Ten years together and still building dreams, I guess is a good opening to our page. We would like to share an inside perspective on building a sustainable profitable business from our Farm in Rural Warwickshire.
Set amidst the family farm, Oaks Barn Farm is the home and business to Wayne & Sue who over the past eight years have set about shaping their future by providing an inspiring Farm Stay Experience set in Shakespeare’s England.
Whilst this will not be the first or last story, it’s ours and a journey we want to share in bite sized experiences and ramblings of the struggles and successes of shaping our slice of England for ourselves and for others to enjoy.
Whilst deciding on the title for this page “A View from the Farm”, seemed like a good place to start for the farm overlooks its fields and those of our neighbouring Farmland, an inspirational landscape of the Ragley Hall Estate who it’s reported could ride all the way from thier Warwickshire Estate to London, without crossing anyone else’s land (pre inheritance tax). I would say that Ragley were inspirational for building and maintaining an estate of this magnitude which requires vision this we feel is the best place from which to begin our journey with you.
At the point of starting our life together, we were both on that rat race treadmill that our modern world demands and lays out before us. traveling too far to work, to be on time for a meeting which none of the assembled group if given the choice would attend all of whom are living each weekday for the weekend and yearning for that holiday break and the chance to just step off the tread mill, if only for a short period of time.
But what if?
What if you could replace the week days with continuous weekends? What if rather than traveling to work by car, you could simply step outside to your office? What if rather than going to work, work could come to you? And what if you made your dream home the motivation for others to come and share your dream, if only for a week. With the help of feed back from customers you are able to develop and build on that dream to make it more perfect than the limits of your own imagination.
Our dream was to create a Luxury Farm Stay, which would provide an income for us, whilst at the same time allowing us to educate our guests by sharing our experience, in putting food from our field onto the table with all of the intracracies and attention to detail this requires.
Every dream in order to be realised has to start with one small step, fortunately we had this in the form of a partially converted Coach House, it had a roof and a floor, but would require significant time and work to turn this into a holiday destination that others would pay to experience.
Surround yourself with Good People
Our key to success would be recognising our strengths and weaknesses in order to identify how best to move forward and spend our time. We acknowledge and recognise the need to buy in expertees when required.
We have some good friends and family around us, who each in their own way bring something to the farm. This ranged from ideas, skills, help, sheep sheering, fencing, ditching and fruit picking.Whilst we could not pay for their time we could in return share some of the fruits of our combined labours.
A chance meeting over a pint one evening resumed a friendship that would prove to be invaluable to our combined success. Dave Phllips of Phillips Steel Construction put us in touch with a team of builders who could work weekends with us helping us to shape the infrastructure of our future. We would later pay back this favour in designing his website and supporting his dream of promoting his Steel Framed Shepherd Huts which re kindle times gone by with a modern twist of luxury in the form of Riverside Shepherd Huts.
We Have Riverside Shepherd Hut Number 1 on our Farm now which is linked to our newly converted Granary for guests to enjoy.Each year we enjoy a variety of Country Shows, our friends Dave and Jeanie who promote the Rural Living experience and the chance of yesteryear which so many people want to recapture.
In each and every one of us there is a yearning to experience years gone by and to recapture childhood memories of long hot summers, green pastures and a simplicity of eating apples straight from the tree, our sometimes over complicated lives prevent us from feeling the grass grow beneath our feet and prevent us from seeing and feeling what is real.