We interviewed Amy Ahlbald, Marketing and Public Relations Manager for AGA

We met at a coffee shop that I usually go to but it was her first time there. As she walks in she says hello to someone she knows, and I thought to myself, is that a coincidence? I soon realized that it wasn’t. Amy is one of those people you want to meet because she is easy to be around. The fact that someone greets her in a coffee shop in the middle Barcelona’s city center, an impersonal place, is not circumstantial, it goes with her way of being.

As I invited her to join me for coffee, I realized that I am going to meet a “yankee” who orders, with an accent from Seville, a coffee with oat milk, and she does it with a smile that brightens up the room, full of happiness. She beams with peace and flow!

An accent from Seville!?
– Yes, when I finished my studies in the US I had the possibility to continue in Europe and I chose to study neuroscience in Seville.

Seville? neuroscience?
– It happened. I had a family member living in Seville and everything was easier and neuroscience was one of the degrees I wanted to pursue.

What was it like living in Seville?
– It is a very traditional city, not very international. In Seville you have to learn to speak Spanish.

And how does someone who has studied neuroscience end up in the world of Glamping?
– When I finished my master’s degree I started looking for a job and an opportunity arose for me to work in a startup in the Glamping sector. Glamping Hub was a platform that sought to find the “match” between guests and glampings, an Airbnb specialized in glamping. The company was owned by two partners, one in Denver and the other in Seville, and they were looking for people with people skills and native English.

Amy Ahlbald

How nice, a startup in Seville!
– Yes, that’s where we had our office and developed our business.

And what position did you occupy in Glamping Hub?
– The good thing about a startup is that you go through many departments in a short time, 6 weeks in a startup is like 6 months in a classic company.

A summary…
– I started in the sales department, after three months I was appointed sales manager of a team of 10 people, then I developed the “on boarding” of new customers once they hired our services and finally I was in the marketing department, developing the strategy and communication management.

– Yes, in a short time you went through a lot and more importantly, you learned a lot.

“What is the American Glamping Association? To generate opportunities, give visibility, provide tools to Glamping globally”

And then…
– The company decided to downsize, we made a friendly agreement and I was compensated. I had money and unemployment, for the first time in my life I had time and money!

It’s not often that both are the case
– Exactly! On the one hand it makes you sad when the project you are working on closes, but on the other hand I had the opportunity to choose and think about my future without the day-to-day pressure.

– I decided to move back to California…

Sounds like the end of an adventure
– And clearly it wasn’t, soon it was clear to me that my adventure in Europe was not over. And I came back.

It’s difficult to finish a European adventure if you haven’t been to Barcelona.
– Yes, besides, the other option was to study German…

What attracted your attention in Barcelona? Did you find what you were looking for?
– Sea, mountains and architecture, what could go wrong? Barcelona, as an expat, exceeds your expectations. There are authentic communities living in the city that give you access to social circles similar to yours.

When did the American Glamping Association appear in your life?
– I arrived to Barcelona two weeks before the “lock down” of the Coronavirus. Without a job and with a roommate that I didn’t know but we luckily got along well. Nobody could even imagine that we were going to be locked up for almost 2 years. During confinement Ruben, one of the two partners of the Startup I had worked for, contacted me and told me about the new project.

What is the American Glamping Association?
– To generate opportunities, give visibility, provide tools to Glamping globally. We currently have close to 500 members and we continue to grow steadily. Our members can choose to join our association through different plans with different prices for each plan, from basic to premium.

Amy Ahlbald
“SKBs are a category in it of themselves, they are not domes or rooms installed in a simple inflatable, it is a concept that goes beyond”

How did Skybubbles appear in your life?
– Hahaha, it was at a fair in the United States, precisely around the world of glamping. There I met Natalie, she explained to me what Skybubbles are, how they are made and where they are made. It was funny when, talking, we realized that we had met in the USA but we both live and work 10,000 km away. That allowed me not only to learn about the product but also to go and see the Skybubbles facilities and see how they are made.

It is a very visual concept, once you have seen the SKBs inside and out and as a connoisseur of the glamping world, what future do you foresee for them?
– SKBs are a category in it of themselves, they are not domes or rooms installed in a simple inflatable, it is a concept that goes beyond. The whole manufacturing processes goes through someone’s hands, it is the perfect combination of craftsmanship and mechanical processes. They are destined to be a standard of differentiation in the world of glamping. In fact, they already are. I wish them success.

And about glamping… Is it just a trend?
– The concept of nature without giving up comfort is becoming more and more rooted. Glamping appears as a trend, because it tries to combine these two concepts that are often treated as antagonistic, but trends pass and glamping, after years, we can already say is here to stay. The growth data of the sector proves it, both in terms of new offers for guests and the increase in the number of guests who decide to glamp year after year.

Thank you very much Amy, my pleasure!
Thank you!