I had a great time getting inspired by people in the Pro Session I facilitated on Friday and the Design Tips & Tricks session I presented twice on Saturday. On Sunday I really enjoyed picking the brains of people living in vans and skoolies and attending sessions like the Diversity Panel at the Village Stage and Courtney Carver's Project 333 presentation. I spent most of Sunday morning exploring tiny houses in DIY Village with new pals Kim and Stephanie, whom I'd met in my sessions.
After attending Tiny House Jamboree last year, you can be sure I wasn't about to miss the second annual Tiny House Jamboree, which was hosted in Colorado Springs last weekend by Darin Zaruba and his awesome team from EcoCabins! It flew by in a flurry of hugs, high fives, and making connections with tiny house enthusiasts from all across the country and around the world.
I was on Hawaiian Time when the Tiny House Collaborative launched, so I haven't yet taken the time to tell you how very excited I am about being part of this group of fabulous people. The short answer is pretty freakin' excited!
The Tiny House Collaborative is a team of 7 individuals, each passionate about providing the resources to design, build and dwell efficiently. We are combining our energy, time, and expertise so that we can more effectively share our love of tiny homes and our collective knowledge of living well in small spaces. It's a synergistic relationship because we can do more together than any one of us could do alone.
You have four opportunities to take advantage of this synergy right away:
- Sign up for our Tiny House 101 Workshop in Washington DC March 26-27
- Sign up for a Phone/Skype Consultation to address your specific questions
- Sign up for an On-Site Consultation so we can give you the skinny on your property's suitability for a tiny home
- Sign up for a Tiny House Tour so you can explore one of our tiny homes
So how did this group of people all join up? We think it was a little bit luck/fate/coincidence and a little bit being brave enough to act on our mutual friend crushes. When we all arrived in Colorado for the 2015 Tiny House Jamboree, we decided to kick off the weekend with a hike. We got to talking about what each of us were doing in the Tiny House Movement and how it was hard to do it alone. By the end of the hike, the seven of us had decided we had to find a way to combine efforts. And just like that, the Tiny House Collaborative became a twinkle in our eyes.
In December we gathered up to Visit Orlando Lakefront RV & Tiny House Park to explore the city where James and Kai live. We turned the trip into a retreat to figure out the details and prepare to share the Tiny House Collaborative with everyone else. That means YOU! We have created a website where you can learn more about the Collaborative and sign up for the services we currently offer. Please know there are many more good things to come!
What an incredible weekend! In April, when Lee Pera of Boneyard Studios first invited me to speak with her about tiny house communities at the Tiny House Jamboree, there were 3,500 people signed up to attend. By the time she and I connected in the Denver airport and drove to Colorado Springs, there were 11,000 people pre-registered. So we figured a third of those folks would show up and that would be the largest number of tiny house enthusiasts ever in one place at one time. Little did we know. (No pun intended!) Turns out those of us who find tiny houses irresistible are in good company! By the time the three-day event wrapped up more than 40,000 people had passed through the gates of the Western Museum of Mining & Industry (which hosted the Jamboree)!
And what a great crowd! There was incredible energy since everyone I talked to was curious, excited, and exploratory. The tiny house curious folks were just beginning to dabble in the tiny house scene. The tiny house enthusiasts came with sketch books, cameras, and tape measures so they could get serious about their design ideas. One woman even showed up, checkbook in hand, ready to take a leap of faith into the little life! I met people from nearly every state and a few other countries. (Oh hey, #famousfrieda!)
On Saturday morning during our presentation, Lee and I shared 5 Models for Tiny House Communities and 5 Steps to Create a Tiny House Community. I also got to watch and listen as other presenters shared their expertise. Molly Orendorff shared clever tips for decluttering, Damon from Trailer Made explained tiny house foundation fundamentals, Kai Rostcheck of Tiny House Dating played matchmaker for a tiny house dating game, Zack Giffin of Tiny House Nation described the increasing interest in the little life, and so much more! I even got to watch as Andrew Odom performed a vow renewal ceremony for a couple’s ten year anniversary. (And the best part? Their three year old held my hand! Eep!)
Part of the time I tabled with Patrick from Artisan Tiny House, who created my SIPs kit and kits for two sets of clients whose houses we put up this spring. Part of the time I tabled with some other great folks who designed and built their own homes and are now helping others do the same: Lee Pera of Boneyard Studios, Alek Lisefski of The Tiny Project, Vina Lustado of Sol Haus Design, and BA Norrgard of A Bed Over My Head. When I wasn’t tabling, speaking, listening to speakers, or exploring the tiny houses, I had great conversations with great people: Gabriel Craft of Small and Tiny Home Ideas, Gabriella Stupakoff Morrison and Andrew Morrison of hOMe and Tiny House Build, Byron and Dot Fears from Simblissity, James Taylor from The Company Store on Wheels and Orlando Lakefront at College Park (an RV park turned tiny house community) and hundreds of others!
Yesterday I spent the day with Robin, a design client of mine here in Denver. In addition to identifying next steps for her house, she also took me to see Wee Casa and invited me to speak at the Denver Tiny House Enthusiasts Meet Up. That was oodles of fun, too!
It’s thrilling to see so many people exploring intentional living through tiny houses. I don’t think the timing could be better for Ramping Up Niche Consulting LLC. I’m honored to have been part of the first Tiny House Jamboree. We’re hoping that as soon as Darin Zaruba of EcoCabins (and his team - hey, Angela Alcorn, Coles Whalen, and Marcus Alvarado!) have a chance to get some sleep they’ll decide to host the second annual Tiny House Jamboree. I’ve already marked my calendar for the first weekend of August in 2016. See you there!