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Biggest News in the Tiny World: La Petite Maison

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The biggest…littlest…um, the latest news in Tiny: La Petite Maison. I’m sure you’ve heard of it; it isn’t all that new, but this 12 year old girl has been taking the tinyverse by storm.

She has been featured in a guest post on the Tumbleweed Tiny House blog. She appeared on Andrew Odom’s r(E)vo Convo Podcast.

She and her Mom even got a chance to visit the Tiny r(e)volution while it was still in Georgia. She also recently visited the Tiny House Showcase, Boneyard Studios, in Washington DC.

There is almost nothing that Sicily Kolbeck hasn’t done and she isn’t even thirteen. As far as anyone knows, Sicily is the youngest tiny house builder on record.

I really wish I had her level of confidence when I was her age.

Sicily and a Nail Gun. Photo from La Petite Maison

Please read below, because Sicily is doing so much more! 

Now La Petite Maison and Sicily are making another splash with her IndieGoGo fundraising campaign. Sicily is raising funds so she can finish her tiny house as a school project. She plans to move in when it is done and take it with her to college – in 5 or so years.

From Sicily’s guest post at Tumbleweed:

“Freedom to me means I can support myself in a sustainable way. Building a tiny house can give me stability, possibly for the rest of my life if I build the house well. Building a house would give me the life skills that really matter, such as using tools for construction. Building the house I can know what labors go into a home and truly appreciate what I am living in.”

She gets it, folks! She really gets it. More than even some of the adults I have spoken to about going tiny.

The reason I am sharing Sicily’s story here at Tiny House Talk is because there are only a few days left on her IndieGoGo campaign and she is very nearly there. With everyone’s contributions she will be able to buy all the things she needs to complete her tiny house dreams. And as a special bonus, Deek of Relax Shacks has offered two “Guest Perks” which you can read more about at the campaign.

When I was 12 we didn’t have IndieGoGo. If I wanted to make extra money I had to have a lemonade stand. I might have done some babysitting but I wasn’t particularly good at it. Don’t tell the people I baby sat for, though. I also didn’t want to build a tiny house. I didn’t know such things existed. Consider the La Petite Maison fundraiser 21st century lemonade stand but what you’re really doing is investing in the sustainable future of Sicily’s entire life. She’s so close even a couple extra dollars can help.

**I have never spoken to Sicily or her parents. I was in no way asked to provide this kind of promotion. I just believe in this movement and I think what she is doing is absolutely fantastic. I want to support this young tiny house builder.**

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Laura LaVoie

Contributor and Tiny House Owner at 120SquareFeet.com
Laura M. LaVoie is a professional writer living in the mountains of North Carolina in a 120 Square Foot house with her partner and their hairless cat, Piglet. Laura graduated from Western Michigan University with a degree in Anthropology. She has been published in magazines and anthologies on the subjects of mythology and culture. She spent nearly 15 years in the temporary staffing industry before deciding to become a full time writer. Laura works closely with the Zulu Orphan Alliance volunteering her time and the skills she's learned building her own small house to build a shelter for orphans and other vulnerable children living near Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Laura also enjoys simple living, brewing and drinking craft beer, and popular culture.
{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Carolyn B
    January 28, 2013, 11:40 pm

    Great article, Laura L. It is so nice to see the veterans of tiny homes be so enthusiastic to welcome the next generation.

  • john
    January 29, 2013, 8:56 am

    What a smart kid! when i was 12 my biggest aspiration was a tree fort…it got built but fell apart after the first summer. I’m sure she’s going to do better than me and my pals.., sadly i was 30 years old before i was as mature as she is…i can see a lot of success for this young lady in the future.

  • alice h
    January 29, 2013, 9:43 am

    More inspiration for my 9 year old granddaughter. She’s going to help me build my tiny house and is working on her carpentry skills at her very own workbench (Christmas present). It’s becoming a hangout for some of the neighbourhood kids (yes, with adult supervision) and it’s interesting to see their woodworking skills improve and watch their enthusiasm grow.

  • Suzannah Kolbeck
    January 31, 2013, 10:06 am

    Thank you, Laura! I really appreciate your support of this project. We have now started our construction and will be framing at the end of February, but this is just the visual part of all of the work that has come before; she designed the house herself, studying space planning and the design process and making adjustments as we get donations (and as she realizes something won’t work, like adding some stairs so her older dog can come sleep in the loft, too).

    I can say that the tiny house community has been outstanding in their embrace of Sicily and her project. There isn’t one person who has told her she can’t do it, and all suggestions have been offered in such a gentle way that she can really hear them and incorporate what is being said into her design process. It is a tremendous cliche to say “It takes a village,” but in this case the community of experts who have BTDT have been invaluable. We are both so grateful, and Sicily is energized by this; she is already planning the next one (in her head!!).

    And whether Deek and Andrew know it or not, we may pop in to their tiny house workshop in North Carolina at the end of April, and we’d love to stop by and see you if you are around and up for a visit!

    • January 31, 2013, 11:59 am

      Hi Suzannah – thanks for your comment. I love what Sicily is doing and am proud that she is part of the Tiny House community. It really does show the diversity of ages that the tiny life can touch.
      I will be at the Workshop so I will see you there if you do pop by!

  • Jill Heller
    February 2, 2013, 11:17 am

    Wow, this is awesome! Just what we at are trying to get out to everyone about Leadership and Mentoring everyone including our Youth to becoming self sufficient and learning to become leaders!
    We ALL can have our Dreams Come True!
    So What are your Dreams? What if there IS a way to make them happen!!
    What IF……. We KNOW they can happen because we see it everyday now!

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