North Sky Yurts
Next up on the blog we have Becca and Charlotte from North Sky Yurts. With sustainability at the core of their business values, North Sky Yurts are really pushing the eco wedding movement forward and have huge plans that will shake the wedding industry on its head and challenge the way that couples plan their wedding.
In what might seem like a male dominating job of heavy lifting and putting up big yurts all over Yorkshire, these guys are challenging those stereotypes and are inspiring the next generation of young women in business. I could have chatted to Charlotte and Becca all day.
Just when you think you couldn’t love them any more, they even plant a tree for every booking they make!
Tell me a bit about you both? How was North Sky Yurts born?
Charlotte: We’re North Sky Yurts, based in Garforth, Leeds. I left my corporate job back in October as I knew I didn’t want to do it forever. We always talked about doing something individually but then realised why not work together?! People think we are related but we’re not, our other halves are cousins so that’s how we met!
Becca: Yeah so we had all these different plans. Charlottes amazing at baking and I was like well, we can’t do anything with baking because I actually poison people! I always wanted an Events Venue, but what I had planned required a huge investment. The pandemic just made us re evaluate things, and I’d been off on maternity leave with my now 2 year old, so we had a lot of time to think. Initially I really liked the idea of glamping, but we couldn’t find a site anywhere, somehow during lockdown everyone decided they wanted land! And then we stumbled on the idea of travelling yurts!
Do you each have specific roles?
Becca: I run the instagram and do the marketing side of things and Charlotte does all the important stuff! She does all the organising and finance but other than that we pretty much do everything together. Also a lot of people ask us, who puts the yurts up!? Everyone thinks we have a big team but it’s just us!
Charlotte: The amount of times we get asked!
Why should couples pick a yurt over a marquee or tipi?
Becca: We think Yurts are really versatile and beautiful structures. They are a special, unique space and a little bit of a niche, especially in the north. A big part of our business is the wedding industry but we also do corporate, parties, yoga retreats, and crafty workshops as well.
How did you come up with the name?!
Becca: Omg! Like literally weeks of brainstorming. We were on whatsapp to each other for days! Our other halves got involved and it got really stressful! We wanted something unique and natural, so we thought of a few tree related names, but then we broke it down and were like, right we’re in the north, and from a spiritual point of view the north is really prominent in Mongolian culture where Yurts come from. They call it ‘True North’ which means your internal compass. And in Celtic tradition the North Star is the direction you go in, like your journey in life. We just really liked the meaning behind it, and we really liked how it sounded together and the idea of the branding with the sky, and the stars.
Charlotte: It was like a gut feeling in the end. It just felt right as soon as we said it!
How has the last year impacted you?
Charlotte: It’s been a whirlwind, but without lockdown we wouldn’t have been given the gift of time. It’s obviously been horrible in a lot of ways. But it’s been monumental to us.
Becca: We’ve been itching to hit the ground running and meet couples face to face, so that limited us. But we’re both so motivated to jump out of bed in the morning now because in our corporate roles we started to lose that purpose. The last year has definitely allowed us to re evaluate things!
The wedding industry is very female led which is so inspiring for us, as so many female businesses manage to run their family life alongside their business. That’s something we really wanted to promote! We have recently been part of the ‘She Can Shine’ business programme with social enterprise ‘Shine’ in Leeds to help women set up in business. This really helped us to feel part of a community and we couldn’t recommend it more. It was something we will always be really proud of.
Becca: I just love weddings! Anywhere out in nature, with inspiring scenery. Anything meaningful, creative, and unique to the couple! At my own wedding 5 years ago I scrapped a lot of traditional stuff, I rebelled a little bit and ruffled some feathers but at the end of the day it’s your day. I’m totally up for a vow renewal though!
Are the Yurts registered for legal ceremonies?
Becca: Unfortunately no because it’s not a permanent structure. Although there is a massive movement at the moment for weddings to legally take place anywhere. You can in Scotland so why not here? It’s so restrictive! We’ve been following it and we think it might go somewhere. And more people want outdoor weddings now so hopefully we can in the future.
How far do you travel?
Becca: At the moment it’s Yorkshire and neighbouring counties. We are very focussed on sustainability and try to limit travel where we can.
Tell me more about how you are sustainable?
Charlotte: We use velcro instead of plastic cable ties and we plant a tree for every booking on behalf of whoever has booked us.
Becca: We always promote sustainable suppliers where we can and advise couples on how they can be more sustainable. For example there’s a wedding catering company in Leeds who use waste food from restaurants. You don’t always get to decide what you’re having but you’ll always get a meat or veggie option. We’ve even made our business cards from recycled t-shirts and our jackets are made out of recycled bottes! So we’re just trying to show that even if you do little things there’s a bigger impact then you realise.
Charlotte: It is extra effort but it’s effort that’s worthwhile. It’s just getting people to think that way and they are now more than ever. Couples just need to ask themselves things like ‘Do I need the single use plastic decorations?’ Do you need them or do you feel like you should have them?’
Where can people see your Yurts?
Becca: We have an open day on the 16th of May at Rossmoor Park, but we’ll be getting lots of video footage soon as well!
What do you love most about the yurts?
Charlotte: They’re just so unique!
Becca: I love how you can pod them together, so the smallest one you can seat 20 people and stand 35 and the bigger one you can seat 40 and stand 60, so 95 max. They’re a lot bigger then they seem but also have that intimate, cosy feel!
Do you provide the furniture and the bar?
Charlotte: Yeah, our bar is made from reclaimed wood made by my other half’s fair hands! We also have table benches, and second hand decorations.
Becca: We are starting to build it up now, we’ve got candlesticks, vases made from recycled glass and dried flowers so we will be able to provide the styling side of things as well. We also include matting flooring which can be pressure washed between weddings! Apparently most marquees will throw away their flooring after each use which really shocked us!
What’s next for North Sky Yurts?
Becca: We have recently expanded our business and can now offer bell tent glamping packages for guests to stay over and a honeymoon suite for the couple which also includes horsebox showers!
What is your favourite thing about the North?
Charlotte: We just love how friendly everyone is, always saying hello to people walking by!
Check them out and get in touch…
Elly Ball of Studio Edit – http://elly-ball.com/
Hannah Brooke Photo – https://hannahbrookephotography.co.uk/
Lumiere Photographic – https://lumierephotographic.com/
Mark Bamforth – https://www.markbamforthphotography.co.uk/