I began writing this blog post and realized quite quickly that I had a lot more to say than I realized regarding my most recent experience with a tiny home living festival. So I will be presenting my experience in a multi-part series on tiny home living.
When I think of minimalism, I think of decluttering and simplifying my life. When I think of living mindfully, I think of bringing awareness to my life and making it more meaningful. Both of these concepts are at the heart of living a “tiny home life”.
I had the pleasure of attending the Tiny Home Festival in Jacksonville, Florida this past weekend. Since I don’t currently live in one, nor do I know much about tiny homes, I figured this would be a great learning experience for both myself and my husband (who is a minimalist).
Over the years I had heard about the tiny home movement, but honestly didn’t realize how much momentum was behind it. Sure, there are several shows on HGTV that discuss tiny homes, but why?
So my husband and I decided to check this Festival out. We bought a one-day ticket for the festival and arranged for nearby housing in Palatka for the weekend. The day of the event, my husband and I got to the fairgrounds and began to scope out the vendors. Now let me state something. This was only the 2nd Annual Tiny Home Festival in Jacksonville and it was located at the St. John’s County Fairgrounds. It was packed with vendors (several aisles in fact!). There were food vendors (of course), multi-level marketing vendors, small business vendors that sold anything from jewelry to home-made zucchini salsa, and rows upon rows, upon rows of tiny homes and tiny home builders. There were hundreds of people there. To give you an idea of the magnitude of the event, the 2016 event (the 1st Annual Tiny House Festival) submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records as the “largest tiny home gathering in the world ever” (we are still waiting to hear back on the results of that). It was recorded as there being 60K attendees! Now that’s something!
So back to the event. We spent most of the morning walking up and down the aisles asking questions and viewing their wares. Then we attended a few workshops related to the tiny home industry. We also got the chance to walk in and view a multitude of different tiny homes. Every one of the tiny homes was different. The only thing that was the same among each of the homes, was that they were all on wheels (we will discuss this in a bit). But not only that, the homes had practically anything you could possibly want in a home. I saw full sized tubs, dishwashers, queen sized beds, big screen projections tvs, gas fireplaces, high quality materials, tall ceilings etc. The list goes on. Some homes were quite small. While others were two storied and seemed to go on forever.
All of the builders (and there were many) had great ideas and had decorated their showcase tiny homes to fit with almost anything a tiny home client could possibly want. I was in awe of how amazing these tiny homes were. And not only that… the cost of a fairly nice home ranged in price from $18k to $65k. Fairly affordable when you think that many people spend that much on a mid-level or luxury car.
Now the vibe of the place. We have to address that. Everyone was friendly and down to earth. I mean everyone was friendly. I felt like I was at a really cool music concert. People who were presenting or sold their wares opened up their homes for all of us to see and admire. That’s pretty personal because I wouldn’t want random strangers coming into my home to see how I lived. But then again I’m not a minimalist and I own a lot crap!
In my next blog post, I will go into more detail on the speakers and then wrap up with a final summary of tiny home living.