TINY HOUSE, BIG HEART CAMPAIGN
UPDATE! SO MANY NEW PERKS!
We decided early in the process of creating the campaign to reach out to as many artist friends as possible. So that’s what we did. We thought, why not include all these incredible people that we love so much into my campaign so the whole world can see how talented they are.
$45 Nikki McClure Signed Letterpress Broadside!
Printed at the Sherwood Press in Olympia,WA and signed by the artist. Limited edition so get it while you can!
$45 One Dozen Tiger & Tuffy's Artisan Popsicles
Made by Kim! Tiger & Tuffy’s popsicles is an Olympia tradition made famous by our DIY summer fun neighborhood stand. You won’t want to miss out on these! Kim only uses the freshest organic produce (fruit & veg), no refined sugar, and flavors will be determined by what’s in season and tasty. This perk is only available locally or to those willing to pick up the pops from Kim directly. Flavors may include some of the following combinations: grapefruit rosewater, honeydew lime, carrot orange ginger with a twist, pomegranate lime, lemon honey ginger, etcetera.
$200 Overnight Stay in Dee Williams Tiny House! +one hour chat/consult with Dee!
A one-night stay in the legendary Dee Williams tiny house in Olympia, WA complete with a copy of Portland Alternative Dwellings tiny how-to manual Go House Go! You’ve seen the pictures and watched the videos. Now see it with your own eyes. Dee will join you for a one-hour tiny house chit-chat on her cute little porch. Bring your ideas, questions and tea mug for what will surely be a great overnight stay. (transportation not included)
$500 A day of 3 "B"s (Building, Beer N' Buffalo Wings) with Deek Diedricksen of www.relaxshacks.blogspot.com
Live in the Boston area? You and a friend could be hanging out all day with author of "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks", Tumbleweed Tiny House Company presenter, and HGTV host (for the upcoming series "Extreme Small Spaces".
A 5 hour hang/hands-on session, with lunch provided, a signed copy of Deek's book, a chance to work on and design a micro structure, build a recycled pallet adirondack chair (that you can keep), and a backyard cabin tour.
$40 The Tiny House, Big Heart Compilation album!!!
We sat down and made a long list of some of our favorite recording artists with some history in the NW. The theme of “home” seemed appropriate as we all have our own vision and history of what that means. To our delight many folks got excited and agreed to participate. This album has been a labor of love and I can’t wait to hear what everyone has created. These tracks were written specifically for this campaign and cannot be found elsewhere.
Artists participating in the Tiny House, Big Heart Compilation album include but are not limited to:
Kimya Dawson - www.kimyadawson.com
Karl Blau - www.karlblau.com
Mirah - www.mirahmusic.com
Your Heart Breaks - www.yourheartbreaks.com
Tender Forever - www.tenderforever.com
Rae Spoon - www.raespoon.com
Led To Sea - www.ledtosea.com
Eli & Ashley (from Lake) - www.laketheband.com
HOT TEARS (from songs from Moms) - hottears.bandcamp.com
Aaron Weaver (from Wolves In The Throne Room) - www.wittr.com
Calvin Johnson - www.krecs.com/artists/calvin-johnson
ONYX O'Lovely (from Polka Dot Dot Dot) - www.myspace.com/thepolkadotdotdot
Eleanor Murray - www.eleanormurray.com
Mary Water - www.reverbnation.com/marywater
The Maxines - www.krecs.com/artists/the-maxines
Chris Sand aka Sandman (The Rapping Cowboy) - www.chrissand.net
Kerby Ferris (from Lovers) - www.loversarelovers.com
Lisa Schonberg (from Explode Into Colors, Kickball and STLS) - www.lisaschonberg.com/
Upside Drown - www.upsidedrown.com
Cubby Berk (from Lovers) - www.loversarelovers.com
Think about all these beautiful songs wrapped in a beautiful sleeve letter pressed with an original artwork! Oh yeah. It’s gonna be so good your ears will long for more.
$25 Tiny House Big Heart letterpress Broadside
Jami Heinricher of Olympia’s much beloved Sherwood Press is going to put the pedal to the metal and push out some crazy beautiful broadsides on her Heidelberg Windmill 10 x 15 platen letterpress for this project. We’ve never been able to convince her to make a website but you can check out some of her work at http://thesherwoodpress.wordpress.com/.
$65 Tiny House Big Heart 2014 Calendar
2014 calendar of original artworks based on the theme of “home” by some of our favorite current and past Olympia, WA artists. We called ‘em up, told them about our campaign and miracle of miracles they said yes. After much prodding by my campaign team I have decided to contribute a piece for this beautiful collection. I know, my art in the same calendar with Nikki McClure, Tae Won Yu and Katie Baldwin. What! The pressure is on. Artists include but are not limited to:
Karen Lohmann www.BlessingTheJourney.com
Arianna Jacob www.publicwondering.wordpress.com/
Nikki McClure www.nikkimcclure.com/
Katie Baldwin www.katieameliabaldwin.com/home.html
Thess Fenner www.eyedamage.net
Melanie Valera www.tenderforever.com
Marina Gagarina www.smalldogdrunk.carbonmade.com/
Patricia Vasquez www.patriciavg.tumblr.com
Tae Won Yu www.taewonyu.com/
Molly McIntyre www.mollymcintyre.com
$500 (weekend) or $1200 (7 days) Stay in Kim's Tiny House
What more do I need to say? It’s going to be fantastic for me and for you.
You can see the efforts of our amazing crew of dedicated builders and friends and what your money is supporting. In my spare time I write tours of Olympia and will provide you and your travel mates with a custom designed tour of Olympia hot spots and history. I’ll also hook you up with some super tasty locally crafted treats and produce; and I’ll set you up with all the goods you’ll need to enjoy our cedar sauna that’s just 400 feet from your lodging. We are a 10 minute walk to the beach through a wooded park, a 45 minute walk to downtown Olympia and the best coffee in the universe, and a ten minute drive to the Food Co-op. The tiny house is, well,…tiny, so I must impose a limit on the number of folks who can stay each visit. There is going to be a pull out full size bed downstairs for those unable to climb the ladder to the loft. If you have a small child and really want to stay in my tiny house email me and we’ll talk. Unfortunately, I cannot budge on animals in the house unless you’re traveling with a stuffed animal. (transportation not included)
And Now Here is what happened:
Last summer, the tiny house on wheels I was building burned to the ground in a mysterious fire that started in the barn adjacent to my house. I had spent several years working extreme hours to raise the capital for the project and spent countless hours figuring out the logistics of building my tiny dwelling. The house was halfway done at the time of the accident and the loss was devastating emotionally and financially. But with the help of many dear friends and community members I’m ready to raise the funds necessary to start over.
Please check out the fundraising campaign and help me rebuild my tiny dream. Thanks!
Who am I and what am I all about?
My name is Kim Langston, I just turned 39 years old and have lived in Olympia, WA for 13 years. I have a degree in community development and participatory research from the Evergreen State College. Although I once considered a career in the field of urban forestry and land conservation, my deep love of food and community sidetracked me and I set sail in a different direction. I now focus my professional efforts on all things related to agriculture, conservation and education.
By day I’m an urban farmer, avid book reader, letter writer, junior artist, nature lover, bicyclist, tiny house enthusiast and renegade artisinal popsicle maker; needless to say, an engaged member of my community. I work full time as a produce and garden manager at the Olympia Food Co-op, a collectively managed member-owned consumer cooperative. Emphasis on the word cooperative, please. What does that mean? Good question. It means I work in a kick ass place where I’m not only an employee, but my own boss.
By night I dream of creating a life that is less stressful, more meaningful, more possible, less dependant on making lots of money and emphasizes fun and collaboration with others. If left to my own devices, I work way too much at my paid job and make too little art and spend too little time with my friends and family. Being frugal, living in a tiny house, sharing resources and property, and owning as little as possible is my goal and my dream world.
The goal of the campaign
The goal of my campaign is to raise $40,000 in 60 days to rebuild my tiny house on wheels while promoting as many local artists as possible. The house will be 20’x 8 ½’ and I will live in it full time with my peppy cat Poppy Gimlet. Like all great things in this world, this campaign is built on a foundation of love, trust, gratitude, humility, fun and team spirit. I’m infinitely better at supporting and encouraging other people’s projects than I am at promoting my own. Putting this campaign together has been challenging and amazing and at times terribly painful. Having financed the first project mostly on my own was very empowering but stressful. I feel a great deal of responsibility to honor people’s contributions and to use the money gifted to me in the most meaningful and respectful manner possible. And, if we are able to make more than 60,000, we have lots of great ideas on how to use the funds and I’ll tell you all about that soon!
WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING?
The money is going towards rebuilding my tiny house on wheels. Jenn’s house cost us roughly $50,000 from start to finish. My house is going to be slightly bigger so will cost slightly more to build. My hope is to build the house so it can be totally off grid or plugged in. To do this I will be buying some items that are more expensive and new. This tiny house on wheels is going to be an example of how to create a structure that's super flexible and efficient.
Phase 1: Materials & professional services—The money you donate to this campaign will be going directly towards the construction of my tiny house on wheels. This money will help buy the trailer, lumber, windows, hardware—basically all the building materials needed to build a house. Good quality regionally sourced materials aren’t cheap and reclaimed materials are often more expensive than new. Here are some examples of projected expenses:
20 x8 ½ foot custom built trailer, 9 aluminum clad wooden windows from Marvin Windows, Velux skylights, wool insulation from Oregon Shepherd, RV rated hot water heater, apartment sized cook stove, boat-rated wood stove, lumber, cedar siding, OSMO stain & sealant, flooring, roofing materials = $29,000
Here is a detailed breakdown of the main expenses:
1-20 foot custom built trailer from Iron Eagle in Portland, OR = $4,000
9- Aluminum clad wooden windows from Marvin Windows = $6,000
2-Velox skylights + flashing kits = $1,700
1-Precision Temp hot water heater = $1,200
Galvanized steel roofing + all roofing materials = $1,500
Stain & sealants = $1,000
Wool insulation & supplies= $1,000
Canadian built Unique propane cook stove= $1,000
Lumber + siding = $3,000
Flooring: hard wood + Marmoleum + installers fee = $1,500-2,000
Built-ins = $2,000
Doors = $1,500 to 2,000
Plumbing & electical (supplies & labor) = $3000
Phase 2: Carpenters — Building a tiny house on wheels is a very precise art and requires a lot of consideration and skill. I want to be certain my house is safe to live in and can safely travel on small rural roads and fast-paced highways without harm. I will be hiring some professional builder friends to help with parts of the project I’m not qualified to build and who have generously agreed to teach my eager pool of volunteers (about 50 so far) basic building skills so they can help with parts of my project as well as their own. I will also be hiring an inspector to review the process in an attempt to secure insurance on my home post-construction.
Professional builders fees = $13,000-15,000.
Phase 3: Pay down remaining debt from previous project = about $10,000.
Phase 4: Replace as many of Daniel’s tools as possible that were lost in the fire in 2012 = about $5,000.
Phase 5: Go solar and invest in a solar kit to make the house as awesome and environmentally friendly as possible = about $5,000.
Phase 6: Seed money for an insurance co-op for other tiny house owners.
WHY THIS CAMPAIGN IS SO DAMN WORTH FUNDING:
- Because holy smokes this house is going to be so beautiful and you can say you had a part in building it
- Because it’s super duper supporting someone trying to do something unique and inspirational.
- Because tiny houses on wheels are rad structures of art that should litter the landscape everywhere but don’t.
- Because we live in a culture that devalues our desires to live life differently and this project challenges that notion and tells the “American dream” to take a hike.
- Because the perks are amazing and all these artists deserve your divine attention.
- Because this project isn’t just about me building a tiny house but about people allowing themselves the space to envision something and go for it even though it’s hard.
- Because giving is fun!!!
- Because I’m awesome and totally honorable!!!
And of course, if you can’t contribute financially, how about forwarding this on to your friends, or even just donating one dollar. Just one dollar! That’s less than the cost of one organic Washington grown apple. By forwarding it on, and getting this campaign more indiegogo hits, you’ll increase the chances of this campaign going to a whole other level and being featured on the indiegogo home page.
SOCIAL NETWORKING IS KEY, WE NEED YOUR HELP TO SPREAD THE WORD:
Beneath the video at the top you'll see various ways to share this campaign.
Tweet it, tell your facebook friends, or use the share tools to spread the word. And feel my eternal gratitude. Here are a few suggestions. Feel free to copy and paste directly:
Tweetable: "There’s this totally fantastic person whose house burned down in a mysterious barn fire last summer. It sucked but she’s all excited to take another go at it. Let’s help her fulfill her dream of living in a tiny house on wheels"
- For people who don’t know me. "Holy smoke. I just learned about this totally fantastic person whose house burned down in a mysterious barn fire last summer. Let’s help her fulfill her dream of living in a tiny house on wheels. Her campaign is so darn exciting. Check it out now!!!"
- For people who do know me. “Hey buddies. It’s time to help Kim rebuild her beautiful tiny house on wheels. Open up your wallets and toss her a few bones for her project. Heck, check out all those amazing perks and buy them while you can. Her campaign is so darn exciting. Check it out now!!!"
WHY GO TINY?
FULL BACKGROUND STORY ON MY TINY HOUSE PROJECT!
About five years ago my partner Jenn Kliese and I looked into the prospect of buying a house and settling in the area. After a good deal of research and soul searching we realized that wasn’t really what we wanted. Real estate in our area is way out of our price range and what we really wanted in a home we never found. We had both been flirting with the idea of graduate school and taking some time for some extensive travel and buying a house seemed ill-timed but oddly alluring. But the idea of going into debt or trying to build something on a foundation without knowing how long we would be living in Olympia made us weary.
Along the way we realized that building a house is like developing a garden. A good deal of attention and intention can transform even the smallest of spaces into the perfect pod of creativity and magic. What we really wanted was something small that matched our creative needs. Jenn needed space to create visual art and music while I needed a well-appointed space for cooking, writing, working on smaller art projects and entertaining. We wanted a space that was inviting for friends and family and small enough to maintain with the minimum of effort.
We had lots of ideas for how to address this dilemma. Restoring an old Airstream seemed plausible till we realized we could drown under a potential plume of condensation and mold in rainy Western Washington. Converting a friend’s garage into a 700 square foot modernist dwelling seemed good until we realized we’d be building a house for someone else’s future. Building something with Cobb or straw bale on someone else’s land seemed affordable and fun till we learned that our regressive county/city regulations don’t support such construction.
We thought of this. We thought of that. We drove ourselves nuts with possibilities. We knew we really wanted to own and design our own house and just couldn’t figure out how to afford the type of house we’d want to live in. We also knew that there had to be a solution to our problem. So many incredible people in our lives have creatively addressed this problem and with their inspiring stories at our sides we kept our minds and eyes open.
We made a pact that the lives we would craft would make freedom a priority: more time to focus on developing our intellectual and artistic selves, more time to spend with our families and more time to work in our community. To do this we needed to look for something very different than the typical options. In the winter of 2009 we realized the answer was parked right down the street from us in our neighbor Dee Williams’ yard.
How had we not considered the possibility of building a tiny house on wheels? It was perfect! The architecture was beautiful and the structure was solid. We could decide on the size (to a degree) and design the interior to match our specific needs. The price tag of a tiny house was still high, but achievable in a way that the traditional houses around us would never be and provided the type of flexibility we were looking for. A house we could take wherever we wanted to live. We’d never need to worry about high rent again. It even seemed small enough that we just might be able to pull off building it ourselves.
After many conversations, a lot of research, some number crunching and mystified opinions from peers and family we decided to pursue the dream of building our own homes. As much as we love one another we quickly realized that 140 square feet was too darn small for two people who were also artists and decided to build two tiny houses. Since no banks in our area offer loans for these types of projects we needed to raise lots of capital and quickly. I set myself a grueling 55-hour workweek to start saving money and accruing vacation time. Jenn did the same and enrolled in a 3-week intensive at the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont. We took the money many people spend on buying plans and applied it to sending Jenn to school so we could design exactly what we wanted. With a great deal of help from friends we started construction on Jenn’s house in the spring of 2011. Though the learning curve was steep and the process painful we persisted. Jenn moved into her tiny house in November 2012 and is completely in love. My house was to be done around the same time and we had hoped to move into our separate abodes at the same time.
After many set backs we began construction on the second house in June of 2012. After inventorying all our experiences building Jenn’s house we decided to hire our very sweet and talented friends Daniel and Dennis Zenefski to build the house. The goal was for them to get as much done as possible before August when Daniel was to begin a fine woodworking program at the College of the Redwoods and Dennis had to return home to Georgia with his family. We would act as their support and do as much of the lesser skilled work as possible to expedite the process and save money. After a solid year of building Jenn’s house while working full time we were exhausted. Daniel and Dennis were a blessing.
They got further than we ever imagined when we all decided to take a few days off to spend with family and relax. I can’t tell you how awesome it was to pay people I love and admire to build my house. I’ve never been able to afford such a luxury and create employment for two families at the same time. They made my dream a reality and I got to make Daniel’s dream of teaching Dennis more finish carpentry skills possible. They built my house like it was a piece of fine furniture. Every detail was perfect and well thought out. It exceeded any expectations I might have had.
At 7 am on July 22nd a fire broke out in the barn/wood studio adjacent to my nearly complete tiny house. The fire was mighty and the fuel stash in the barn was big, resulting in several explosions and powerful tongues of flames. My house was just too close to avoid being engulfed by the fire. By 10 am all was lost. My house, the barn, the tools of several carpenters and numerous wood supplies, cars, a tractor, etcetera. All that remained were piles of twisted metal, melted rubber and plastic, melted glass and lots of wood debris. My loss was catastrophic. Every item I had purchased for the project was either in the house or stored in the barn. Although the folks who own the barn have insurance on their property my house was uncovered. We are still trying to figure out if any compensation will come from their policy but that could take years to settle—years that I don’t have. It took me 7 years to save the money for this project and now I’m out $30,000 and have a heap of debt to pay down before I can even think of rebuilding.
So, this is where you come in. I’m putting together an Indie Go Go campaign with the help of some very generous friends. The goal is to raise enough money to pay down the loss on the first house and rebuild another. The dream is to come out with enough money to replace most of Daniel’s tools that were lost in the fire and with seed money to start a badly needed insurance cooperative for myself and other tiny house dwellers. The goal is lofty but I believe entirely possible. How hard can it be to raise $40,000?
This project was my opus, the compilation of years of hard work, effort, money and heart. I am not prepared to let my vision go or give up on my dream. Sure, the fire put a hold on things and broke my wee little heart in a million pieces but with the help of a lot of kind and generous people I know we can rebuild successfully. I would like to be able to try to build an even better house this time. A house with even more reclaimed materials, more locally milled and sourced lumber with more hands, including mine, involved in the building process. Basically I want more of all the good and great stuff that made the other house so damn magical and amazing to be apart of.
Thank you for donating to my project. I assure you your contributions are going to a great cause.
Sincerely and humbly,
Tiny House Builder