Originally posted by Holly Duchmann, Daily World
Acadiana will soon have its first tiny-house construction company, Tee Tiny Houses, which is slated to be open to the public beginning in July in Arnaudville.
Cherie Hebert, the founder and president of the company, said the tiny house movement is all about people being able to live a simpler life with a lot less stress. The tag line for the business, she said, is to “live easy.”
“The idea is you can live a lot easier with less mortgage, less stuff, more freedom and flexibility, so you can enjoy other things,” said Hebert, who also is a partner and founder at BBR Creative in Lafayette.
The company will have five different models of tiny homes to choose from, each designed by Acadiana architects or University of Louisiana at Lafayette senior architecture students for a specific purpose. There will be a camp model for hunters and fishers, a rustic cottage model, a model designed for a single occupant, a model designed for the elderly and a model with a modern design. Each model is also named after the architects who designed the home.
(Photo: Rendering of the inside of a Tee Tiny House)
“When you build somebody’s home, you’re building more than just a house,” said Hebert. “It’s a place where you live and raise your family, where you enjoy life and experience life. So having a nice, aesthetically nice place to live with nice amenities — it just helps you live a richer life, I think.”
Beginning in April, the company will spend three months building its first model, the Zaunbrecher, named after architects Gil and Tanya Zaunbrecher, according to Hebert. From there, the company will build eight more homes in the six months after, and will be open to the public in Arnaudville starting in July.
Hebert said it was George Marks, the founder of NUNU Arts and Culture Collective, who approached her with the idea of starting the company last year to fill a vacant building, owned by her father-in-law, in Arnaudville. From there, Hebert said she began to research the tiny house movement and was surprised she couldn’t find another company in Louisiana that exclusively built tiny houses. Hebert said when she commented on a blog that she and her husband were thinking about starting a business in Louisiana building tiny houses, she received messages from 47 people from all around the state saying they would like to buy the homes.
“As a marketer, I know that doesn’t happen. You don’t just send something out and all of a sudden you have 47 people that want to buy one,” said Hebert.
The business venture has also turned into a family project with many of Hebert’s family bringing their skills together. Her husband has worked with residential construction. Her daughter helps plan the social marketing for the project, and her son who has a degree in environmental management and is sourcing all of the company’s environmental products.
(Photo: A family venture: Jamie Hebert, Jimmy Hebert, Jacob Hebert and Cherie Hebert of Tee Tiny Houses)
“My father-in-law has been also been instrumental,” said Hebert. “We talk about (the business) over family dinners now, because he has really made himself a tiny house expert... Literally, we all have something to contribute. Oddly enough, George is the one who presented the idea, but our whole family loves the idea because it brought all of our skills together. Collectively, we all have the skills to make a business like this work.”