about us

//about us
about us 2019-05-31T12:01:15+00:00

Shades was founded in 2009 initially hiring traditional canvas tents across the North of England.  The tents have been hugely popular from the start and the company has grown rapidly; we add to the portfolio on a regular basis, along with a range of furniture, bars and accessories (much of which is hand made by Paul and the team).

The initial range of marquees were more traditionally Indian in style.  However, over the years we have been led by customer requests and now have a diverse range of tents, which includes a couple of vintage US army tents and of course, our hugely popular Aurora Sailcloth tents. Summer 2019 has seen our Grand Pavilion marquee retire to a Chateau in the South of France to make way for our new range of Stretch Tents.

Paul Styler, Managing DirectorPaul Styler – Managing Director

After more than 20 years in Event Management & Catering, Paul was keen to remain in the world of events.  Having worked in a range of marquees and tents over the years, spotted an opportunity.  His eye for detail and exacting standards ensure that every Shades’ marquee and tent is absolutely pristine on each and every event.  This, combined with his years of experience of running weddings, parties and celebrations at the highest level in both London and the north are invaluable when it comes to understanding the needs and desires of our customers.

Paul and his trusty Discovery travel the length and breadth of the country most weeks undertaking site visits and meeting clients.  When not on his travels, he can usually be found in the office or constructing his next piece of bespoke furniture.

Dave Mitchell - Shades CanvasDavid Mitchell – Operations Manager

Dave has worked for Shades from the beginning and also has a strong background in events.  More recently he’s been honing his woodwork skills, helping to make our new range of vineyard tables and the magnificent Hex Bar.

Dave knows just about all there is to know about the Shades tents, equipment and is hugely practical too.  As you can imagine, that can be an invaluable skill when putting up a tent in a field in the middle of no-where!

Mike Romanes - Shades CanvasMike Romanes – Assistant Operations Manager

Joining the team in 2018, Mike had a really brilliant summer! Now something of an expert in all tents and furniture making, he’s a core part of the full time Shades team.  He’s enthusiastic, has a fine eye for detail, and can fix virtually anything – all we need now is for him to make sure that the sun shines as much as it did last year..

Jenny Mason – Sales & Marketing Support

With a background that covers restaurants, hotels and event management, Jenny works part time for Shades.  She maintains the website, instagram, facebook , twitter and pinterest accounts, hunting down beautiful images of our tents.  Jenny also offers some sales support during the summer months when Paul, Dave and Mike are rarely in the office.

Having spent the past couple of years learning how to tell a Grand Pavilion from a Raj, you’ll occasionally see her on the odd WedFest event but nothing involving anything technical!

Les Spencer - Shades CanvasLes Spencer – Sales Consultant

Les is Paul’s Father in Law and has helped out here and there from the very beginning.  He often joins us at the WedFest weekends, and on busy weekends when he has time.

You can read more about Shades and our experience on Linked In.

Wanderlust Bell Tents



Dear Paul & Team, Just a brief note to say an enormous thank you to yourself and the team. The marquee was perfect and we really appreciate all the hard work that you all put into it. It looked so different to the last time – it just shows how furniture, lighting etc make such a difference. Caroline & Jack were thrilled with everything. As usual a thoroughly professional job and a special thank you to Dave & Mike.

Mr & Mrs Roche, October 2018