For those of you who don’t know, Jay Shaffer the founder of Tumbleweed Tiny Homes is going to be leaving the business to his partner and starting a new venture. Jay clued me into this past summer when I saw him in Raleigh, but he didn’t make it public at the time. He has now gone on the record through Tiny House Design’s Facebook Page (brought to my attention by Tiny House Talk).
Before people get all up in arms about my title, hear me out. What Jay had done for the Tiny House Movement, is huge, in fact many would argue he created the movement. In my mind his major contribution was developing a vernacular of living in small sensible housing and then bringing it to the public. His house designs are very aesthetically appealing, combined that with the cookie cutter homes of today that lack any character, his designs instantly have wide spread appeal, even if we aren’t going to live in one. Finally he started a larger conversation, one that questions values, goals, priorities and the way we live life all in a approachable way.
So why am I saying that Jay leaving Tumbleweed is a good thing? Well first I need to point out that it might be a good thing, it might not though, but the potential is there.
One thing I have come to learn about people is that they do their best work when they follow their passions; that pursing what you feel in your heart and what excites your mind is a very powerful force. With Jay moving to his next venture, he has the potential to bring his creativity and charisma to a whole new area. I wish him the best of luck and look forward to what will come of it.
The main point of today’s post is that for a long time Tiny Houses have been synonymous with Jay’s name. This will continue, but it also allows others to enter into the space. There are many advantages to have a single point of representation for a movement, but I also know that for the movement to grow and mature, it must grow beyond that single person.
To have a single person means there is a lot of pressure and demand placed on one person. Jay has represented us extremely well and I am sure he will continue to, but we need to grow and find our own footing. This will allow, as a group, for the best ideas to rise to the top, for our group to become more organized as a movement, to have more tiny houses in all forms, and to have more people building Tiny Houses. Laws need to be changed, codes need to be re-written and research / publications need to be done; these lofty goals that cannot be accomplished by a single person alone.
So we here at The Tiny Life wish the best to Jay and we look forward to what will come, but we firmly believe that this is simply a step in maturation of the movement!