Interview Q&A with Jewel D. Pearson, AKA Ms. Gypsy Soul

Jewel Pearson, AKA Ms. Gypsy Soul, is the happy homeowner of one of the funkiest and coolest tiny houses in town. Her 360-square-foot abode has received many praises all over the tiny living world thanks to its stylish and clever layout and design - and for being one of the very, very, very few tiny homes with a walk-in closet!
Jewel shares all about her tiny house and her downsizing process on her website, where you can also find her home floor plans for purchase. You can also learn a lot of Ms. Gypsy Soul's home on her Facebook page. Now that Jewel's dream has come true, she just wants to help others fulfilling their own tiny dream. 
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Why did you decide to downsize?
It had always been my plan, since my daughter was young, that once she was grown I’d live a lighter and free-er lifestyle that would allow me to travel and enjoy life more and work less. Downsizing was part of that process.
What do you enjoy the most about tiny living?
I enjoy my home most. It’s cozy and comfortable; it’s filled with my favorite things 
and was designed specifically for me. It’s also facilitating that free-er, lighter lifestyle I desire.
What were some of the difficulties or challenges you had to face when you decided to transition to a tiny home? 
Getting through my build process and finding a location for my tiny home were my biggest challenges.
How did your family and friends react to your decision of going tiny?
The majority of my family and friends were very supportive, not all of them understood my decision but they were still supportive. Once the vision started coming to life a couple of friends that hadn’t completely understood initially, really got it and have since become some of my strongest advocates.
Has tiny living introduced any major changes to your lifestyle?
Not really major changes, though my tiny house is located more in the suburbs and I’m more accustomed to living closer to the center of the city and that’s been an adjustment.
Financially, would you say that living tiny has helped you?
Yes, tiny living is helping me financially. I am still recouping from my build, which was an out of pocket expense, but I am able to see the bigger, longer-term financial benefits ahead.
Is there anything that you’d have done differently in terms of design, etc.? Is there anything that you would include now or something you'd like to get rid of?
Thankfully no, there’s nothing I would have done differently in terms of design. The effort put into paying attention to how I used my space and in knowing my must haves for my home paid off.
Besides the walk-in-closet, one of the coolest, and not so tiny, things in Jewel Pearson's house is the bathroom. 
According to Ms. Gypsy Soul's Facebook page, her "fabulous closet" was designed by Jamie Lawson Interiors. 
What advice would you have for people who are thinking to move into a tiny home?
The advice that I give everyone is to spend the time and work upfront paying attention to how they use their space and understanding their must-haves for their space to ensure their design works for them. I think that is key to being successful in tiny living and in ultimately enjoying the transition.
Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to incorporate the “tiny way of life” even if they’re still living in an apartment or a larger house?
I started downsizing my things and my space while I was in my apartment. I think getting rid of clutter, and things that have just collected over the course of time and not just filling the home with unnecessary stuff because there is space available are ways to live tiny in large spaces.
What have you done yourself and what was done by professionals? Do you have any recommendations in this regard? 
I sketched out my initial layout and then worked with my sister Dawn White, who is in interior design to transition that layout to a design with detailed plans that we then had reviewed by an architect. Jamie Lawson, a friend and also an interior designer helped with the plans and also partnered with me onsite through the design and build details. I hired a residential builder to complete the build to my plans, though I sourced all of the build materials and sourced and managed all of the subcontractors that were involved in my build. My recommendation to anyone building is to do their due diligence in researching (if applicable) and in checking references.
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