for the lot of of us here at Iron & Resin, being amateur carpenters at best, we'd have to say woodworking is one of the most rewarding things one can do. the amount of prep-work that goes into building something out of natural wood is sometimes unfathomable. hardness grade, measurements, materials, saw-to-sandpaper-back-to-the-saw-and-back-to-the-sandpaper, and repeat. but hell, with any passion and sweat labored product comes pride in finished product - and that's what it's all about.
our friends at Rustic Campers can speak to this beyond our woodworking skillset, that's for sure. and since we're only about 5,000 miles away from one another, we thought a quick little Q&A would work for now...
INR: you guys are from the UK. where exactly are you located there?
Rustic Campers: We currently live on the Welsh borders in the west of the UK. We moved back here after some years in Cornwall where Beck studied Textile Design and I climbed trees for a living. It was these years that deepened our love of the ocean and cemented our interest in surf, skate and subculture.
INR: tell us a little about yourselves and your rad work-life-environment there...
Rustic Campers: We are Bill and Becks Goddard.. cabin builders, camper van converters, surfers, skaters and long time bike shed sweethearts. We currently rent some old council sheds that we run our business’ from, have built a skate ramp in and where we mix work, play and generally try to not take life too seriously.
INR: you design and build some pretty insane build outs from camp rigs to glamping set ups. is this your full-time gig? how long have you been at it?
Rustic Campers: Yep, this is what we do all day and often too late into the night. We’ve been running Rustic Campers pretty much since we moved back from Cornwall in 2008, this business’ main focus is converting vans into tiny homes/ adventure vans and everything in between. A little while after that we became interested in other ways to chop wood up and make a mess so started up a sister company designing and building glamping retreats, from treehouses to wagons and cabins etc. This allows us to work in some pretty beautiful and wild places, often off the grid and off the beaten track.
INR: what are your favorite vehicle platforms to build out and where do you find inspiration for your builds?
Rustic Campers: Our most popular base vehicles are probably Sprinters but for the sake of individuality and character you can’t beat something vintage. We find inspiration from everyone that we've ever met on the road living out in the wilder places, too many to mention. Every trip we take fuels us to push things further and build in a more creative playful way. Other inspiration includes anyone you might come across in any of Lloyd Kahn’s Shelter publications books, I also have an old tatty signed copy of a great book called some turtles have nice shells which is pivotal in the direction our lives have gone.
INR: it seems like you’ve got a good partnership going between the two of you. can you describe each of your roles in the business?
Rustic Campers: We are very lucky and very compatible. So our roles are fairly fluid and constantly evolving but essentially we work together to design and build spaces that make us happy. My strengths are certainly more in the workshop or swinging around in a tree with a tool in my hand. Beck has an amazing eye for design and a head for the office but is equally at home on the tools and getting as dirty as the rest of us.
INR: surf, skate and moto, and a life around the outdoors. Plus, doing something you love to make a living. what advice do you have for someone aspiring to strike out on their own and live life on their own terms?
Rustic Campers: I don’t necessarily feel like I’m in a position to give advice to anyone I can just say what works for us and that is to do what makes you happy.. as much of it as you can as often as possible. If you do it enough you’ll develop skills that have value beyond just your enjoyment of them and build it up from there. Running a business or working for yourself isn’t without its pressures but the freedom it can afford is, for us at least well worth it. Be ballsy, take risks, get outside, get inspired, make mistakes, get up and do it again, be good to people and the planet.. we all need both.
INR: can you take us through a typical day in the life of Bill and Beck?
Rustic Campers: This time of year.. usually an early rise with the sun in our cabin in the hills, out onto the deck for a little workout and then a chilled morning with our boy Asher. Then we’ll head down to the workshop or our piece of land on the other side of the valley to cut on with whatever project were working on. At the moment we’re building some off grid cabins and a tree house on our land which is a life's dream. Then depending on how the weather is we might hit the river for a swim, have a skate on the ramp with Ash (he’s only two but starting to get the hang of it) or meet up with some friends for a fire and some food. We are lucky and very happy.