Why are tiny house festivals important? My guest, Renee Seevers, is the creator of TinyFest Midwest, TinyFest California, and recently TinyFest Southwest. Renee tells me about switching from a tiny house to a skoolie, what it’s like running the festivals, and what you can expect at one of her TinyFest events.
In This Episode:
- Terrifying tiny house mistakes
- What to expect at a TinyFest
- Building community for people on the move
- Upcoming tiny house events
- Why tiny house festivals are important
Links and Resources:
- Tiny House Giant Journey
- Miranda’s Hearth (Big Mass Tiny House Festival)
- Tiny House Expedition
TinyFest Founder and CEO Renee Seevers (formerly McLaughlin) went ‘tiny’ in 2015 after swapping her 3,300 square foot house in Iowa to an 87 square foot tiny home on wheels. Inspired by her experience, Renee started TinyFest Midwest in her home state before relocating and adding events in the Northwest, Southwest, California, and Texas.
For Renee, the idea of “Going Tiny” is more than just buying and moving into a moveable home. It’s about sustainability, autonomy, flexibility, and freedom: financial freedom, freedom of mobility, and freedom from stuff and stress. And, it’s about having fun!
This Week's Sponsor:
Tiny House Considerations
Tiny House Considerations is an 8-week interactive course to plan your tiny house with Ethan Waldman and Lina Menard as your guides. Includes:
- Weekly Lessons and Assignments
- Weekly Live Zoom Q&A Sessions with Two Pro Instructors
- Comprehensive Templates
- An Amazing Community
Learn more and register: https://www.thetinyhouse.net/thc
Renee lived in her tiny home for four and a half years
She now lives in a skoolie in Oregon
She and her husband have 160 acres in Oregon to keep them busy between TinyFests
The first TinyFest Midwest took place near Des Moines, Iowa
Nomad Village is a great community at each TinyFest
You might see more than tiny homes at one of Renee's events!
Renee loves the diversity of both people and their tiny homes at the TinyFest events
Renee Seevers 0:00
If I'm going to pull over and grab a bite to eat or go to the restroom or pull over for the night, I don't have to get out. As a single female just walk around and kind of announce, "Hey, I'm here by myself." So it's really nice to be able to just stop, put the curtain up, duck into the back, and no one knows who's inside.
Ethan Waldman 0:16
Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, the show where you learn how to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman, and this is episode 242 With Renee Seevers. My guest, Renee Seevers, has done I think 13 Tiny House festivals to date. She is the creator of TinyFest Midwest, TinyFest, California, and recently TinyFest Southwest in Phoenix, Arizona. In this interview, I asked Renee about her personal Tiny House journey, why she switched from a tiny house on wheels to a tiny bus after four and a half years of living tiny, and all about what it's like running the festivals and kind of what you can expect at one of Rene's TinyFests. It's a really nice conversation. I learned a lot and I think you should meet Renee because she is a good person to know in this in this tiny house world. I hope you stick around.
Alright. But first, I wanted to let you know that registration for my interactive eight week tiny house course called Tiny House Considerations is now open. This is like if you want to build a tiny house or buy a tiny house in 2023. And you want the most attention for me that you possibly can get. This would be the course it's a small group setting. My co instructor is Lina Menard, multiple time podcast guest and just a really talented builder and designer. And we take a group of about six or seven or eight of you through the Tiny House Decisions framework and help you plan all of the systems all the building methods of your tiny house. It's it's quite an experience and it will really help you get your tiny house off on the best foot possible. Registration is open now. There's a $100 early bird discount that's happening if you register before the end of the year, so before January 1, and you can learn more over at thetinyhouse.net/THC. Again that's thetinyhouse.net/THC. I know what you're thinking but that stands for Tiny House Considerations. So check out the tiny house.net/thc And I hope to see you in class.
Right, I am here with TinyFest founder and CEO, Renee Seevers. Rene went tiny in 2015 after swapping her 3300 square foot house in Iowa to an 87 square foot tiny home on wheels. Inspired by her experience, Renee started TinyFest Midwest in her home state before relocating and adding events in the Northwest, Southwest, California, and Texas. For Renee, the idea of “Going Tiny” is more than just buying and moving into a moveable home. It’s about sustainability, autonomy, flexibility, and freedom - financial freedom, freedom of mobility, and freedom from stuff and stress. And, it’s about having fun! Renee Seevers, welcome to the show.
Renee Seevers 3:55
Hi, welcome. Thank you for having me.
Ethan Waldman 3:58
Yeah, you're very welcome. Um, so let's start with your your tiny story before we we go to the festivals. What was the, what was the motivation behind your transition to living tiny?
Renee Seevers 4:12
It's so hard to say because I don't have this one defining moment of, or one defining thing. This year was really taking control of my life and finding something that worked for me. And I had traveled a lot and moved a lot in my life. I had just gone, at that time in 2015 my, my youngest graduated from high school and went on to college and my boyfriend at the time just up and left one day when I was at work. So it was kind of a life changing time and a period of time and it just became a time that was like okay, time to do what I want, you know? And these tiny houses had been on my radar and I said, "Yeah, this is what I want. Something that I can mold into a way of life that works for me."
Ethan Waldman 5:03
Nice. Was there. Was there a particular tiny house or person that you were following at the time that you were like, really motivated by or that you were really kind of moved by?
Renee Seevers 5:15
Yeah, as someone you know, actually. Well, first of all, I was watching Tiny House Giant Jjourney, saw some of those videos. And then Lina, Lina Menard. I loved her Lucky Penny and had been watching her show to see the different tiny homes that she had been touring. And so in 2015, I believe or 2016 I can't remember. But it must have been 2015. I went to Oregon. And I did what I called the tiny house trifecta. So it took a I went to the live large build small conference, I took a workshop from Oh, oh, shoot, I'm drawing a blank and it's terrible, because she's the pioneer.... Dee Williams! Sorry, Dee. I did the workshop. Yeah, took the workshop with Dee Williams. And then I stayed the night at the Tiny House Hotel, the Gypsy Caravan Hotel there. And so it just kind of dove in. And that really helped me being able to see things in person, and meet people. And I actually did get to go to Lina's tiny house and visit her that that trip, and
Ethan Waldman 6:25
Renee Seevers 6:26
Just really nice to be able to see things in person. That made a big difference to me. And so I think that's one of the reasons why I'm so drawn to hosting tiny fest is that people are able to experience it in real life. And that can really help you shape your your your path.
Ethan Waldman 6:47
Got it. So did you, did you build or buy?
Renee Seevers 6:51
I bought one.
Ethan Waldman 6:53
Renee Seevers 6:53
Ethan Waldman 6:54
Renee Seevers 6:54
And I know people, I'm very proud of people that have no building experience and can can build a beautiful thing. But I know myself, and I know what would have been years upon years and it probably would have looked like an eighth grade shop project. You know what I mean? It's just, I knew that the first time I would try it, it wouldn't be the best. And so yeah, I did. I did buy one as a homemade one. And nothing fancy was $10,000 Very small. And, you know, you get what you pay for. So I learned a lot. I learned how to fix things. So that was good, I guess. But it was home it was cozy and I had it for four and a half years. After that four and a half years in the tiny home I, I had the bus built.
Ethan Waldman 7:47
Okay, so after four and a half years you decided to go from from a tiny house to a bus. Can you talk about that decision and why you decided to make the change?
Renee Seevers 7:59
Yeah, the bus was more mobile, really. It was a nice change. The tiny house that I bought, like I said was not professionally built, but it that way. And so it did need several repairs, but
Ethan Waldman 8:15
Renee Seevers 8:16
it just was easier to get around in the bus. And I could design a home the way I wanted. First one I bought was already designed and finished and ready to go I didn't really have any say in what went where. And after living four and a half years in there. I understood very well how I use space what I needed more of what I needed less of. And so I was able to design something that worked really well for me.
Ethan Waldman 8:41
Got it. So actually, can I just ask like what kind of, what kind of repairs did the tiny house need? I'm always curious to hear about like, what what maintenance issues people are running into.
Renee Seevers 8:50
Sure. Yeah, the gentleman that made it did not quite understand Iowa winter so I had pipes that burst. The solar wasn't strong enough. The axle, Oh, there we go. This is the big one. The axle was not long enough for the weight that he built on it. And so at one point, I drove out to the Tiny House Jamboree in Colorado. And when I was driving back, my wheel came off while I was going down the highway. It actually sheared the lug nut
Ethan Waldman 9:26
Oh my gosh.
Renee Seevers 9:27
and the whole wheel came off and it was a very, very dangerous situation. Luckily, no one was hurt and damage was very minimal. But it was a big eye opener for for me and you know, I always pass along to people that I know it's it's really good to have a professional build a tiny house. Drive a tiny house.
Ethan Waldman 9:49
Renee Seevers 9:51
Yeah. Or at least get that professional kind of seal of approval on what you're doing. If you're doing it on your own. It's not a thing you kind of want to throw together as an experiment, and then down the road with the safety of other people and yourself at risk.
Ethan Waldman 10:08
Wow, that's terrifying.
Renee Seevers 10:10
Ethan Waldman 10:11
And were you able to get the house like pulled over to the side of the road.
Renee Seevers 10:15
Yes, yes, I thought I had a flat tire. And luckily it was on the passenger side. So I was as I was driving over to the side of the road, the pressure of me going that direction kept the wheel spinning around in the wheel well. So it kind of kept me going until, until that momentum stopped. And then it just shot out down the road. It was crazy. But wow, everything aligned that day, by miracle chance somebody pulled up right behind me that had all the tools to wedge it off the ground because you really couldn't get a jack under there very well.
Ethan Waldman 10:48
Renee Seevers 10:48
I had the tools to change the tire because I had a spare. And the lug nuts. Like I said, the lug nuts were sheared. But he happened to have bolts in his rig that were big, huge bolts that fit enough because I was only a mile from the exit and from a tire shop. So I just had to use that safely get it if you're going to have a catastrophe that wouldn't couldn't have worked out better. You know what it was? I couldn't have gotten any luckier.
Ethan Waldman 11:02
Oh, it was single axle.
Renee Seevers 11:23
Single Axle. So never again, you know, do I do I trust a single axle. So what I did was I ended up having I parked the tiny house and did not move it, you know, lived in it on on my parents land. And so I ended up cutting off the axle having it piggybacked onto a dual axle trailer. And so I had, you know.
Ethan Waldman 11:47
Renee Seevers 11:48
Yeah, it was the it was the the only way I could comfortably solve it. I mean, people say, "Oh, put a stronger axle under there." But still, I was so worried about single axle. You know, even if the axle were strong, get a flat tire. It could really be dangerous. So, yeah, yeah. So I had this odd looking tall, tiny house. Luckily, it was short to begin with, so I could piggyback it on and still not have it be too tall. But yeah, it was, was a lot of learning experience. And that helps. So when I was in the bus, I was really, you know, like I said, I knew what I wanted. I knew what I needed.
Ethan Waldman 12:27
Renee Seevers 12:28
And I knew the safety features to really look out for as well. So being a small bus is easier.
Ethan Waldman 12:37
Yeah, tell me more about the bus.
Renee Seevers 12:39
So it's a little five window bus with an emergency exit on the side. What sorry, the emergency exits on the back. So a big door on the back, and then a big door on the side because I've had, had a wheelchair lift. And so really, there's a lot of fresh air coming in a lot of ability to open up to nature, lots of windows and kept as many as I could just blocked out I think, to two or three windows on the on the entire thing. So it's very open and airy.
Ethan Waldman 13:09
Renee Seevers 13:10
A shorter bus is easier to repair. It's basically it's a van chassis, okay, so I can go to any mechanic. And if they're a little weary, which I get that like, Oh, we don't you know, we don't do best, is it? No, it's a it's a Chevy Express. It's the bus. I mean a van. It's a van. It has all the components of mechanical components of a Chevy van. So we just had the bus body on back. So that was nice. It's easy to maneuver. It feels very safe. You know, when I'm driving, I don't want to stop. I want to pull over and grab a bite to eat or go to the restroom or pull over for the night. I don't have to get out of the vehicle. Walk around, you know, as a single female, just walk around and kind of announce, "Hey, I'm here by myself." So it's really nice to be able to just stop, put the curtain up, duck into the back, and no one knows who's inside.
Ethan Waldman 14:00
Very cool. And so is it is the bus winterized for Iowa winters are you kind of chasing the warmer winters?
Renee Seevers 14:10
Well, it's, it does okay. There's not, it's not something I would want to live in, in Iowa in the winter but when I built it I also knew I wouldn't be spending a lot of a lot of time there. So in the in the winter I'll go and visit you know family is there and lots of wonderful friends so I do go back to Iowa a lot. But I choose the time of year that I go and if it's really freezing cold I can stay with family. But otherwise I do like to stay in my home. And so yeah, it's interesting when you travel in a bus or a van you know, folks that you meet are always saying, Oh you can come inside and and you know stay in the guest bedroom." And I'm thinking, "Very nice offer. Thank you so much, but I have my home right here." Like my pillows and my blankets and and Um, yeah, I wouldn't leave your home to go to someone else's guest bedroom, you know. So, yeah, he has all the comforts and have a house to me and feels very, very comfortable. That's awesome.
Ethan Waldman 15:13
Yeah, that's fun. When you go to visit, you've got the most comfortable bed, you possibly can have your own.
Renee Seevers 15:19
Ethan Waldman 15:21
So we've talked about about your two different tiny houses and your kind of journey. At what point during that, you know, your four and a half years in the in the tiny house on wheels and then into the bus? You know, at what point did you start thinking like that you wanted to start creating tiny house events.
Renee Seevers 15:45
Oh, very, very early on, actually. Because I, as I mentioned, I was so impacted by the trip I took to organize all the tiny houses in person for the first time I knew right away, not want to try and pull something that tall. I want to travel and those are not meant for driving down the road every day.
Ethan Waldman 16:04
Renee Seevers 16:04
There are people that have done it, and they beautiful exposure on YouTube to people to people like me to be able to, you know, get get inducted into the idea. Yeah. But it didn't feel practical for me. So I also went to the Tiny House Jamboree, and a couple of the events that united tiny homes puts on, and I just thought you know, we need this in the Midwest, people don't understand the concept as well there. And the trend really hadn't hit there yet. And so, so we need, we need this. I want to show people that there's a different option. And so I held TinyFest Midwest in the fall of 2017. And had that near Des Moines, Iowa. Had Jay Shafer come you know, he's from Iowa. He's from Ames, actually the same town that I'm from, though we didn't know that until a while living that? Yeah, yeah. So we flew him out from California and, and he was our keynote speaker at the first event. So that was fabulous to have him there. And it was really interesting that people kept coming to the event and saying, "I felt like I was the only one. You know, I don't, I don't know anybody else is interested in this, I don't know anyone else that's living this lifestyle, I felt kind of like a fish out of water, like I was the only one in Iowa. And here I am surrounded by others." And so I felt the same way. So it's really great to see other people doing it and kind of be surrounded by like minded souls. And it just made such a positive impact on people. And I decided to just keep doing it and keep exposing people, giving them the chance to just see a different option for their life and a chance to feel comfortable and accepted for their ideas, which may be, you know, outside of the norm. So it was it was just kind of a thing of passion. And it was it was fun and exciting. I'd never been an event organizer before. I didn't even throw, you know, dinner parties, right? It was famous for showing up with a bag of chips.
Ethan Waldman 18:10
Well, that's impressive. I would say the biggest event that I ever planned offline, I've done plenty of online events, was like, was my wedding. My wife and I actually got married at our tiny house on the property that we were renting. And you know, we had to bring in everything - generators, the tent, the lights, everything. And I was like, I had so much respect I have so much respect for people who plan live events. So kudos to you for for kind of continuing how many? So you you you started with TinyFest Midwest, and you've done that every year, right?
Renee Seevers 18:49
Well I've done for what I found is that it's really great to do it in the Midwest and exposed to people and I love being there was very hard to find builders to bring their their show models. And there's just not as strong of a need.
Ethan Waldman 19:05
Renee Seevers 19:06
I had gone out to California, where Jay was living in in that area that he was in a hosted an event out in San Jose. And I saw for the for the first time my myself because I went moved out there for a while he understood my tiny house. That's one of the one of the perks. Yeah, the really the strong need for optional housing for attainable housing. And so that really spurred me, then I realized I only have so much time, you know, I can only do so many events a year. So doing the events in the bigger cities where there was a stronger need and stronger interest and more builders that were going to get their business started. It made sense so I haven't done the Midwest event since fall of 2020. Now it's a California is a big event San Diego and I just had Phoenix
Ethan Waldman 20:00
Nice. And so you've got you've got kind of the west and southwest covered.
Renee Seevers 20:05
Yeah, pretty much over here on the on the west and the Southwest. And now I'm up in Oregon. I've done a couple events up here in Oregon in the past, and, you know, several California events, so and then they come on event 13th or 14th. Wow, wow. And I have a fabulous through, mostly from Iowa that flies out. And they, they put it together, oh my gosh, and and a team that works with me. Actually, I have one or two people that work with me year round, and then a great team that comes to the events and they're just amazing. That's amazing. I couldn't do it without them. I'm sure you found that with your wedding. There's so many details and so many pieces to pull together, you really have to have good people around you. Just blessed that way
Ethan Waldman 20:46
So many. At the tiny fests what's the kind of balance? I don't know if balance is the right word, but but I'm guessing like there are lots of tiny houses that people can come and see both, you know, like, kind of builder models. And also people are bringing their their tiny homes, their vans, their, their, their buses? And then is there is there like a speaking and a teaching component like can people come and listen to talks as well?
Renee Seevers 21:14
Oh, absolutely, that's a big component for us to be able to provide that information. It's good to have inspiration, but having the information is is key for people that are, you know, working toward their tiny living dreams. So we have two stages. And each one has a new presentation each hour. And several of them on the community stage. We call it our panel discussion discussions, our new panel discussions, which are really helpful to people nice, very, very helpful that they can ask questions get several different perspectives. And so we try to cover a variety of topics so that people have that, that kind of inspiration that kind of I can do this feeling, but also have some key information to help them get started. So legalizing tiny homes, you know, what to look for, when you're buying them, how to figure out where you can, you know, put them and then build topics, as far as you know, the components and where to get help. And kind of what you need to know. I mean, it just goes on and on. I feel like we could have a week's worth of presentations and still barely scratched the surface. Because there's so much there. Yeah, with tiny homes unknown and living, there's so much there that you know that you could talk about the backyard units, a tiny house communities, the benefit to someone as an individual, you know, what it can do for them financially and just bring up their life from all the stuff around them freeing up some of their time, because they don't have the huge expenses, and what that does for them in their, their life and their their health and their happiness. Yeah, the list just goes on and on. So the we try to encourage people is to make connections at the event, you know, we do have all the speakers, the panel discussions, the builders are there, they're great, and they're full of wonderful information, but also the nomads. We call it the Nomad Village where folks are just coming to open up their home. And it's most often a van or skoolie or a box truck, you know, ambulance, all that we get quite a variety. Because a lot of people aren't like us that are towing the tiny houses all over the country all the time. But they have such a wealth of knowledge, and they're just there to help. They just want to help people, you know, avoid mistakes and have the support and the encouragement to know they can do it if they if it's something they want and help them find a path. They're, they're fabulous individuals and then you can always you know, follow up with them later and, and just try and glean as much as you can from the event and connect with people.
Ethan Waldman 23:55
Whenever I've, I've attended any tiny festivals I've always enjoyed connecting with the people, you know, the nomads, the people who are there and hanging out, that's been my favorite, favorite part of it is just like getting to meet, meet them and kind of hang with them. I'm usually there as a speaker. So it's kind of fun, I get you to hang out after hours and everyone is there and they and the festivals seem like they become like a place where people who are living on the road can kind of meet back up and reconnect and make new new friends and connections.
Renee Seevers 24:32
Absolutely, absolutely they do. They love to come together and see each other sometimes they just see each other at Tiny Fest and sometimes they'll gather a little bit afterward and do some things together and then kind of go their own way. It's it's a great way to have community, which is what so many people are seeking right now. You know whether they're in the road or in one in a tiny home. We hear that word community a lot.
Ethan Waldman 24:58
Renee Seevers 24:59
And this Community, just a backup a touch, I always tell people, even if they're not living in the same type of home that you are considering they have so much real life practical experience, and you know about living small and what to expect whether you're on the road or not. And when you're on the road, they they have just even that much more information. It's amazing the stuff you can learn just hanging out and talking and and, you know, just having a nice conversation can really spark different ideas and different avenues to continue learning from.
Ethan Waldman 25:35
Yeah. So you just came off of, of the Arizona, best, tiny fast, which was December third and fourth. How did it go?
Renee Seevers 25:47
TinyFest Southwest, was held, like you said in Arizona, in Phoenix, basically, desert climate and go figure we had the rainiest day in Phoenix history since 1908. So a lot of people stayed home. And so it was a fabulous event. Great builders, all kinds of variety, a lot of van conversion specialist, fabulous nomads, we have quite a variety of people there. I like to make sure that when someone comes to an event, they can, they can see someone they can see themselves in someone else, you know, so we try to have different different age groups, families, single people, you know, different races and ethnic backgrounds, just all kinds of different situations in life. So that if you go you're like, oh, that there's someone that's like me, you know, they're they're a single, single woman that kids have grown up, and I can see myself doing this. They're doing it, you know.
Ethan Waldman 26:55
Renee Seevers 26:55
And so we tried to make sure that that, that that's covered. And so we had a great event, just not as many people came out because of the strongly because of the weather, the weather. Yeah, when rains in Arizona, they stay home. So but the diehards came out. And they had a great time because they didn't have the folks that are really really interested. You know, they're like, I'm not letting anything stop me. This is my dream. I'm going like, and they didn't have any lines to contend with. You know, there's a lot of times you'll get a line of people waiting to see the tiny house. So they got to really get a lot in in in the time that they were there. So that was fabulous.
Ethan Waldman 27:35
Yeah. I'll bet. And then what's next for you? Oh, sorry. Go ahead.
Renee Seevers 27:42
No, that's okay. That's perfect. Because I was gonna say, I mentioned, you know, that I got started tiny. When my, my daughter, youngest one went to college, and I was, you know, by myself. And it just kind of mentioned that again, but I'm actually not a single anymore. I just got married last month. And
Ethan Waldman 27:59
Renee Seevers 28:01
Thank you, thank you. So it's been been a long time coming. And I'm, I met the most fabulous man who builds tiny off grid cabins. And so that that was a match, you know, a match made in heaven there. So we actually bought property in Oregon. And so the bus for the last, you know, several months has been pretty still, except, except for the trips to TinyFests. And it's fabulous to have it. We, we live in the bus on the property. And that works out really well. And we can take small trips and big ones, but we're a little bit focused on on the property at the moment, you know, which is a great thing with tiny houses. And, you know, homes that you can move around is they can adapt to what you're doing at the time, you know, whether it's being your family in Iowa, which I've had times of that and being your family in Oregon and being at the events and so now we're able to really focus on the property and you know, building up what we want to do here and just figuring that out as a matter of fact, like I'm not really sure yet what all is going to happen here but it's a great 160 acre space and we just keep saying it's perfect for people with tiny houses and vans to come and stay so we'll see what happens. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman 29:19
What, what part of the state are you in?
Renee Seevers 29:22
So we're in Roseburg, which is about halfway between Eugene and Ashlyn so about a third of the way up the state right off of i Five just 20 minutes or so off of I five minutes. And so yeah, it's temporary whether the buses fine in the winter, it's insulated enough for that. And so really enjoying that. That opportunity. We take it to tiny fest, like I said, and a few small trips in between and right now it's serving as our offer at home.
Ethan Waldman 29:51
Nice. Very cool. And so in terms of of your next festival what's coming up?
Renee Seevers 29:58
Yeah, TinyFest California is coming up, middle of March down in San Diego, it'll be our fourth year there. And it's always a big event. So many people there that are looking for alternative housing, whether that'd be backyard units or van conversions. A lot of buses are, you know, of course, are getting bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger deal and sometimes even bigger buses. So there's just so much variety there in San Diego, that it's nice to hit the variety of needs that people have.
Ethan Waldman 30:30
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I think that it's, there's no better way to really get a sense, or which flavor of tiny rent living might be right for you. And also just see lots of different designs, lots of different kind of takes on the concept.
Renee Seevers 30:47
Yeah, you really do get that kind of feeling like you're Goldilocks, you know, you go into one and you think, "Oh, it's been a little too small." And try another one. And, "Oh, this this yeah, suddenly seems big." You know, because we'll have tiny homes that are Park Model 400 square feet, we've even had a couple of ADUs there that are 600 800 square feet, just see really gives you that perspective, when you can go from 60. You know, vans are usually 60 to to four or 600. And see kind of everything in between go, oh, yeah, this is this is good. And then you start asking the folks or what's the plus and minus of this size? You know, what's, what's the drawback to having? Like, for me, yeah, a lot of people say, you know, why not a bigger bus? And then like, oh, that's, you have trouble parking, you have to go to a fleet mechanic. It's not as easy to drive. But you know, but what do you give up? Well, you give up this space, and you can really get those kinds of pros and cons to almost any type of home there. Yeah. And and because you're getting so many different perspectives, and you're, you're feeling it for yourself those different perspectives as well. When you walk inside, yeah.
Ethan Waldman 31:59
Are you? Are you scouting any, any new locations? Potentially, the Northeast? We need, we need a Fest up here.
Renee Seevers 32:08
I am not. I'm not. You know, it's like I said, it's hard. I only have so much time I have a little tiny team. And we can do we feel like oh, man, if we could do a tiny house festival every month, that would be it would be great for everyone else. But it would be awful for us because it is a lot of work and a lot of for you.
Ethan Waldman 32:28
Renee Seevers 32:29
So I wish there were more people out there that that wanted to do tiny house festivals. And if they did, I'd certainly, you know, be willing to offer any help that I can. I've done that for a couple of folks that were doing events, you know, in their in their area. I just can't do it all myself. And I know you used to have a couple of fabulous ones. Of course the Big Mass up there. Yeah. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman 32:53
And Tiny. Tiny House Fest Vermont. Yeah, Vermont. Yeah.
Renee Seevers 32:58
And so I'm not sure if those are those are still going but I just had somebody asked me the other day, if I would, you know, consider doing a festival out there. Kind of sticking with the with the West Coast. Since I'm here mostly and and the the event in California is just such a good, strong one. Might go ahead and try Phoenix again next year, and assume that you're not going to have the 100 year rains two years in a row.
Ethan Waldman 33:23
So you can get that classic Arizona wall to wall blue sky.
Renee Seevers 33:28
Yeah, yeah, it was. It was there before and after just not during just not that weekend. So yeah. Yeah, the Phoenix is just growing so so quickly, and they're able to, you know, yeah, right out they've got that urban sprawl down good but I think that they're really going to be needing some fill in you know, infill options, like the ad use and the tiny homes are going to be something that strongly for them very, very soon.
Ethan Waldman 34:01
So nice. Yeah, well, thanks for doing what you're doing. I mean, it's it's it's the kind of thing that as you you've just said, it's it's really hard work and we need more people doing it. But I'm glad that you're one of them. So thanks for all your work doing these.
Renee Seevers 34:19
You bet. It's kind of a it's kind of a labor of love. It's exciting. And yeah, and it's rewarding so rewarding in so many different ways.
Ethan Waldman 34:28
Renee Seevers 34:29
Every now and then I think about giving it up and then go - we do a gratitude circle on Saturday night the nomads before we have a potluck ones that are brought their homes and everyone says what they're grateful for and it's just hard to think about, man. They'd have one less thing to be grateful for, you know, they'd have one less friend or several less friends that they know on the road because they didn't need a tiny fast and so it's just it's hard to give it up but You know, get, keep plugging along couple of years and, and find a good balance in life.
Ethan Waldman 35:06
Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's, that's good advice. Well, one thing that I like to ask all my guests is, what are two or three resources that could be books, it could be people websites, and really anything kind of open ended, just things that have inspired you that you'd like to share with our listeners?
Renee Seevers 35:25
Yeah, I think, for me, it's been the ability to connect with people in, in person. And so there's lots of fabulous information online, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Some people sift through it very well, and others don't. So I know your conferences is fabulous. And that's, that's so much great information that people can tap into, I really feel like meeting people in person adds a well rounded balance to the educational offerings and the ability to kind of get some specific help. So anytime that there's any events nearby. It doesn't have to be a big huge, you know, tiny fest, it can be small gatherings or create one, you know, just create a gathering of people that, that want to build a tiny house and see what you can learn from each other and who, you know, who you can attract. But there are a lot of different events out there. And you can find them on a variety of websites. I know. Tiny House expedition has a really comprehensive list of, of events on their website, as do so many others. And so I I guess it's I'm not trying to toot my own horn. I think there's a lot of different human connections to be to be made. But I really feel like there's a lot of value in that.
Ethan Waldman 36:50
Yeah. Yeah. Nice. Well, Renee Seevers, thanks so much for being a guest on the show. This was great.
Renee Seevers 36:58
Thank you, thank you, I really appreciate the opportunity. You know, we met at a tiny house festival so many years ago, ourselves, and it just, you're on the East Coast on the west, and we haven't really crossed paths and so long, and I'm really enjoying watching what you're doing online and all the great value you're providing. So it's been an honor to be here. Thank you.
Ethan Waldman 37:18
Thank you. Likewise.
Thank you so much to Renee Seevers for being a guest on the show today. You can find the show notes, including a complete transcript, lots of great photos from past TinyFests and more over at thetinyhouse.net/242. Again, that's thetinyhouse.net/242.
Also, I hope you will consider learning more about Tiny House Considerations, that is my small, interactive group course where I will personally help you plan your tiny house for 2023 and beyond. It follows the Tiny House Decisions framework so that that book, the resource that I created Tiny House Decisions kind of serves as the textbook for the class, but we go really deep, and we have the support of the amazing Lina Menard as my co instructor so you can learn more about Tiny House Considerations over at thetinyhouse.net/THC. Again, that's thetinyhouse.net/THC and that stands for Tiny House Considerations.
Well, that will be all for this week. I'm your host Ethan Waldman, and I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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