There’s nothing like wild camping. The freedom of the road. Travelling light, never knowing where you are gonna end up one day after the next. At Paper Starlights our whole business started that way – the joy of travelling, discovering new places, and new aspects of who you are as a person.
I guess we started out as old skool hippies, with hitch – hiking the preferred mode of transport. That and walking. Sleeping under the stars, with your scruffy rucksack as a pillow. Sipping on local wines, with bread and cheese the staple meal 3 times a day. That was the European version. Going further afield into Asia, it was more like Rum, chappati and dhal. It was on such a journey that we first discovered the stars at the heart of our business. Hanging from porches and lights across India, welcoming passers by.
We first started selling the stars at festivals. Driving around in beat up cars and vans, using the stars as festival lanterns, camping lights, decorating festivals with a hippy boho vibe. People started to use the lights for their tents, tying them over their camping lights, or putting torches inside them for a DIY festival look. We’d move from one festival to the next – always starting the season off at Strawberry Fair in Cambridge – meeting up with all our fellow festival traders for a good old chinwag and party. Then everyone would go off on their separate ways, re-converging at festivals through the summer – at Leamington Peace Festival, heading onto Glastonbury. The Isle of Wight, WOMAD, in later years Latitude Festival and the Big Chill ( or the Big Till as traders often referred to it ! ). For us, all the while lighting up our little patch of festival field or camp site with the funky hippy lanterns we’d come to love.
Though time has moved on, we still find ourselves in our van, with a box full of lights, rum, chappati and dhal. Sleeping under the stars, meeting up with our mates and making our own outdoor parties and festivals.