Smart Cookie: Monique Villiger, Founder Of Tyny - Ecobuy

1)      Could you tell us a little about yourself and what’s your business about?

We are Monique & Aswan. One of us (Aswan) is a professional carpenter with 10 years of experience. This was a huge advantage during the designing and construction of our first tyny house. While advantageous, it is not impossible to build a tiny house without building experience, it just may take a little longer.

After building our tiny house and experiencing the benefits of compact living, I  felt like I had to share it with the rest of the world. Tiny house living has opened up a world of freedom in my own life and I wanted others to be able to have the same. Plus I was getting a steady stream of questions from people enquiring about the size, the measurements, the appliances etc.

I wanted to make it easy for people who were interested in tiny houses to get started with their own build.

2)      How was the process of building your own tiny house?

It was an extremely enjoyable and gratifying process to build our own tiny house. There is something very satisfying about home making, it took me back to my childhood making cubbies and tree houses. Over  a period of 8 months we build the house from the trailer up. We spent about as much time on the design prior to this, drawing and redrawing until we got it right. Once the design is perfect, the build process becomes a lot easier and quicker

3)      What makes your business sustainable?

Well the business itself is quite simple and being a digital product is completely sustainable. But behind that is what people will do with the product  which has the potential to set them on a path to a highly sustainable lifestyle. The flow on effect of living in a tiny house is huge – you are  likely to consume less as it simply won’t fit and an energy efficient house makes it easier to operate off solar. Using a dry toilet for example will save around 20,000 litres of water per year per person.

4)      What are the benefits of going tiny?

Aside from the environmental benefits already mentioned, the other key advantage is the financial aspect. We spent $47,000 (AUD) on the materials to build our house (not including the labour which did ourselves) and even if you were to pay a professional to build it still comes in a lot cheaper than a normal house. Our living costs have reduced dramatically meaning we can work less and save more effectively.

5)      What’s the reaction of people when they see your house?

People love it! Building small allows for more effort and artistry to go into the design of the house. We wanted to create a space that was visually pleasing as well as warm and homely. The first thing people say is ‘wow that picture window  is amazing’. Some people have remarked that we have more storage than they do in their apartment.

6)      What can I do if I want my own Tiny house?

If you think it could work for you i’d recommend trying out a tiny house on airbnb to start with. The next step would be to find a design that you like and take it to a tiny house building company (there are lots of those starting up). If you’re building it yourself the next step would be to find a location to build and start thinking about the materials you will have to order to build it.

For more information you can check out their website: