A North Carolina-based tent and event rental company sets the stage for weddings of all kinds in the heart of a mountain community.
Hendersonville Tents Party and Event Rentals started with a dream—literally. In 1977, Lloyd Morgan went to bed as usual, and during the night dreamed that he could build a tent. He knew nothing about the tent industry but believed the dream was God-given, and so the following week he rented a sewing machine and purchased material for a tent. In an open field at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, Morgan sewed his first tent—and used it to host the first of many church revivals.
Seven years later, Morgan founded Hendersonville Tents. The company is now under the leadership of Steven and Stacy Bishop—the third generation to take the helm of what is now Hendersonville Tents Party and Event Rentals. When Steven and Stacy took over in 2012, the company no longer manufactured tents but provided tents, tables and chairs for rental. Since then they’ve added various forms of lighting, tent liners, tableware and linens to their inventory. “Operations for our company began as one crew and one person in the office, and continued that way until 2013,” Stacy says. “We then began running two to three crews weekly and hired a new team for the office. Our business has grown more than 60 percent in the last five years.”
The ethereal mist of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with rivers and streams punctuating deep green forests makes for an in-demand backdrop for destination weddings. And with more than half of Hendersonville Tents Party and Event Rentals’ business coming from weddings, the company is particularly busy during the spring and fall.
Along with unparalleled beauty, mountain events come with challenges. “Of course there is always the uneven ground to contend with,” Stacy says. “We have set up tents on the side of mountains, literally touching the side of a cliff. But in addition, we also have to contend with considerable high winds that come out of nowhere, so we’ve taught our staff to always be ready.”
While most of the weddings are traditional, unique and whimsical themes pop up from time to time, Stacy says. For a circus-themed wedding a couple chose a yellow-and-white striped tent; an array of earthy-toned linens set the mood for a hobbit-themed wedding; an Alice in Wonderland wedding featured a vintage tea party complete with a Cheshire cat; a princess mingled with sword-carrying knights at a medieval wedding.
The power of reviews
The company’s growth trajectory over the past five years has come with its own struggles, but it’s a nice problem to have, Stacy says. The company prides itself on making sure its customers have the best experience possible. To date, the company has 48 5-star and one 4-star Google reviews. And while they aren’t perfect, Stacy says, they strive to make sure every customer has a positive experience—and if they make a mistake they do their best to correct it.
“The industry is growing by leaps and bounds,” she says. “Even though we are a small company, growth is enormous. The needs customers have and the dreams of a Pinterest-perfect wedding are continuing to make the industry strong. The sky is the limit on what we can all accomplish!”