A year ago today I started my own sustainable design consulting company, Niche Consulting LLC. So my baby company is one year old today! Happy Birthday, Niche!
For Niche, like for most start-up companies – and most human babies for that matter – the first year was full of experimentation and growth. Through Niche this year I taught workshops, met with clients for design and lifestyle consultations, sketched up tiny house designs, participated in conferences and working groups, and supported other sustainable development companies. I worked with dozens of great individuals and a handful of wonderful companies, including Intrinsic Ventures, Portland Alternative Dwellings, Caravan – The Tiny House Hotel, and Yestermorrow Design-Build School.
As I've embarked on Lina's Next Adventure, I've learned a great deal through trial-and-error as well as from the advice and support of friends, family, colleagues, and a few perfect strangers, too. Sometimes it’s felt like I could barely hold my head up and sometimes it’s felt like I was crawling, but now that I’ve got my feet underneath me, Niche and I are eager to toddle out and explore what this second year of life is all about. (Hopefully, it won’t be the terrible twos!)
Of course, I’ve also been overwhelmed by the support from my friends and family. Special thanks go to Sandy Hall, Amy Gammill, Rose Jones, Kathy MacMaster, and Pat Hovis for being my cheer squad! It’s also been great to be starting up my company while several friends and two of my sisters start companies of their own.
These friends and family members of mine also welcomed new businesses into the world this year:
- My sister Sarah created Farthest North Films so that she can pursue her love of documenting life in Alaska. (Her company is so new the website hasn't been built out yet - stay tuned!)
- My sister Katie created Bring Baby Fitness so she (and her infant son Caleb) can help other new parents take good care of themselves and their little ones. (Her company is so new the website hasn't been built out yet - stay tuned!)
- My friends Derin and Andra Williams have created Shelter Wise LLC to build tiny houses and do energy efficiency work.
- My friends Deb Delman and Kol Peterson created Caravan - The Tiny House Hotel.
- My friends Jeremy Beasley and Kelly Nardo are creating a film about tiny living called Small is Beautiful.
- My friend Karin Parramore co-founded Good Life Medicine Center (and its development overlapped with construction of her tiny house on wheels, Serenity! Two new babies for Karin this year! She deserves a medal – and a break!)
- My friend Lindsey Thompson started up Thompson Family Acupuncture Clinic and began blogging at Stick Out Your Tongue.
- My friend Lisa Curtis has developed Kuli Kuli Bars which you can now request that your local Whole Foods carry.
Meanwhile, I continue to be inspired by the friends who have blazed the entrepreneurial path before me and created sustainability-focused companies of their own:
- Brittany Yunker rents out her sweet Bayside Bungalow as a tiny vacation rental.
- Tammy Strobel teaches e-courses on simple living, writing, and photography (I've just registered for her latest one A Simple Year and I'm so excited to get started!)
- Dee Williams and Joan Grimm provide inspiration, education, and information for people creating tiny houses through Portland Alternative Dwellings
- Matt Eppelsheimer does web development through is company Rocket Lift Incorporated
- Corey McKrill builds websites through Jupiterwise Design
- Curt Bowen supports sustainable farming practices in Guatamala through Semilla Nueva
- Emily Dietsman and Andy Asmus grow amazing food, flowers, and community through Welcome Table Farm
- Apologies to anyone I left off the list! Remind me and I'll add you!
It’s been an honor to work alongside these impressive folks as we create companies that strive to do well by doing good. Here’s to supporting small businesses with big hearts this year!