Little Tail Farms in Dunlap, TN

Little Tail Farms is the Little Farm that Could

Are you willing to adapt your business to overcome hurdles? At Kellum Creek Business Solutions (KCBS), we primarily work with clients in the tourism industry. This industry is highly subject to hurdles such as the economy, weather, and competing businesses. Also, as we learned a few years ago, pandemics have the potential to wreck businesses everywhere regardless of the industry. Still, we’ve witnessed businesses like Little Tail Farms overcoming obstacles and thriving on the other side.

Little Tail Farms in Dunlap, TN, is a prime example of how adapting can lead to thriving. Dunlap is a small town southwest of the Smoky Mountains. It is near Fall Creek Falls and the new Sequatchie Valley National Scenic Byway.

The recent designation of the Sequatchie Valley National Scenic Byway has the small towns along the route seeing revitalizations much like what we are seeing in Sevierville. The Byway is one of our newest clients and it is extremely fulfilling to see the Sequatchie Valley tourism industry come to life.

We recently spoke with Laurie of Little Tail Farms to learn more about her family’s thriving business and how it overcame obstacles and adapted to become the popular destination it is today. It’s an inspiring story with an adorable ending!

Overcoming Obstacles at Little Tail Farms in Dunlap, TN

Visit the barnyard at Little Tail Farms in the Sequatchie Valley
Photo courtesy of Little Tail Farms

The First Obstacle – Building a Business

Little Tail Farms is owned and operated by the Bizzell family. David and Laurie Bizzell, along with their daughter Allison, are first-generation farm owners. This alone is a huge obstacle. When the family bought their 50-acre farm, they wished to have a pet cow. One cow led to another, and the family’s farm grew. With pastures, views, and their menagerie of barnyard animals, the Bizzells saw a business opportunity rise before their eyes.

Agritourism is an increasingly popular segment of the tourism industry, and businesses like Little Tail Farms are changing the way people vacation. The business started as an Airbnb rental property in 2018. Laurie saw her farm’s serenity and thought someone else might enjoy experiencing it.

The Bizzells started the business from scratch, learned as they went, and still partake in continuing education as they add new animals to the farm. They didn’t have any experience raising farm animals and never even had outdoor pets of any kind, but David brought Laurie’s dream to life. The first guests were from New Zealand, which really wowed Laurie. Off to an exciting start, the second obstacle arose.

The Second Obstacle – 2020

Like most businesses, Little Tail Farms shut down in the face of the 2020 pandemic. It seemed like Laurie’s business plan had stalled. However, she partnered with Airbnb for its virtual experiences program during the height of the pandemic. These virtual experiences were highly sought after because people were stuck at home. Laurie offered virtual visits with her farm animals, and it was an instant success! While other participating businesses charged a fee, Laurie offered hers for free.

“Airbnb reached out to us at the beginning of Covid and asked if we would be interested in being a pilot for a virtual experience,” Laurie explained. “It was going to be our way to give back, so we decided to give people across the world our tours for free.”

Those one-hour virtual farm experiences reached individuals in Italy, Korea, Japan, and other countries. It gave Laurie and David the inspiration to expand their farm and offer real-life farm tours as the shutdowns lifted. After overcoming the pandemic in this thoughtful way, the couple saw their business boom.

As a super host, Laurie has welcomed 4,000 families from 11 different countries. Furthermore, Little Tail Farms is among the top 10% of places to stay on Airbnb.com!

The Third Obstacle – The Economy

The Bizzells now offer farm tours every Saturday from March to October. While other attractions can typically be costly, especially for large families, these farm tours are very affordable. Amid today’s unpredictable economy and high inflation, Little Tail Farms is attainable for everyone. The Bizzells built their business with low overhead costs, and they pass those savings on to guests. This is how they can offer free and affordable experiences to their guests.

“What if you have 6 kids? How can you afford to take 6 kids on vacation? We don’t charge for kids,” Laurie said. “Our farm brings families closer together, and it’s a magical place.”

Advance tickets are required. Free tickets for children make Little Tail Farms one of the most fun and affordable things to do in the Sequatchie Valley. Look at this online gallery to see guests up close with their new barnyard friends! The capacity is limited to 20 guests per tour, so reserve your farm tour tickets here to experience it for yourself.

Also, book an overnight stay for the ultimate farm experience! Because the tours have been such a success, the family now offers two overnight rental options.

Farm Stays and Exclusive Experiences

Barnyard animals in Dunlap, TN
Photo courtesy of Little Tail Farms

Guests staying at Little Tail Farms receive a private tour and exclusive pasture access for the duration of their stay. Channel your inner child and get up close with sheep, goats, alpacas, miniature horses, donkeys, Scottish Highland cattle, livestock guardian dogs, and more in the barnyard! The expanding farm often includes baby animals too. Feed, pet, and enjoy the animals while you take in the fresh mountain air and scenery. It’s a fresh take on the average vacation.

The property also boasts a 1 ½ acre pond. Overnight guests can bring their own gear and enjoy a leisurely day of fishing. 

Stay on the farm while you immerse yourself in a Sequatchie Valley vacation! A contrast to traditional lodging, this farm offers so much more than just a place to lay your head. It’s an experience, and one only found at Little Tail Farms. 

Highland Cottage at Little Tail Farms

Book a romantic stay at the tiny cottage on Little Tail Farms. The Highland Cottage accommodates 2 guests. Enjoy the Scottish Highland Cattle in the adjacent pasture. Furthermore, take a ¾ mile walk down the road to visit the animals in the barnyard. 

The Apartment at Little Tail Farms

Accommodating up to 6 guests, the one-bedroom and one-bathroom apartment is especially fun for families with children. A stay here includes views of the entire barnyard and all its animals. 

The Whole Farm 

This option includes both the cottage and the apartment, which makes it possible to stay with an extended family or group. 

Visiting Dunlap and the Sequatchie Valley

Scottish Highland Cattle at Little Tail Farms in Dunlap
Photo courtesy of Little Tail Farms

Little Tail Farms in Dunlap is 2 hours or less from Knoxville, Nashville, Crossville, and Chattanooga. Because of its proximity to so many of Tennessee’s largest cities and its array of waterfalls, hiking trails, and other outdoor adventures, the Sequatchie Valley is quickly becoming one of the South’s top destinations. 

Dunlap, like the other towns along the Sequatchie Valley National Scenic Byway, is coming back to life while celebrating its past. Historic downtown buildings are housing new businesses, and visitors are discovering new places to dine, shop, and relax. We encourage our clients and friends in the Smoky Mountain area to explore the Sequatchie Valley National Scenic Byway. On the wilder side of East Tennessee, you’ll find a diverse and dramatic landscape with untamed lands and unlimited options for an epic adventure. 

Kellum Creek Business Solutions Meets Our Clients Where They Are

David, Laurie, and Allie Bizzell overcame obstacles to build their business in Dunlap, TN
Photo courtesy of Little Tail Farms

Where are you with your business dream? While our business is headquartered in Sevierville and the Smoky Mountains, we love to venture out and partner with businesses in the Sequatchie Valley and East Tennessee. We meet our clients where they are, and we aren’t just speaking geographically.

Additionally, we meet our clients where they are on their timelines. Whether you’re just getting started or your business has been established for generations, the team at Kellum Creek Business Solutions can support you with our suite of marketing, public relations, and human resources needs. 

Sign up for our quarterly newsletter to stay updated with free business advice and inspirational stories like that of Little Tail Farms. Then, contact us for a free consultation about reaching your brand’s goals and fulfilling your business dreams. The team at KCBS is ready to support you – contact us today!

Authored in Appalachia || Amy Morton