Our Second Tiny House Festival
TinyFest NorthWest was our second ever tiny house festival that we attended last weekend near Salem, OR. After attending the Colorado Tiny House Festival, we had a general idea of what to expect – lots of traffic through our house, delicious food trucks, and friendly others wanting to embark on the tiny life.
The event was held at the Polk County Fairgrounds and just like last time, we were arranged in a circle outside. There was a playground in the center of our arrangement for the kids and a lot of picnic tables for seating. There were a variety of different homes that included tiny houses, conversion vans, and a number of different schoolies. There were also indoor vendors inside a gymnasium selling a number of different products, as well as a room for tiny life panel meetings.
Rhett and I even had a chance to be speakers on two different panels. I spoke on, “How to Choose a Professional Builder” and Rhett spoke on, “Tiny Houses VS. Conversion Vans VS. Schoolies.” While we were both nervous at first, we ended up having a great time getting to talk about what we are so passionate about. I got to learn a lot about people’s expectations when purchasing a tiny home, especially if their home is being built somewhere different than where they live. Rhett also got to hear different stances from van and schoolie dwellers on the different advantages and disadvantages of their homes.
During the festival we had consistent traffic through our house the entire festival, but no one had to wait in line to tour our home this time. This was a nice change of pace from our first hectic festival in Colorado because we were able to talk to everyone a little more and answer any questions they may have about our house. To no surprise, our bathroom was the biggest hit again as people would come back just to see it a second time. One viewer was so intrigued with our dry flush toilet, he decided to try to flush it himself! Who knew you needed to put, “do not touch” signs out for adults?
Again, we were surrounded by a lot of like-minded individuals that went tiny so they could explore the country and it was great! We immediately felt welcomed by our neighbors whom were more than willing to help us new timers out at backing our home into our show spot. There seemed to be a lot more people that were living full time in their units than last time so we were all able to hang out after hours and get to know each other better over potluck dinners.
Beth and Randy (R&B Tiny House Builds and Travels on Facebook) were such an inspiration to meet and were great neighbors to have! They are two empty nesters that travel around in their tiny home, making stops to see their children and grandchildren. Beth also has an Etsy page where she sells different sewn and embroidered goods. She gave me a beautiful potholder themed after tiny houses and a tiny coin jar for savings. It was so awesome to meet them and hear about their travels as well as get some tips on pulling our home. Thankfully they hey were even so kind to double check everything as we were leaving the fairgrounds!
Artisan Josh was our other neighbor who helped us back into our spot before the festival. He has been living in his tiny house, Little Red, that is smaller than our Cozy Rollers for a few years but is looking to sell that one as he works on his new conversion ambulance van. Josh knew so much about the tiny house community so it was really great to talk to him about his experiences, different festivals, and the different people he had met in the community.
Overall, our weekend went really well – We got a lot of interest in our home and got to get to know a lot of great people as we continue to add to our tiny home family. We also got to see a few familiar faces from our last festival which was nice! Another highlight was being able to speak on the two different panels in front of the attendees. We are already excited for our next festival in October!