Texas Glamping

Bringing Glamour and Luxury to the Outdoors

Happy Campers - that’s the goal of Ashley Mertins and the Texas Glamping Company that she launched in September 2021. Glamping (a mashup of the words glamorous and camping) has gained in popularity as people have discovered ways to enjoy the adventures of camping without giving up the luxuries of comfort. “Glamping is an elevated style of camping,” Ashley explains. “We take it to a whole different level. I think what sets us apart, even in the glamping market, is we are very much luxury here at Texas Glamping Company. For example, all of our mattresses are memory foam mattresses, they’re on actual bed frames, we use down comforters, and our sheets are luxury sheets. We really invest in high quality products.”

Even the tents themselves are not what you would find online on Amazon. Instead, Ashley painstakingly researched to find high-quality tents from Europe that weren’t treated with chemicals that are dangerous to the habitat or to humans. “Our tents are sourced from a company in Europe, not from China. That was a big deal to me,” Ashley says. “I wanted to be able to source them responsibly and have them manufactured responsibly. The ones you get online from China are sprayed with a chemical, they call it fire-retardant, but a third-party company has done research on it and the chemicals they use are banned in every country but our own. So for me, it was an investment. I wanted the best of the best on the market and that’s what we provide because I’m touching these tents, my kids are touching these tents, our customers are sleeping in these tents. We want people to get out in nature and breathe fresh air and not a bunch of chemicals. So we invested a lot in our tents, they’re not cheap.”

Having done photography while living in Oklahoma, Ashley felt like it was time to do something different when she and her husband and two kids moved to Texas. “I’m a believer, and God is certainly a huge part of my faith and my business and how I run my life. And one night I was laying in bed listening to a preacher from Tulsa that I watch on TikTok, and I flipped to the next video and I saw a guy that was doing these backyard glamping videos. And no offense to men, but you know, it was simple. It was more on a masculine side with blow-up mattresses and a sleeping bag and a dome tent.” Just like a single spark on the right kindling can ignite a warm campfire, that simple concept lit Ashley’s vision for how much more it could be. “I just had this epiphany and I thought I could take this and I could elevate it and make it more feminine with luxury accommodations.” So I prayed and told God, ‘Okay, if I present this to my husband tomorrow and if he doesn’t say that I’m crazy, then we’re going to go with it.’

With her husband’s full support, Ashley tested the concept that September by setting up a single tent at her local community’s “Market Days” event and ended up booking every weekend through Christmas. Realizing the huge demand, Ashley and her husband invested in a couple more tents and started facilitating glamping parties in customers’ backyards. Now, less than two years later, Texas Glamping Company’s inventory has grown to 60 tents and has expanded to multiple-tent villages for larger parties and events. Last fall, Texas Glamping Company did a private corporate event on over 400 acres of land owned by Texas music legend Willie Nelson. “The great thing about us is we are mobile and you won’t have to do anything. We will come to you, set up and tear down, and take it away. So you won’t have to lift a finger or do anything.”

But while the comforts of camping might have changed, Ashley reiterates that the goal is still the same. “The whole reason why we started this business is we wanted people to really disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life. You know, we’re always on our phone, we’re always emailing, we’re always hurrying, hurrying, hurrying. And we really wanted people, couples, and families to disconnect from that and reconnect with each other. And have fun doing it.”

Happy campers indeed.

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