If you were to look around the tiny house movement, at the tiny house workshops, conferences and their speaker panels, at the tiny house “experts” and the tiny house collaborations you might wonder if people of color are involved in the movement.
Why yes, we absolutely are! We’re here, we’re embracing the lifestyle and we’re doing fabulous things, but we aren’t always included or invited to the tiny house tables… Well, not only are we here – we’re strong, we’re innovative, we’re tiny house trailblazers and we’re collaborating to change that – as well as build our own tables.
Our purpose is to highlight tiny house builds, tiny house living and the stories of people of all colors and walks of life- while also providing a forum for discussing the issues and telling the stories of tiny house living and the movement from the lens of people of color.
Our purpose is never to be exclusive, instead our purpose is to ensure we’re always included…
Jewel Pearson’s transition to tiny living spanned a course of ten years, where she invested a year and a half researching and planning all of the details for her home before beginning her build. Since completing her build in early 2015 and sharing her story on HGTV’s Tiny House, Big Living, Jewel is happily settled into tiny house living and she and her tiny home have transitioned into icons for the movement. Known in the tiny house world as Ms. Gypsy Soul, most remember her home for her beautiful oversized round window, her walk in closet, Juliette balcony and screened in porch and they remember Jewel for not compromising on her vision for her tiny home.
Jewel has taken her project management and consultation background and added her design and build expertise and now works with others offering professional consultation and build services and has become an advocate for the tiny house movement. She also uses her platform as a voice for representation and diversity in the movement and founded Tiny House Trailblazers, a partnership of three powerful and uniquely talented women who together are an even stronger voice for unity and diversity within the tiny house movement.
Jewel’s urban and chic home is a vision of tiny house luxury and is representative of her spirit and energy. Her tiny home episode continues to be a favorite HGTV and DIY Channel rerun and Jewel’s been featured in numerous media outlets, locally and internationally. Jewel speaks throughout the country at tiny house events and workshops to educate and to empower, as well as to inspire others to follow their dreams and design a life they love.
Bonnielee Cuevas is a successful tiny house dweller, homesteader and owner of the Bohemian EcoLove, her tiny house and homestead in the majestic mountains of Tennessee- 2500 feet above elevation where she resides with her son.
She is an avid speaker for minimalism and the tiny house movement, most recently serving as a Director for the American Tiny House Association. She continues her life long work to empower people through minimalism, sustainability and the tiny house movement and also dedicating her life to educating others on holistic, tiny house and homestead living.
Bonnielee was recently featured in Tiny House Magazine, on Tiny House Podcast and as a speaker at the 2016 Georgia Tiny House Festival and Tiny House Jamboree.
Completed in 2015 after three years of work, Dominique Moody‘s tiny home is a work of art. Nicknamed the NOMAD, an acronym for “Narrative, Odyssey, Manifesting Artistic Dreams”, it’s full of whimsical touches that highlight Moody’s incredible journey as both an artist and as a human being who’s in touch with her personal truths. Once a realist illustrator, after the loss of her central eyesight she has transitioned to working as an assemblage sculptor – and the Nomad is just that and more.
The NOMAD is a remarkable home, accompanied with a remarkable story and is certainly reflective of Dominique, who designed and built much of it herself. There are remnants of wood, architectural woodwork, washing machine glass doors turned into windows, salvaged metal reshaped and patinated into a subtly beautiful facade. Spinning above the entry is a beautiful recycled world globe, housed in a recycled bubble window. Moody herself is known for her complex and rich “assemblage” artworks, which are made from recycled materials and her tiny home was made in the same fashion.
Dominique spends much of her time on the west coast hosting tours, open houses and workshops, though she does travel, making her tiny house a nomadic artist in residence when invited to be a guest by arts organizations, cultural centers, museums, communities or educational campuses. The house itself is not a studio, so she plans to work outside where the raw materials will also be found. Site specific artwork will be created, the process documented, and left behind to be discovered by chance.