While tiny houses may offer limited square footage, they provide mighty gains toward future wealth. Jewel Pearson is familiar with this line of thinking. As a small home advocate and designer, she has lived in her farm-located handmade house for eight years. Jewel began planning her future space after being inspired by another person’s tiny house build. Designed on graph paper, the vision came to life in what was originally 280-square feet, but is now 480 square ft with a newly added sunroom space. There are a unique combination of various windows – “A good sunrise and sunset just make my entire life” – a lofted bed and a sunroom she jokes was built specifically for her plants.
After breathing life into her dream, Jewel has tapped into her passion for helping others. She advocates for tiny houses on wheels as an affordable housing option for consideration within the country’s growing crisis, and is additionally focused on Black and brown folks. Today, Black homeownership continues to trail behind other groups due to racism and redlining in conventional home buying. Jewel is forging an alternative path for people of color by proposing tiny homeownership to build wealth. “For me, it was my retirement,” she says.
This non-traditional 401K has given Jewel financial independence and a peaceful refuge she can call her own. Read on for her full interview, and watch this HGTV video for a tour of Jewel’s home.
What’s your job? What do you like about it?
By day I am a product manager for Western Governors University. However, the work I do and absolutely love (when not working for the man 😅) is as a tiny house designer, consultant, educator and advocator. I haven’t yet gotten that work to a lucrative enough point where I can do it full-time or supplement it with other housing or housing advocacy-related work. I am speaking it into existence that it’s on the way or I find an opportunity within that area.
What made you decide to move into a tiny home?
I have dreamed of living a lighter, freer lifestyle since my daughter went to kindergarten in the early 90s. My tiny house is the culmination of that dream. I designed and built it in 2015 as my non-traditional retirement plan to live and know freedom.
What was the most significant adjustment for you after the move?
Finding a place to locate it, since Charlotte is not friendly for tiny houses on wheels. I researched for two years before building in 2015 and designed my own home for my requirements. There were no adjustments specific to my tiny house or living in it.
What is your favorite thing about your tiny home?
I adore my entire house as it’s a sanctuary of peace, but my favorite thing about it is the lifestyle it affords me.
How has your tiny home changed how you live and look at life?
I am more conscious of my footprint and trying to better steward the earth. It also ignited my passion for advocacy around tiny houses being a viable option for affordable housing, along with the equity conversation specific to homeownership, wealth building, and liberation for Black and brown communities.
Interested in having Jewel help you with your own tiny home journey?
Chat and consultation scheduling: https://calendly.