Get to know Jay Shafer


Thanks to Twitter and Stephanie over at Coming Unmoored I noticed that Amanda over at Constructing a Simpler Life posted the text and photos of an interview she recently had with Jay Shafer at his tiny house in Sebastopol, California. Jay is considered by many to be one of the central people of the tiny house movement and is a co-founder of the Small House Society.

Jay has been living in tiny houses of his own design and creation for over ten years and is a great example for many people looking to downsize. You can see the houses he designs at Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. He also sells house plans and tiny books he’s written on tiny house design and construction.

Amanda was interviewing him for a project she’s working on as a graduate student in photojournalism. Kent Griswold from Tiny House Blog was actually there too and posted a short report on the visit on his blog too.

Get to know Jay Shafer better and read the interview on Amanda’s blog. You can also meet Jay in person in Sebastopol at one of his monthly open houses or sign-up for a tiny house workshop at Photo credit Amanda and Kent.


10 thoughts on “Get to know Jay Shafer

  1. petermarkregalado says:

    Good day…I'm peter mark regalado from the philippines and i want to know about tiny house, how it made?thanks

  2. John says:

    Jay you were ahead of your times. At 57 I’m an unemployed teacher and not in good health, so I purchased a used 31′ RV but I like your mobile tiny home better. But at least if worse comes to worse I have a roof over my head. I just need to move it to where the climate is more moderate in the summer. I just still have problems letting the stress of my life go, which in reality I have very litle control over my situation. I just need to quit thinking about what other people think and move to someplace beautiful and relax.

    • Max says:


      You are absolutely right. The only thing keeping you from letting go is the fact that there are so many judgmental people in society. Live your life and don’t worry. Good luck.

  3. Terri says:

    I love your homes. I wish I had one but I can’t afford it. Wish I had one for an office on wheels. Have you thought about getting a grant and building them for the homeless?

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Hi Terri,

      Several of us have talked about humanitarian project like that in the past and I know there has been some movement there. I’ve posted a few free plans to help others help themselves. It’s a step in the right direction but I’d love to be able to do more. Maybe soon.


  4. Katherine says:

    The first time I saw the tiny houses was on the Yahoo website and I was absolutely astounded. These houses are smaller than my own bedroom! But they look so functional that I instantly fell in love with them. Forget ‘bigger is better’ this is an amazing way to start your life again, or even for the first time. I wish I owned one, maybe the future has one in store for me. Thank you and I love the idea of building them for the homeless. You do great work and I absolutely love them! Keep it up!

  5. Nick says:

    It’s not just a way of life, or a permanent way of life, which is something that alot of people have oversight about, but instead it is a philosophy that can affect your current and future standings about property ownership and items owned…minimization is key to survival with the world and our own happiness. “After my house burned down I was afforded a better view of the rising moon…”

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