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Jay Shafer Leaves Tumbleweed Tiny Houses: New Venture Announced

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You may have already heard the news. Jay Shafer, the founder of The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, is leaving to start a new business venture. The announcement was made quietly and there isn’t even anything listed on the Tumbleweed Tiny House website at this time.

On October 27th, the Facebook page for Tiny House Design posted the following status update:

“Jay Shafer is leaving the Tumbleweed House Company. That’s the sad news. The good news is that he’s starting up a new endeavor focused more on “social justice via housing rights.” He needs some feedback on a new name… I’ll post a survey next – please vote to help Jay name his new organization.”

Jay Shafer Leaves Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Photo By Jack Journey Copyright Tumbleweed Tiny House Company 2008

The news was commented on, liked, and shared by a couple hundred tiny house fans but it may have gone practically unnoticed by most people as it scrolled past our Facebook walls amidst photos of Halloween cats and political ads.

Jay Shafer himself responded to the Facebook post:

“Wow! Thanks everyone. Tumbleweed will still stand in whatever form my ex-business partner makes it. I plan on releasing a bunch of new house designs in the next couple months. I’ll probably start by doing a hands-on building workshop to get things rolling. I’ll announce the date soon here (if Michael’s ok with that). Probably early January.”

The pole to name Jay’s new company is still up at the Tiny House Design Facebook page, so feel free to participate.

I do not know if the news is simply coincidental at all or if it is part of the master plan, but the old Tumbleweed Social Media site on Facebook was rebranded and re-launched on Halloween under the name “WeFeel WeAre” after having been dormant since August. Plenty of tiny house related links are being shared.

What are your thoughts on Jay Shafer leaving the company that he founded? What can we expect from the continuation of The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company in the future? What do you hope to see from Jay’s new venture and what it means to be focused on social justice and housing rights?

Since it looks from Jay’s comment that new information will be provide and created soon, be sure to keep tabs on the tiny house internet community for more announcements.

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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.
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Daniel
    November 6, 2012, 8:55 am

    I hope to one day see laws not impeding the liberty and pursuit of happiness of others. If I wish to build a tiny house, then I will construct it! Besides, the micro house I intend on building is so small I can hide it from neighbors with a few well-placed bushes and trees.

  • Sherry
    November 10, 2012, 2:37 pm

    I am glad to find out about Jay starting this business of his. When I saw his traveling trailer on tv few years ago, I knew that I needed to find out more information about the trailer. It somehow fitted my plan. After seeing the trailer with pop up above (converts to second floor, or loft), I had to come up with a plan for myself. I looked around until I found what would work and fits my need. I came up with a plan and am still working on it. I hope to build my home/traveling trailer before long. Right now, I am saving money and going to the University where I’m a student at. So, maybe I will send in the notes about my home one of these days.

    I want to say thanks for doing the business and the weblinks on the Tiny Houses. It was wonderful and I love it! Just keep up whatever you do.

  • November 10, 2012, 8:19 pm

    You must have been the last to know. I knew this back in August from his workshop in Montreal.
    Tumbleweed homes will never post anything like this on their website because I am sure they are trying to disassociate Tumbleweed products from the mastermind of Jay Shafer so that they continue to do business – much like Apple is continuing without Steve Jobs.

    I wish all the best to Jay – I know that with his new venture, he will up the standards and reinvent the tiny house movement once again.

  • Teri
    November 10, 2012, 10:09 pm

    I also identify Apple with Tumbleweed, and Steve with Jay. It’s left me feeling kinda empty somehow. I participated in Jay’s last workshop with Tumbleweed in Santa Rosa in October. Didn’t realize how lucky I was!
    I wish Jay all the best, can’t wait to see how he’ll champion the tiny house cause, and will stay loyal to Tumbleweed in the meantime. I’ve got a Fencl in my future!

  • Anthony McCarthy
    November 11, 2012, 4:01 pm

    I’d like to see more of the Mad Housers kind of tiny house development.

    Good luck Jay Shafer.

  • Sarah
    November 11, 2012, 6:03 pm

    The clientele who want tiny homes is growing. The companies to design and build tiny homes are growing. It makes sense that there’s now need for advocates willing to go to bat to change the laws – the laws that prevent people from building what they want, where they want it. Here’s hoping that Jay continues to help tear down the antiquated American dream that ‘bigger is better’.

  • Soody
    November 25, 2012, 9:53 pm

    The only constant is change. Congrats to Jay for continuing to grow in new directions. Tumbleweed will evolve too. It’s all good.

  • Bill Riedinger
    December 1, 2012, 2:12 am

    I just found out that you were moving on to other things. I wish you the best of luck in your new project. November 30 2012 Bill Riedinger please keep use in the loop if you need help from the faithful Tiny house lovers.

  • John Henry Designs
    December 13, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Best of Luck in your new venture Jay.

    I hope you will prosper and have fun with the Four Lights Company. It’s smart to assemble a creative team with a like mindset. I also think you are on the right track with the Napoleon Complex.

    The only way we will every be “truly free” is to combine a simple lifestyle with plenty of passive income to afford the freedom to make a difference in this ever changing world.

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