Courtney and Cassidy are two amazing women who have overcome devastating challenges in their personal lives and created a women-empowering business, converting school buses into tiny homes!
You won’t want to miss our Q&A with the sisters, which tells the story of how one sister escaped domestic violence and the other found her strength in the midst of depression — and how they came together to start this skoolie business. But first, enjoy a photo tour of their latest design and build, created for a massage therapist as her home and mobile workplace!
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Overcoming Domestic Violence, Mental Illness While Building Buses
Here are the sisters with their dogs.
This started out as a bright yellow school bus.
I adore what they did to the fridge!
Check out the pallet plant wall!
Wood stove and awesome tiles.
They made the home functional for her pets, too!
Here’s the bedroom space.
Here’s the way into the bus.
Make sure you read the Q&A below!
What got you into building vans?
We are twin sisters who started a business together in converting tiny homes on wheels, but our story and what we stand for are much greater than that. Let us give you a little background about who we are as individuals and our story.
Courtney always felt like she was missing out on something she kept dreaming about. Her love for fresh starts, adventure, and travel. She always knew that she would eventually do it but when was the right timing? She knew that she could keep telling herself that but those reminders were never going to get her anywhere closer.
When she was 21 years old, she finally made the choice to take action. She sold everything she owned, left her long-term relationship, and booked a one-way ticket to Alaska never been there before. This was her opportunity to take a chance on a life she’s always dreamed about. She converted a 1990 Suburban, threw a mattress in the back seat, and traveled all around Alaska and Canada. She planned to never live on the road but she fell in love with it. The freedom drew her in. She went from a day-to-day routine to waking up in a different place every day and having a different routine every day. She then purchased a bus and built 5 of them in 6 years. She traveled to 49 states calling all of them home for short periods.
In 2019, she met somebody while living on the road, and Courtney suffered both mental and physical abuse for almost two years. She finally had the courage in 2021 to call the cops and leave her abuser after he put his hands around her neck and he went to jail. They actually had a bus conversion company together for almost a year until she was finally able to break loose and get away from him for good. She started using her platform to bring awareness to Domestic Violence and was determined that he wasn’t going to write her story. She sold her bus and moved down to Florida where she asked her twin sister, Cassidy to go into business together. We didn’t just want a company that was just known for building Skoolies but also to inspire and empower other females.
Growing up, Cassidy was the more introverted and shy twin between the two. Cassidy suffered through a lot with mental illness, making it extremely hard. The one thing sbe knew she had in her was the passion she had for helping others, so right out of high school, she went to college to become a nurse and graduated at 22 years old.
Near graduation, Cassidy’s high school sweetheart asked her to marry him. However, she realized it was a mistake. Not a mistake in her choice of partner but the mistake of the person she was becoming. Cassidy realized how dependent she was on someone to make her happy. But she had no idea how to be happy with herself and it bothered her. So she ended her engagement, got her own place, and focused on her mental health and what gave her happiness! It wasn’t easy in the beginning, Cassidy didn’t feel capable of doing anything on her own, and her depression was getting worse.
Cassidy was ready for a change, and that was when her true journey began. Cassidy went on a year-long fitness/diet journey that led to not only losing 40 pounds but gaining that self-love and confidence. After that, she left the nursing field, packed up everything, and went on a 6-month road trip through 42 states. She traveled in a 42-foot RV with a 30-foot trailer towing behind it. One highlight of that trip was selling her car to buy an old muscle car a 1973 Plymouth Duster. Her final stopping destination was Florida where she currently resides in Clearwater, FL. Cassidy then begins to restore her 1973 Plymouth Duster by watching YouTube videos. This was a huge highlight in her life because she showed herself what she was capable of doing.
Courtney then asked Cassidy to go into business together. This was perfect timing because Cassidy was ready for something different. and Courtney was ready to embark on a new journey. Courtney’s platform on social media gave her the boost she needed to start Nomadic Homes. A business that is not just about building buses but empowering others in similar situations, such as domestic abuse and mental health, To find their self-worth and voice. We will all go through hurdles in our life. It can sometimes feel like our life is over and there’s no coming back, but let this story be an example that even through the hardest times in our lives, something better is coming. There is always a rainbow after a storm.
What are your future plans for the business?
Our heads spin when we think of the potential of Nomadic Homes. We are always aiming for stars. We have so much passion and ambition for what we do. We work seven days a week not because we have to, but because we want to. We absolutely love what we do. Our dream is to be the biggest in the game (AND WOMEN OWNED). We also want to be able to help others along the way accomplishes their biggest dreams. We don’t only see this business as a space to build Skoolies but also as a safe space for DIYers to come and work on their projects. But, in the meantime, we are taking every step to get to where we want to be and we know we will get there with time. Currently, we are working on a 28ft bus for a solo woman in Washington as a full-time home. She sold her house and is looking for housing while she’s in the army. She will be moving around a lot, so the bus allows her to bring her home with her VS being in hotels or finding temp housing.
We have another bus coming in the shop this month for a couple of ladies that want to create a tourism business with it. They want it to look like a boat on the inside, and they plan to take people around the North East to different wineries or other tourism areas.
We also look forward to making a difference in the skoolie community and giving back. #womensupportingwomen
How many vans have you converted?
Courtney has built, 5 personal buses and she’s also converted 3 others when she had her last business. Courtney and Cassidy are almost a year in business and have converted 5 buses together. Nomadic Homes aspires to be a unique and different bus conversion company! Not only do they want to influence and support their community but they want their buses to be an artistic oasis for their clients. When building buses Courtney and Cassidy go through a unique design process that ensures they can capture the client’s vision and bring in some artistic flair. Every bus that is designed by Nomadic Home’s builds are one of a kind and made to fit the client’s individual needs.
Tell us about this bus conversion. What are the features?
Our client was a solo woman from Michigan looking for change and healing in her life. She is a massage therapist and had the dream to be able to work remotely while still being able to travel. The bus was going to function as two things, first, a full-time home, and a space for her business.
It was important to create a space to function for both of these things. We wanted to create a space that made her scream “this feels like home” and create an inviting space for her clients to come in for a massage and feel like they weren’t just in a school bus but in a warm and relaxing atmosphere. Cassidy and I are known for our rustic, artsy creations.
We bring in a lot of wood accents, including reclaimed pallets, driftwood, and live edge wood. We also incorporate a lot of plants and unique, never before seen layouts. I think that’s what drew this particular client to us and what draws lots of people to our business. Our designs are out of the box, never before seen in builds. Our Client loved the artistic feel we were bringing into buses and that they are crafted for each individual.
She loved the natural look of the wood and the rustic feel because it made her feel like she was in the woods. She was amazed at how unique and different each build was, even though we use lots of the same material. Before we began building her skoolie, We held a design call to talk about her build. We offer this call to every client because they help us get a feel of the layout they are looking for, what colors they want, and the dos and don’ts. But this particular client had no idea what she wanted. She was overwhelmed with the design process, so she allowed us to take full reins on the entire build. She never questioned us once on the build or design. She allowed us to kind of step inside her head and create a space we thought she would love.
This build was a 35-foot Flat Nose School Bus. When we received the bus, nothing was done with it. It was bright yellow, and the seats were still inside. Cassidy and I completed the build from start to finish in 12 weeks. This bus features tons of custom furniture, like the couch that pulls out into a bed, a dedicated space for her three dogs and cat, and a kitchen that gives her 8 feet of counter space.
The Kitchen includes a three burner stove/oven combo and a 28” sink with a beautiful rose gold copper faucet that swings out the window to make an optional outdoor shower. There is also a 7.5 cubic ft apartment-size fridge and plenty of storage space. We also dedicated an open space for her to set up her massage table when she has clients over, a butcher block bar top that functions as a table/desk space/cooking space that folds up and down when she’s not using it.
We also created a never done before “plant wall” to bring in color and uniqueness and an accent sunburst made of reclaimed wood. She has three dedicated closet areas, one to hang clothes, another big one to store her bar carts and massage table, and a dedicated shelving area that is removable to store anything else she might need a place for. The bathroom features both a composting Toilet and a full-size shower. She has a 100-gallon fresh water tank with an onboard hot water heater. In the bedroom, there is a full-size bed that was custom-built to the shape we needed.
She has a 12000 BTU mini split that offers heating and cooling, and the best part is everything can run off the grid with her 1200W Solar System in her custom “garage.” Here is where her solar system is located, as well as her hot water heater and litter box, which the cat can access from underneath her bed through a “cat door” we created. That way, the litter doesn’t have to be inside her living space, and the dogs wouldn’t get in it. The exterior features a custom paint job, backup camera, and deadbolt locks on all her doors for security.
The bus is now with the new owner back in Michigan. The owner is loving her new home and is extremely happy with how it came out.
- How a Trip to Iceland Inspired Their Skoolie Life
- He Built a Self-Sustaining School Bus with a Raised Roof and Deck
- Web Designer & Artist Put a Giant Soaking Tub in her Skoolie!
Our big thanks to Courtney and Cassidy for sharing! 🙏
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Natalie C. McKee
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I love your bus. Lived in one in 1985. Lived it
Now I am 73 and built a tiny house on wheels .
I would have to sell this to buy a bus
I want to live in a bus that can drive .
Love the feel of a bus .
How much are your buses approx
I have 5 cats. Would love a wood stove . Compost toilet. Big sink I love colour
Thank you so much!!
I hope you are able to find the perfect bus for you and your fur babies.
This bus is amazing and so beautiful! You ladies are quite artistic and talented, and I applaud the motivation behind your business. Great job!
Thank you so much for your kind words!
Thank you so much!!
I hope you are able to find the perfect bus for you and your fur babies.