Tiny House Jamboree 2016
I am in love with the people of tiny houses. Dan and I decided (very last minute) to take a four day trip to the Jamboree in Colorado Springs last weekend. He had Thursday to Sunday off work, so on Thursday morning we packed up the C with our camping gear and dropped the dogs off at their dogsitters. We drove what was supposed to be a 9 hour trip to Colorado, but we took the scenic route and got stuck in UT 6 canyon in southern Utah behind some construction for a couple of hours. No biggie, the view was fantastic. I <3 Utah! We arrived in Colorado Springs at dusk on Thursday, which was too late for us to go to the industry-only event that kicks off the Jam. Oh well, we had three days to meet and talk to people.
Since we only decided on Wednesday night to drive to the Jamboree on Thursday, we figured it would be hard to find a place to stay. OMG. We called just about every hotel/motel in Colorado Springs and they were all sold out. Even a lot of the campgrounds were full up. We were getting desperate when Megan and Jeff from Room to Spare Tiny House offered us a tent spot on their camp site for Thursday night. We pitched our tent next to their Linden (yay!) and stayed up way too late hanging out with them and their dog, Addie, in the tiny house and talking shop about tiny houses. Thank you Megan and Jeff!
Jay Shafer is a hero of mine. His designs are what first brought me to tiny houses, and he has the particular essence that I can't describe but what makes a visionary and good designer. I finally got to meet him in person on Friday, and Dan says I went a bit fan-girl on him. I probably gushed at him in the most embarrassing way but Jay must get that a lot.
I also caught up with Story Coffee Company. Don Neimyer attended a Tumbleweed workshop I taught in Colorado Springs in 2014, and I have been following his journey to build a tiny coffee shop, which is now operational AND city approved in Colorado Springs. I kinda pounced on Don, coming up when he was pulling espresso in the Story tent for a customer. 'Do you remember me?' I asked. He looked puzzled for a minute, then I pulled off my hat and he yelped, "MEG!" He finished serving his customer and then we were able to catch up on what's been happening since I stopped getting build update emails from him a year ago when the build was done and the shop opened. He told me a couple stories about getting approval from the city to run a business in a tiny house, about how they made it ADA accessible, and he finally told me a story that made me cry a little bit (the good kind of tears, of course).
Don told me that my workshop and specifically some of the advice I had given that weekend stuck with him during the build, and that it was essential to being able to get the coffee shop off the ground. I was so moved to hear that I had some small part in his business dream.
There were other wonderful things about the Jamboree this year, but Megan and Jeff, Jay, and Don showed me that people who love tiny houses are a great community to be around.