How it started

A story by Eric.

Hello, I’m Eric, the person who put the idea of teardrop trailers in Cees’ head. In 2016 Cees came to my place for a visit. We were in the backyard enjoying the afternoon sun and a couple refreshments. Cees is the kind of guy who will ask, “Hey buddy. What’s new?” (Buddy is also the name of his dog so I’m never certain if he’s talking to me.) “Teardrop trailers. Have you ever seen these things?” I asked. Instantly, I pictured myself exploring the country, camping in comfort along the way. The style reminds me of the classic trailers from the 40’s and 50’s. Once I saw that there was a galley hidden under the curved back, well, I was sold. The trouble is, they are not mass produced and are hard to find. Cees took a close look at the pictures, sat back and sipped his beverage, then looked me in the eye. “I can build that,” he said. That’s how it all started. A day or two later he called Brian to ask what he thought about starting a company. Brian, having years of experience with growing businesses, did a bit of digging to discover that there is a very real market for trailers of this size. A few weeks later Cees invited a group of friends to his shop to show us the shell of a trailer and to brainstorm a company name. It was Dirk who came up with Gnome Homes which appealed to Cees’ European roots. A few months later and he had built two prototypes and formed a partnership with Brian. Gnome Homes was launched. The commitment of Gnome Homes is to build modern trailers that remember how camping used to be. They are not complicated and offer the convenience of effortless setup. They can easily be equipped with modern amenities like solar panels, a DVD player and connections to charge your devices. Cees promised he’d build one for me. I’m still waiting. In our conversations, he felt the same way as I do, that camping can be a pain. Setting up a tent and sleeping on the ground is not pleasant or relaxing. Hauling an oversized house on wheels is also troublesome since, with full hookups, the only place to set them up is a parking lot in the woods. The teardrop trailer is a stylish solution. They can be parked in the same areas of a campground as tents but all you really have to do is park it and you’re done. High and dry, all that you need is to light a campfire and to unpack the camping chairs. Cees is the guy with the tools and the journeyman cabinetry skills. With decades of experience building and installing custom kitchens, Cees liked the challenge of creating something new. He is a Dutch craftsman, who emigrated to Canada in 1981, with an experienced eye for quality and durability. Brian has 30 years of experience developing, improving and growing businesses. He has extensive experience in marketing, product development and manufacturing systems. His insatiable thirst to figure things out allowed us to introduce Canadians to a high-quality camping alternative. Gnome Homes builds modern camping trailers based on a design heritage from the 1930’s. Brian and Cees are motivated to keep these vintage teardrop roots alive in the product lines. It is important to embrace the past as it can show us that modern solutions are available if we take the time to learn, and remember, what came before us.