Andrew Garnett and Jamie Lawson are the faces behind Blackbird Camper Co. Pictures: Contributed
Andrew Garnett and Jamie Lawson are the faces behind Blackbird Camper Co. Pictures: Contributed

IN PICS: The couple flipping ordinary campers into glampers

Creating a built-in wine rack is a "non-negotiable" when it comes to flipping a campervan.

A pullout gas stove and drawers, foldaway table, and space for a queen-sized bed and toddler mattress are then bonus features.

Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans into glampervans. Picture: Contributed
Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans into glampervans. Picture: Contributed

Jaime-Lee Lawson said she and her partner Andrew Garnett began a business converting ordinary campers into glampers after taking on an ambitious covert project of their own.

"We just decided one day to get a van," the artist from Seaforth said.

'Chasing Sunsets' – an artwork by Jamie Lawson, of Blackbird Camping Co.
'Chasing Sunsets' – an artwork by Jamie Lawson, of Blackbird Camping Co.

"We both love camping and we thought it was a great little project to take on together.

"I'm into art and I'm studying design … and Andrew's always been very handy with building.

Andrew Garnett and Jamie Lawson, of Blackbird Camper Co. Picture: Contributed
Andrew Garnett and Jamie Lawson, of Blackbird Camper Co. Picture: Contributed

"We had no backyard, a shed or anything, we lived in quite a modern apartment block in Melbourne.

"We just sneakily did all the work in the basement of the apartment building in a 3x4m space.

"We had to clean up all the traces of our sawdust everyday and basically do it on the sly."

Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans. Picture: Contributed
Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans. Picture: Contributed

The travel agent couple used pallets scavenged from the roadside and other rustic and recycled materials to complete the stunning transformation on the Toyota HiAce.

Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans. Picture: Contributed
Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans. Picture: Contributed

"It worked out to be a major success, we had so many adventures in that van," Ms Lawson said.

She said they brought their 15-month-old son along for the experience, reminiscent of her own childhood.

Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett’s son Sonny inside one of their Blackbird Camper Co. converted campervans. Picture: Contributed
Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett’s son Sonny inside one of their Blackbird Camper Co. converted campervans. Picture: Contributed

"I grew up in Seaforth, my parents still live there," she said.

"My dad took us out on boats a couple of times a week and we went camping on the islands around the Seaforth coast.

"We lived in a caravan part-time growing up and travelled between Mackay and Charters Towers as parents used to go gold mining."

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Andrew Garnett with his son Sonny on one of the family's campervan adventures. Picture: Contributed
Andrew Garnett with his son Sonny on one of the family's campervan adventures. Picture: Contributed

And it would seem the campervan way of life has undergone a renaissance of sorts, as Ms Lawson said they were inundated with requests to buy the renovated van.

"We had people asking after it for ages after it sold," she said.

Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans into glampervans. Picture: Contributed
Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans into glampervans. Picture: Contributed

"There's a huge movement for van life which you'll see all over Instagram.

"So many people are just leaving the conventional lifestyle because a lot of people in our generation are able to work remotely.

Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans into glampervans. Picture: Contributed
Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans into glampervans. Picture: Contributed

"There's a bit of a craze called the 'digital nomad'.

"In the bigger cities, it so unaffordable to buy a house for younger people.

Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans into glampervans. Picture: Contributed
Jamie Lawson and Andrew Garnett, of Blackbird Camper Co. transform ordinary campervans into glampervans. Picture: Contributed

"The other thing is, now because of COVID, we're not able to go overseas anymore.

"More people are spending time seeing our own country."

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Blackbird Camper Co.
Blackbird Camper Co.


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