Think BIG, Build Small: a Tiny House Workshop

Christian and I are embarking on the greatest adventure of our lives, Tiny House Expedition.

Our community education and documentary storytelling project. It will be an adventure encompassing our personal journey to downsize, build our own tiny home and then travel across North America.

What's in a name?  ex·pe·di·tion: a journey undertaken for a particular purpose. After completing our tiny house on wheels, we will travel the nation for about a year. Our purpose: document tiny house community building projects across the nation and tell the story of how each came into being, the people behind them & how they are making a difference in their communities. Our mission: inspiring & empowering people to think BIG & build small through documentary storytelling and direct community engagement (and having fun doing it).

out·reach: reaching out to others, or becoming involved in a community or effort.

Simply defined, community outreach is the practice of conducting local public awareness activities through targeted community interaction*.  Engaging with our local community, as we’ve done in our first community roundtable, and with communities across the country, will enable us to share the benefits of living small for both individual & community and to share the stories of the many inspirational tiny house community developments. Also a great opportunity to share the different methods and models being utilized, as well as what is working, what challenges have come up and what obstacles have been overcome, or not. This will help other communities to see what would work best for them.

At our Think BIG, Build Small Community Roundtable, we had a beautifully diverse group of attendees. From folks just hearing about tiny houses to tiny house builders, real estate agents to those seeking to downsize, from Millennials to Boomers. A lively, healthy discussion about tiny houses as the future of housing & opportunities for tiny house development in our local community, the Triad of North Carolina. We addressed questions like, how would you feel about having a tiny house neighbor; what reaction would your neighbors have if a tiny house(s) came to your neighborhood? Where would they fit best in our city?

Think Big, Build Small Community Roundtable at Flywheel Cowork in Winston-Salem, NC
Think Big, Build Small Community Roundtable at Flywheel Cowork in Winston-Salem, NC

The tiny house movement is self-empowering. People going off the mainstream script, consuming less & actively reducing their footprint. By choosing to live small, individuals have found that less really is more--greater freedom, less stress & greater connection to their surroundings. This new-found self-empowerment is taken to the next level when folks work together & communities collaborate to create practical fill-in-the-gap solutions for modern housing issues and an increasingly isolated living experience. These tiny house community projects address a variety of issues from the general lack of affordable, quality housing to the lack of resources for homeless, from neighborhood revitalization needs to a desire & need for more sustainable community environments.

We seek to share stories & ideas, to spark community conversation & more tiny (or small) housing development. Confidence to go down a less-traveled path and the needed know-how, can be acquired through exposure to new ideas & experiences, plus hands-on learning. Christian & I don't claim to be tiny house experts but we have a passion for learning & sharing, and of course, tiny housing. Please follow our expedition & let's think BIG & build small together!


-Alexis Stephens, cofounder of Tiny House Expedition