Airbnb Experience helps save local small business in East London

When Daniel founded the London Cloth Company in 2011, he had no idea a sharp rent increase in 2016 would nearly put him out of business. As an Experience host, he credits Airbnb for helping save his textile business this past year.

Airbnb Experiences are a way for locals like Daniel to share their passion, hobby or talent with guests visiting their city while earning a bit of extra income. Daniel’s Experience proved vital in ensuring his business was able to remain open when adversity struck.

“We had a really unfortunate thing happen to us when the people who own the industrial estate we’re on raised our rent. If we hadn’t been on Airbnb this year, I don’t know what we would have done because I would’ve been forced to close the mill,” Daniel said.

Daniel’s hands-on Experience was one of the first 40 launched in London last year and offers guests a look inside a working textile mill—the first in London since 1917—where he’s designed custom fabrics for brands including Nike and Ralph Lauren.

The experience also offers guests a chance to get out of central London and take in a historic location—formerly a WWII army barracks—in Epping Forest before weaving their own scarf on refurbished machinery which dates back to 1870.

Daniel touched on another benefit Airbnb Experiences present in their uniqueness and variety, saying, “I’m amazed at how well it has gone. You can go into a museum or get a tour bus and drive around London but you can’t go into a mill. Without online platforms like Airbnb, no one would ever get the opportunity to visit a working mill to see what we do, which is great.”

Find Daniel and London Cloth Company on Instagram.

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