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Meet Abby Beach
Abby Beach, founder of the RV Social Lounge, hung out with us at the Mompreneur Co. Studio this week to share the story of how she turned the concept of “I wish I could go out with my friends, but… we don’t want to get dressed up, but… we also don’t want to be at home” into a full-blown business.
The Big Vehicle and the Bigger Idea
It was a wild and impossibly quick ride from the initial idea until she had her first client book her beautifully curated and Instragrammable RV for a girls night. We’re talking less than one month between having the idea and having a new RV in her driveway.
And to be clear, Abby and her husband knew nothing about RVs before getting into this. They did their research online and talked to people who owned RVs to learn about what to look for when buying or renovating one. It’s a lot like buying a house, she learned.
Turns out it’s a lot like renovating a house too. RVs are typically built with private space in mind, but Abby needed to knock out some walls to really open up that floor plan so friends can all see each other while they’re here. That of course revealed some water and electrical issues to fix, so she had a classic home improvement project on her hands.
Why an RV though? Abby’s inspiration for the idea came from a night when she was driving home from work, wanting some time with her girlfriends. Not at a bar or out somewhere else on the town that required a real outfit. But not necessarily at home either — with everything going on at her house on a daily basis it just never felt like they’d be able to relax there.
An RV was the perfectly flexible middle ground. It was a space to escape, a contained space for some inspired interior decoration, and it could be located as conveniently as she ever needed, even if it was just in the driveway.
What Do I Plan For, What Do I Let Fall Into Place
Abby said her approach to starting this business was never overly planned or researched, she just took decisive action and adapted to challenges along the way.
“Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t do that much research,” she said. “I don’t know if I would have kept on the same path. Knowing too much could scare you away. I was like, this is good, there’s a market for this, and now I’m just so driven to get this done.”
The conversations with lawyers about contracts and waivers and all the “scary” things they have to consider was one of her first real tests of confronting the unknowns on her journey. The next test was losing the only set of keys in the build-up to opening weekend. The next was blowing out a tire on the way to filming a featured news segment. And as cold weather approaches, Abby’s thinking about the pressure she’ll feel in making decisions about winterizing purchases and labor.
“I’m getting so much better at keeping calm, lightening the pressure of my internal dialogue. I’ve experienced enough roadblocks and tough situations now and seen how they can work out okay. It’s all part of the journey.”
Getting Creative with Price Comparisons and Promoting on Facebook Marketplace
Abby let us in on an ingenius marketing strategy she discovered on Facebook Marketplace. She made a post about the service that her RV provides and shared it to the community pages in her area. That’s it! What’s ingenius about it is that it doesn’t cost her anything, doesn’t feel like an ad, and comes with a level of built-in trust — community marketplace pages typically have tight guidelines for who can join a group, who can post, and when you can do any sort of promotion.
“I felt like I just needed to think outside the box. I was getting blocked with advertising – paid ads can add up quick while you’re figuring out what works. This way was easy, something I was already familiar with, and one post got me 15 potential bookings almost overnight.”
She thought outside the box for her pricing as well. The RV has been in high demand recently for kids’ birthday parties. It’s a huge market where people put a high dollar value on a short period of time with a high number of people. She thought, what if I can move that equation around and emphasize the quality instead? You could spend a couple hundred dollars for two hours with 30 people, or you could spend about the same amount for 16 hours with seven of your best friends. It’s a small shift in thinking with a big impact.
- Follow Abby on IG: @thervsociallounge
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