One Colorado Springs company is proving that major success can be found not by thinking big—but by thinking “tiny.”
As of February 2017, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company—the nation’s leading manufacturer of tiny homes (low-cost mobile or residential houses as small as 100-400 square feet)—officially transferred its corporate headquarters to Colorado Springs from California. Colorado Springs is gaining a reputation as the tiny home “capital of America” thanks in large part to Tumbleweed, which has transformed from a small “farmers market” business into a full-scale manufacturer, producing hundreds (a projected 144 in 2017 alone) of custom tiny homes out of their local factory.
After growing from three employees to 90 in just a five-year span, Tumbleweed’s popularity and quality craftsmanship have started to make waves nationally. The company is partnering with major companies such as Ford and SPAM (Hormel Foods) for B2B work, and its website receives more than 10,000 visitors per day. Tumbleweed is the largest tiny home manufacturer in the country. While other builders might produce a handful of custom tiny house projects annually, Tumbleweed’s output in 2016 alone was 94 homes. Additionally, the company’s diverse customer base spreads throughout the entire nation, from Maine to Hawaii. “We’ve got everything from hippies to hipsters, from babies to boomers,” says Justin Hall, Tumbleweed’s HR Director. “There are so many different options of what a tiny home can do, and how we’ve shown people that you don’t have to sacrifice modern conveniences when you go tiny.”
Why the Move to Colorado Springs?
One of the nation’s top-ranked environments for business, Colorado Springs has proven to be a perfect fit for Tumbleweed’s manufacturing facility, and now welcomes their corporate headquarters as well. “It’s just so expensive in California, it’s not realistic,” Hall says. “We’ve found that Colorado Springs is just so much better for us, by leaps and bounds.”
Beyond manufacturing, Hall also notes that Colorado Springs’ lifestyle and mindset is perfect for the tiny home industry. With the proximity to the mountains and a culture of sustainability, eco-friendliness and adventure, Colorado Springs fits well with the ideals of the industry.
Changing the Industry
Not only is Tumbleweed leading the way in tiny home manufacturing, but they are also revolutionizing the industry in a number of ways. By building their homes to be movable and classifying them as recreational vehicles (RVs), Tumbleweed is helping owners to tackle some of the tough zoning and insurance restrictions that are faced by the rest of the tiny home industry. Tumbleweed has also created an effective method for mass-producing tiny homes: buyers select from pre-designed models, building materials and floor plans, but are able to customize to make the home their own—one buyer even had them build in a $15,000 bed.
The Tiny House Jamboree
This August 4-6, Tumbleweed will be one of many tiny home builders featured at the third-annual National Tiny House Jamboree, a national convention in Colorado Springs where tens of thousands of potential buyers flock each year to get a look at the industry’s best work. The event features speakers, Q&As, book signings and workshops, and has been based in Colorado Springs every year since its inception in 2015.