Celeste Giannas was two weeks away from giving birth when she built her first tiny house – now one of 14 across rural New South Wales and Victoria.
“I was two weeks from my due date with my second child – with my daughter – and I was in the middle of nowhere with no reception setting up this tiny house,” Giannas told Yahoo Finance.
Her business, In2thewild, which she co-founded with her sister-in-law, was born out of both a love of travel and a way to create balance in her life.
And, after she discovered tiny houses, she says the idea just “snowballed”.
“We worked on designs with a partner to build the houses for us, and it just felt really natural - it was something we needed,” she said.
Giannas and her team plan to have two more built by the end of the year, and then a further 10 each year after that all around the country.
The in2thewild concept
If you’re booking an in2thewild tiny house, be prepared for a little bit of mystery.
“You book a house in a general area, but it’s a secret location,” said Giannas.
“It’s not revealed until very shortly before your stay, and you get a really detailed info pack that gives you driving directions. That’s really part of the mystery and excitement of getting there.”
Rather than it being about the location, Giannas said, it’s about the experience - and that’s where the homes come into play too.
“We created these homes to bring nature to you, so you feel like you’re a part of it.”
And Instagram has been vital in spreading the word.
“It’s been phenomenal for us - it’s just a great platform for a unique provider like ourselves,” she said.
“We can’t replicate authentic user-generated content. It allows people to daydream and see themselves in that situation and see themselves disconnecting like others are doing, so it’s been a really important part of our business and a great channel.”
Giving back to the community
While Celeste and her team bore the costs of building the tiny houses, they didn’t need to purchase the land it was sitting on it.
“That’s the beauty of the business,” she said.
Instead, the team partners with local farmers and landowners and leases some land in order to use it for the tiny house.
“We can’t survive without them - they are everything to us, and we have strong relationships with them.”
Landowners can choose to take care of the tiny houses too in terms of maintenance, or offer their products like honey or wine.
“It provides them with a second source of income, and that’s been really helpful. This is why we love it so much - it allows us to give back as well in a way.”
A business and a baby – or three
Giannas’ sister-in-law had three children at the time, and Giannas herself had two - and they were also working full-time as a teacher and a nurse respectively.
“It was hard - I won’t lie,” she said.
Giannas said most of the work gets done while the kids are sleeping, which is either before 5am or after they head to sleep in the evening.
But, while the business is a priority too, the kids come first.
“We’re very focused on being present, that’s our ethos. We don’t like that [the business] to take over when we’re here [at home], we think that’s really important.”
And Giannas admitted it was tough quitting a stable job too.
“It was [tough], absolutely. But, you know, we really believed in it and we’re so completely passionate about it.
“I think when you feel strongly about something, you kind of have to take that risk and see where it goes. I think we owe that to ourselves,” she said.
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