Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Tiny House Mobile Art Gallery & Studio

This week, I am sharing the story of how I came to be the new owner of a tiny house mobile art gallery and studio. It's a dream that I’ve had for many years that all began when I started to regularly watch Tiny House Nation on the FYI channel. I was captivated by the innovation and craftsmanship that went into creating a functional house in such a small space. One episode featured a couple that wanted to use their tiny house as a place to live and as a mobile store for the items that they made. I immediately thought about how awesome it would be to have a trailer dedicated to being an art gallery and teaching studio.

I started to research other businesses that had created mobile showrooms for inspiration and I came across the world of mobile fashion boutiques: converted enclosed trailers, step vans, and tiny houses used as mobile sales floors. Along the journey, I also considered transforming an enclosed trailer. I inquired with multiple custom trailer builders for quotes. I had even found a trailer in Illinois that was used as a Lularoe mobile store. I almost purchased it while we were in West Virginia on vacation. However, something told me it just wasn’t right and I cancelled the transaction.

This past Memorial Day, while I was searching hashtags for mobile businesses I somehow came across a sale post, for the trailer that I now own, on Instagram. I inquired about the trailer, that they had named "Tiny",  through private messaging. After a few messages, I found out the owners had changed their minds and decided not to sell their mobile store. At the time I was disappointed but also inspired! It was exactly what I had imagined having as my mobile art gallery and teaching studio. It fit the style of my artwork and the feel that I would want my customers to have when imagining my artwork in their own home.

While I was in Lancaster for the Art Biz Mastermind Workshop, we took time to plan out our goals for the next six months. Building or buying a tiny house trailer was on my list. At the time, I wasn't sure if it was obtainable. I spoke privately with Alyson Stanfield about my idea and she encouraged me to explore it more. At the same time, I used my Strategic Planning Guide from Creative Capital to write and think about making my goal a reality.

I began doing research on building my own tiny house art studio. I reached out to a trailer manufacturer that put me in touch with their regional builder, Tiny Foundations Northeast in Connecticut. Christopher was amazing to collaborate with and he even created a Sketch Up design of what I had in mind (If you're looking to build your own, I highly recommend Christopher). I decided before I ordered the trailer and shell that I needed to take more time to source the unique windows and doors that I wanted. I also had been thinking and designing for so long that I thought it would be best to take a break and set my idea aside for a while to really consider what I wanted.

As life often does, time marched on and I had put my idea on the back burner. One day, I decided that I was ready to think about a trailer again and all of the ways it could be utilized. That also happened to be the same day that the owners posted the tiny house trailer was back up for sale. I contacted Mandi on September 27th and on October 7th, they delivered her to NJ. I am still amazed at how it happened and we both believe it truly was meant to be.

Robert and Mandi custom built her all by hand, even the steel roof was hand bent from a local Ohio Amish business. They used locally harvested lumber, accents from their own barn, and the floors are beautiful, rough cut 1" thick walnut. They used the trailer to sell their handmade signs and home decor along with other unique items made by local artisans. They designed it to have plenty of wall space which is perfect for my use as a mobile art gallery. The trailer truly is one of a kind and I am so lucky to be her new owner! Be sure to come to my Holiday Open House on December 1 & 2 from 10AM - 5PM for the big reveal and experience her for yourself! Click here to get all of the details.

Me, Mandi, & Robert

I’d like to thank EVERYONE who has ever commissioned a painting, took a workshop or private art lesson, hosted a painting party, purchased a print, greeting card, or even a magnet. YOU made it possible for me to make this dream come true! And I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the support of my amazing husband. He is always encouraging me to reach higher and dream bigger. It has taken me a lot hustling and saving to make this dream come to reality. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your continued support!

If you are a business that would be interested in hosting me for future events, please email me kimberlydenglish@gmail.com

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