’s not straight. You know, like there’s, there was always something that we, uh, could complain about. And on one visit to China, Uh, client manager who was the guy that spoke English that took us around and took us to dinner and stuff.

Uh, he, he, at one point he heard me and Kirk, you know, complaining basically, and he said, um, why don’t you guys just open your own factory? And we are like, well, cause we’re westerners. We dunno how to do that in China. How, how would we possibly open a factory in China? And he said, well, I’ll quit my job and I’ll come and work for you.

And we’re. Alright. And who would, you know, who, who would make, make the tents? And he, and he was like, we’ll, take her, him, him and her and her brother. They’re the best ones. And, uh, and we’ll, and we’ll take them . So we took them all out for dinner and. And they all said, yeah, cuz they didn’t like that factory.

Like they, the, the working conditions weren’t great. They had to bring their own toilet paper. It was like open set success pit, you know? Okay. It wasn’t a great working condition. Um, so I don’t think they had to think that hard about. , you know, these guys are offering us better money and better working conditions, uh, for a Western company direct.

And, uh, we’ll take that job. Thank you very much. So the first time, first, so when we opened our first factory, we actually rented a floor in a, in a bigger building. And so that was rented and, uh, we had a hundred grand in the bank and. put our rent down for a year, bought seven machines, filled up with all the components and materials that we needed, and that cost 98,000.

And we had two grand left in the bank. And we were like, well, this better work . And then, and, and it did for a week. Okay. Until, until the other factory that we had just pulled out of. Mm. We found out that they had been following us in our car and. Followed us to our new factory, and then they, because it’s corrupt local government, they went to the corrupt local government officials and said that we had stolen our own design from them and we’re making it a new factory.

So the government came and shut down our 10, our tent factory. It’s actually two weeks. Two weeks after we opened the door, the government came. told everyone to put their work down and get out, and then they put ticket tape across the door and they said, anyone break that ticket? Tape seal, you’re going into prison.

Hmm. But of course, we still had orders coming in, so, and we, and we were worried about being followed at that point, or spied on. So we decided to open a second factory, a new factory on the other side of. But we would only refer to it as the storage. So we opened the second factory. We bought three more machines.

We didn’t, all of that stuff was locked away, so we opened up another factory and, uh, kept going and business firing up as usual while we, um, went through a court procedure. . Um, we hired ourselves some snazzy lawyers from downtown, uh, downtown Chi Chinese town, corporate suits, spoke English, gave them the evidence they took us to court against.

Those people found favor of us. That guy got penalized, um, for calling like basically, Making things up. And uh, and then we had two factories in China, which we didn’t need, but we kept, I think the second one open for another six months before we wound it up. And then we bought a bigger building and that’s when we bought.

So then we stopped paying rent in those two places. Everything got amalgamated into one bigger factory, over three, uh, three floors. And uh, and that’s what we’ve been, where we’ve been making tensiles ever since. So there 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: is no, um, There, there, there’s no, uh, nothing preventing from someone, an international business buying a building or land in China.


Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: uh, well, we, we did it all through our, um, factory manager. So our client manager who became our factory manager’s name, everything went through him. He’s got the, you know, the national insurance number, he’s got all the certifications. Okay. Everything went through him. So I, I look, we got lucky. We got really lucky.

We found, uh, a partner in China that was oh. Spoke English, understood western values, understood the importance of quality and what Western customers are looking for. Um, and isn’t corrupt and is, you know, very honest and open. And I consider him a brother. You know, he’s, he’s, he’s, without him, we wouldn’t have a company today.

And, um, uh, certainly a lot of our good fortune is down to the moment. He said, why don’t you open a, your own factory? 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: That, that, that’s, that’s a, that’s probably one of the more, more, most interesting stories I’ve heard in on the podcast. So, so far. So, uh, I mean, just outta curiosity, uh, we like a partner in the business now, or, uh, 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: still an employee.

No. What’s happening now? Uh, actually what’s happening now is we, we are slowly disentangling ourselves from him. So he’s go, he owns, he now owns that. and, um, what we pay him from as a, as a manufacturing base, uh, is paying off the mortgage on that building. So he’s gonna come out with not only, he’s been paid the whole time, a salary, but he’ll come out with a factory in his name.

So like he’s paying off like a house, but it’s a factory. So he’ll come out with a quite expensive factory as his kind of nest egg. Uh, we pay him a salary. Pay the salaries of all the staff. He doesn’t pay the salaries of the staff. He doesn’t pay any of the, for any of the things that are inside the building.

We pay for all of that. The machines, the fabric, you know, down to the fact that we’ve got an in-house canteen supplying all the workers, uh, lunch and dinner onsite, uh, for free. So we, we pay for all, all of that. Um, but, but yeah, he, you know, he’s gonna own the factory. We’re gonna own the business. That’s how it’s working.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. Very, very interesting. Like, do you ever think, I mean, it’s so interesting, uh, do you ever think of risk management or diversifying, like having a, a second factory, maybe somewhere in South America or something, just in case, you know, almost like. When Covid happened and supply chain got disrupted, you know, some people’s had factories, so, you know, people tried diversifying and things like that.

And you, I mean, in life there’s never, things are never, uh, guaranteed like you ever think because you don’t, you’re not owning the factory. Do you ever think that something happens to the factory and you basically all your supplies got off? Like, do you ever think about risk management and. 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: Well, we are, we are.

We did start by making our product in the uk. We wanted to be a UK manufacturing tent company. Um, , it was just too expensive. Um, just recently we have started, um, looking at what it would cost to start up a small uk uh, sorry, US manufacturing base, um, to have that second, um, sort of backstop, um, and also to see if we can produce a, an American, uh, made range, um, you know, to.

To shore up against any kind of widening or, uh, increasing friction between us China trade. Um, so that we are, we are thinking about that and we are making moves to make that happen. Um, just because it’s, uh, you know, the world is uncertain. We are certainly, uh, , you know, this time last year, we wouldn’t know there’s gonna be a massive war in, in Europe, uh, for the first time in a hundred years.

So, um, it is, it is one of those things where you’ve got to kind of keep your eye on, on the next thing to give your legs enough, sorry to give your business enough legs to stand up on, just in case one of them gets kicked out from underneath. Definitely. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, very quickly I want to talk about, uh, your, um, initiative on the sustainability or or tree planting side.

Uh, on your website, you mentioned that, uh, you plant 20 trees for every tent or camping hammock that you sell. Can you share a little bit about that and, um, why, what, what made you decide to do that? 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: The company was born out of a love of trees. And of course, as everyone knows, we are losing trees, uh, on a global scale every single day.

Um, I think it’s a football pitch every second. And so we very early decided that, you know, it was as long, uh, sorry, as alongside educating people about the, um, Uh, detrimental effects to the planet of deforestation and losing our primary forests and stuff. And, you know, um, losing our, uh, forested environments.

We were very keen to put back. Now we straightaway started planting three trees for every tree tent that we sold and that quickly gathered pace. We didn’t think we were doing fast, you know, enough foresting, so. Increase that over the years. Now we, we sort of rest at about 20, we rest at 20 trees per product sold.

But the, the problem with that is, you know, these are new trees. And we picked our partners very carefully. We know that the trees, uh, have an 80%, uh, survival rate. These aren’t just, you know, this isn’t just lip service. Oh, someone’s planting trees walking away. Within a month, the seedlings are dead because no one’s looking after them.

These are, uh, we, we work with, um, you know, tried and tested very long-standing partners who, who know. To, uh, plant a mix of indigenous species. They know how to nurture them. Uh, they know how to, um, create circular economies within the, uh, mostly third world where these are being, um, planted. So what we’re trying to do is get the people who are cutting trees to feed their family and pay them the same or.

To encourage them to plant trees and uh, um, heal the landscape. That they used to 10 years ago. Uh, pillage, right? Mm-hmm. , uh, everyone needs to feed their families. Everybody needs an income. Um, and it’s just how you, uh, create those sustainable economies at a local level, um, that that means. Difference between deforestation and reforestation, you know, and, uh, there’s been a huge, uh, mushrooming of ecotourism and, and all things are moving slowly in the right direction.

Maybe we’ll get there, maybe we won’t. But the, the, the, the problem is that even however many trees we plant, these are saplings, these are young trees. These are, you know, growing. New plantations, they will not reach the biodiversity of a mature primary forest for about 400 years. So they are not a, uh, like for like, um, comparison.

These won’t, these are gen forests for the future generations. What we need to. Is make sure that we are protecting the old growth forest that we have left, because those are where the biodiversity is. Those are where the, uh, the chemistry happens, um, and, and where the real life is. So it’s really important that everybody understands that deforestation of primary forest is, is, is the, uh, is is the real problem.

So protecting those is our primary focus. Awesome. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Uh, I know we are a little bit over time. Uh, do you have five more minutes or, um, yeah. Do you have, sure. Okay. So, so we’re gonna quickly do then our rapid segment, and in this segment I’m gonna ask you few quick questions and you maybe one or two words sentence, one book recommendation for entrepreneurs or business professionals 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: and why.

I’m reading at the moment. Oh, sorry. Really short, uh, let my people surf by Eve Shinard, who, uh, started Patagonia. Why? Inspirational, environmentalist, businessman. He didn’t wanna be a businessman, but he is a businessman and they, they’re a business that does good and we try to be a business that does good.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So any kinda like, uh, one your, um, I mean, I, I was, I was thinking maybe you’re, you’re inspired by him, but, but, uh, is he an inspiration for you? 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: Uh, yeah. Uh, I, I’ll, I’ll be honest, I’m only just getting round to reading his book now. , its recommended to me for over the years, obviously. But he, um, He, I, I, I, I’m reading his book and going, oh, that’s me.

I’m a reluctant businessman. I didn’t wanna be a businessman. I wanted to make tree houses. I wanted to make tree tens. I wanna make people happy. I wanna connect people with nature in different ways. But, um, you know, in order to do that, you have to have also, in order to make your passion, your life’s work, you have to.

Create an economy around it so that you can pay the mortgage. Um, and, and so I guess the best businesses are businesses, um, of passion because it’s what you love doing. And if it can sustain your lifestyle while you’re doing it and you’re doing good for the planet on, then that’s 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: a good business. Uh, an innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited.

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: Oh gosh. Um, electric bikes. Why not? I just got one. They’re pretty cool, you know? Okay. They charge up and they amplify your power, get you wherever you want, um, much faster. Um, and with much less effort than a normal bike. Of course, they use electricity, which is, you know, Has a carbon footprint, but what they are doing around London is taking cars off the streets.

So, at the moment, the transformation certainly in London and Europe has been, uh, quite extraordinary to watch over the last two or three years when, you know, electric bikes have really hit the mainstream. So I can see less cars on the street, more people on the bikes, and that’s a good thing, 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: a business or productivity tool or soft, uh, tool or software.


Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: productivity tip?

Well, for us, Shopify came out just before or just as we were starting, and I have to say, they have produced a business tool, which is just. Incredible. It’s taken us from zero business understanding or e-commerce understanding or web building understanding. So simple. All of a sudden you’re selling your product all the way around the world and all the taxes are being collected and, uh, you know, they’ve really done a marvelous job of making something so complex, so simple.

you could start your business tomorrow and it would be a very organic, um, fast, uh, learning curve. But you know, all the tools are at your fingertips. It’s very easy to understand. I think that’s a pretty amazing development. Uh, 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: another startup or business in e-commerce retailer tech that you think is currently doing.

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: Ah, did see a couple the other day, but now you are asking go straight outta, straight outta my head. What I do know is that every time I turn around, there is another innovative, um, creative outdoors startup brand that’s bringing, um, more, uh, more attention to spending. in the great outdoors in a, uh, to, to, to more people.

And I think, you know, I’m, we’re in the outdoor space. Tensile is in the outdoor space. Um, so that’s where my focus, you know, and attention is. Um, but I, I find it really inspiring that there’s still so much more creativity and new businesses to come out of that sector, and they are all geared towards, Taking people away from screens and, and, and, you know, making the natural world more accessible to us, more comfortable for us, more clean, more, uh, you know, more well preserved, you know, since, you know, uh, Patagonia’s.

Startup phase where they realized that when they were rock climbing, the pitons that they were using was damaging the rocks. And in 20 years time, they could see, oh, if everyone starts doing this, the, you know, El Capitans gonna be absolutely decimated. It’s just gonna be a pile of rubble on the floor.

We’ve gotta change the way we think so that this landscape is not destroyed for the next generation, the next generation. Uh, that, that I’ve, you know, that is what excites me. And the fact that people are, Still being creative and in innovative about how they, um, can, uh, put walk more lightly on the earth while getting more people to do so is, is what what gets me excited.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. And final question, best business advice you ever received or you wouldn’t give to other entre? 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: No

uh, you know, cliches like, don’t give up. Right. You know, they, I know, I know. They, I know they, uh, they sound, they sound very, um, facile, but it’s, it’s not, it’s not. You will always be kicked. In the stomach and fall down. When you’re starting up a business, when you’re an entrepreneur, when you’re trying to do something new, when you’re trying to teach yourself something that you didn’t get taught at school.

When you’re trying to forge new ground, get people to listen to you, uh, change people’s minds, you will always be kicked and, you know, kicked down. And it’s not how hard you get. But it’s the number of times you can find the energy to get back up and keep going. That is the, that is the true grit and, uh, drive of an entrepreneur.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Definitely. And, and, uh, you know, I, I hear that again and again from, from, uh, the, the best entrepreneur. 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: So, well, I hope I haven’t been too cliche. None of those answers are two words long. Sorry about. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: That’s, that was, that was totally fine. Perfect. Well, Alex, uh, thank you, uh, so much. Um, those were all the questions that I had.

I wish I had more time to speak with you. But, uh, um, if anybody wants to purchase your products, what is the best way to do that? 

Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: tensile.com. T E N t, tent style tenile. Strength tensile.com. 

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Well, thank you Alex, again, really appreciate you sharing your time with us, sharing your story and tactic start.

So yeah, thank you again for joining me today. Alex Shirley-Smith of Tentsile: Thank very much for having.

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