Going to the Mid Atlantic Tiny House Expo in Fredericksburg this weekend has got me thinking about all the people that we meet at these events. Some are curious to see real tiny houses. Some have been living tiny for a while and want to upgrade. Many are retired and looking to find ways to live on a fixed income that still affords them the ability to travel and explore life. The young families who are looking to get rid of a mortgage and instead put that money into experiences. College students and their parents who want to find alternatives to dorms. Young couples looking to start their life out together without crushing debt. There are of course the extremely adventurous and alternative, as well as “hipsters”, but surprisingly they are not the majority of our visitors.
The funny thing is that most of these people remind me of me and my family. We’re not especially outdoorsy, but we love nature. We have too many things and a hard time imagining that we could live without them. As the one who does most of the housekeeping for a larger family, I really hate the thought of giving up my creature comforts. Let’s face it, who wants to give up a washer and dryer or a dishwasher?
Despite all of these things, the overwhelming response that we receive is “oh my gosh, I could totally see myself here!” or “I thought it would feel much smaller!” It all comes down to listening to our customers wants and needs to make them a perfect home. For example, retirees and people with bad knees (that includes me) often don’t love the idea of climbing stairs or ladders. That’s why I love our one story Dreamwood model. Families need more than one bedroom but don’t want their kids getting up and going to the bathroom in the middle of the night via ladder. Voila, our two bedroom, two staircase, two standing loft Sugarloaf model was born!
I’m sure that as we continue this business adventure, we will find many more features that we will want to include and some that we will remove as people decide they don’t need them. The important thing on our side is that we consult with our clients and hear their needs then try to translate those needs into a functional space.
One more thing that I look forward to this weekend at the Expo is catching up with other tiny house builders. They are as varied as the customers that come through the door, but I have never met one with whom I haven’t found common ground and many laughs! Although we’ve all had different reasons for starting our businesses, we all care about a quality build and giving our customers what they need (and if things they haven’t thought of yet!) If you are coming to see us at the Expo this weekend, stop by Craft & Sprout and say hey to Tori and Ken and their kids or give Tyra a hug at Cedar Hollow’s beautiful model!
Wrapping this up now to go prep for the show, but wanted to leave you with a message that I saw on a church sign as I was driving my daughter to school today:
Fill years with LIFE, not life with years.
Kind of encapsulates what tiny house life is all about!
PS- What are some of the things you want in a tiny house? What could you not live without?