Welcome to the first instalment of our brand new ‘Hypedome Stories’ series, where we’re featuring our clients who are using their Hypedomes in exciting ways and locations. First up is Milli Abrams, who placed a Hypedome on top of her barge on the River Thames in London.
Q: Milli, Could You Tell Us a Little About Yourself and Your Business?
I own Tribe Yarns, which I started a few years ago when we moved back to London. Before that, I was an accountant and lived all over the world with my family. The last place we lived was on Virgin Gorda, in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, which was unfortunately wrecked by hurricane Irma. So we had to find somewhere else to live and start again. Our son was accepted into a great school in London, so we decided to stay here so we could be closer to him.
Rather than continuing accounting career, I decided to create a yarn business. It’s a passion project for me – I’ve been knitting since I was seven. I love to design and play with colours, and my accounting skills aren’t wasted.
I opened a boutique shop in Richmond-upon-Thames in London, and we specialise in luxury items and high-end notions. We only stock the best stuff in the world that I myself would want to spend time with. We’re all about knitting, crocheting, weaving, mindfulness, slowing down, exploring and creating. The business is doing really well – we’re very well-known in London and online, and we currently ship to over 85 countries regularly!
Q: You Installed a Hypedome on a Barge – How Did the Idea Come About?
We bought a barge just over a year ago as I wanted to live on the water again. She’s a beautiful boat, and just the right size – I can drive it up and down the Thames without needing crew, and it fits under the bridges, but still has lots of living space.
When inside the barge, we don’t get a great view of what’s happening outside as the windows are higher than eye level. If we want to enjoy the natural light and see the sky and birds, we go up top. But of course, London weather is terrible, so we needed an all-weather solution for outside.
I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have some sort of transparent structure which also offers shade?” I came across domes and I researched different suppliers to find the exact right size. It couldn’t overhang the deck, and we wanted to maximise the space. There are some cheaper options, but they looked flimsy. Whereas the clear Hypedome Mini seemed strong and capable of withstanding the weather. And it was the perfect size for our boat.
Q: And How Was the Build Process on a Barge, Was it Challenging?
The build was a challenge but fun! When you’re building on land, and you can lay everything out around you, that’s great, right? But we didn’t have space for that – and if we dropped anything, we knew we’d lose it to the river. So we had to be really careful to hold onto everything and go as slow as possible. My husband and I managed to build the dome without any hiccups or arguments!
Q: Has the Dome Had to Stand Up to Any Extreme Weather Yet?
We anchored the dome to the deck, but maybe a month after we’d put it up, we had a hurricane come through London. I was sure we’d lose it – that the wind would come in underneath and take the dome zorbing down the Thames somewhere. But, thankfully, it didn’t – I was surprised that the dome stood intact and didn’t even move.
Q: How Do You and Your Family Use the Hypedome?
I use it in the mornings to work out because I’ve got my workout bench up there and my weights. Then, if it’s not too warm outside, I can sit up there during the day – I can take my laptop up and get some work done. And when we have company, we hang out there and drink wine. It’s actually a multi-purpose room. I love it especially for crafting and designing colours and sweaters since the natural light is so good up there. I also use it often for Instagram lives as it’s a good talking point.
My son uses it when he comes home from university. He likes to sleep in it no matter the weather. He enjoys the skyline. We just give him a big duvet, and he’ll quite often use it as his bedroom when he’s home.
Q: A Dome on a Barge Looks Rather Extraordinary – Does it Capture the Attention of Passersby?
We walk along the river regularly because we’ve got a dog. So we’ll walk past our boat, and at least 50% of the time, someone’s stood taking pictures and talking about the dome. They call it a snow globe or an igloo pod.
For Christmas, I purchased a snowflake projector. I put it inside the dome so that from land, it really does look like a snow globe with snowflakes inside!
Q: What’s Your Favourite Feature of the Dome?
I like that you get a 360-degree view of everything. I furnished the dome with many different cushions and seating options, like legless bamboo chairs. I move around the dome depending on what the lighting is doing or what I want to see. My favourite feature though is the twinkle fairy lights; they look amazing.
The other cool thing is that if we need to move our boat, so if we were cruising in Europe or wanted to go much further north where the bridges are lower, we could easily dismantle the top part of it. We like that it’s not a fully permanent structure.
Q: Are There Any Other Thoughts You Want to Share About Your Hypedome?
I was blown away at how complete the kit was. It’s rare to get something high-quality where everything has been considered, right down to the cleaning cloth and the packaging. The product has been really well thought through, much like the assembly process and walkthrough.
We love our Hypedome. It’s worth the expense – you get what you pay for.
More Stories Coming Soon
We loved chatting with Milli about her yarn business and how she’s using her Hypedome atop her barge. To learn more about Milli, and to see her Hypedome in action, visit Tribe Yarns on Instagram. Stay tuned for the next part in our Hypedome Stories series to learn how others use their Hypedomes in fun and fascinating ways!