Meet The TinyFest Team!

head and shoulder photo of a woman smiling standing in front of a tiny house on wheels with a big R on it
woman smiling as she walks away from a small gray bus parked in front of a a desert mountain

Renee McLaughlin- CEO

Say hello to TinyFest CEO and founder, Renee McLaughlin. For her, the idea of “Going Tiny” is more than just buying and moving into a moveable home. It’s about sustainability, autonomy, flexibility, and freedom: financial freedom, freedom of mobility, and freedom from stuff and stress. And, it’s about having fun! 

TinyFest began as the brainchild of McLaughlin, a native of Iowa. After living and maintaining a 3300 square foot, 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom house – she decided in 2015 to sell it all after her youngest daughter was heading to college. She realized it was “Her Time” to do what she wanted – and she wanted a Tiny House! 

She bought her first tiny home on wheels – a 87 square foot home nicknamed “Big R” and took it to a few festivals in 2016. 

She kept thinking, “We need to have more of these festivals, because it gives people a great way to experience tiny living, ask questions, and see things in person.”  

That’s why she created TinyFest Midwest, in Des Moines, Iowa, featuring fellow Iowan and ‘The Godfather of Tiny Houses,’ Jay Shafer. She then branched out to TinyFest California before creating TinyFest NorthWest and now offering the first ever TinyFest Texas, in Austin.

Tracy - Vendor Coordinator & Front Gate Chief

Meet Tracy! She’s not only TinyFest Vendor Coordinater but also Renee’s best friend.
You will see Tracy’s welcoming smile as soon as you arrive to TinyFest! She is great at organizing the ticketing systems and keeping the lines at the entrance moving smoothly. Her organizational and people skills make her invaluable to TinyFest attendees. Her gentle, calm demeanor amidst the chaos and her long-term friendship make her invaluable to Renee.
Tracy’s family joins the crew for event weekends whenever possible and we are blessed to have them as part of the amazing TinyFest team.

head and shoulders photo of a woman smiling. She is wearing glasses and has long light brown hair
a woman & three guys leaning in for a group photo

Caitlin - Social Media Queen

Cailtlin attended Tinyfest Midwest 2019 and fell in love with the idea of meeting so many like minded people and being able to help attendees looking for guidance. She and her boyfriend Evan started their full time van adventures shortly after and she joined the TinyFest team not long after that.

She totally digs being able to spread the word about TinyFest and brags “I have gotten to internet creep and meet some of the coolest, creative, wisest, warm hearted people I have ever met.”

Evan - Tiny Village Coordinator

Introducing our newest member of the TinyFest team – Evan. He’s the Tiny Village Coordinator & Project Director for the new Live Stream option.
He may be new to our TinyFest family but he is by far new to the tiny living community. Evan has been living full time in his van, POHventure, for two in a half years, full time traveling with his girlfriend, Caitlin, and 2 puppies for over a year and a half!

A young woman with pig talls and a big smile holding a small dog wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses
a couple sitting in the back of a camper van looking at each other lovingly
photo of a man with medium long hair flipped to one side. He is wearing a shirt that says "livin' the fantasy" and standing in front of a vista

Brianna & Kayla

From the beginning, Renee’s daughters have been two of her biggest supporters and awesome assistants for TinyFest. Brianna & Kayla basically do whatever mom asks in order to help the event run smoothly. They have been invaluable to the success of each event. Both young ladies have started a family of their own in the past year and will be missing out on TinyFest California 2021 as they stay home to care for the tiniest and newest members to the TinyFest family.

two young women in matching shirts and hats. The shirts are bright orange and say "TinyFest Midwest"

Reg & Janelle

Renee can always count on help from her brother and sister-in-law at TinyFest (and in the rest of life too!) Reg is great at logistics and security. His military background and willingness to always stand up for his little sitster make him perfect for the job. Janelle is head honcho at the merchandise booth. Her calm and friendly personality are appreciated greatly by the rest of the team and by TinyFest attendees too. Their daughter Lexi also joins the team whenever her busy Army/ college/ homesteader schedule allows.

A couple in their 40s posing together in front of a rocky beach

Melody & Darren Mike

Meet Melody & Darren. They have been apart of TinyFest since the very beginning. From heading up TinyFest Midwest in Omaha in 2017, to taking pics and vids, emceeing stages, overseeing sound tech, hosting Tiny House Symposiums, and helping with so, so much organization, this awesome couple do it all! The family of 6 is now buildling out a skoolie to live & travel in and are excited to show it off at TinyFest California.

A couple posing at the doorway of a school bus. They are wearing shirts that say "TinyFest"

And Gabe!

Meet our friend Gabe. He first joined the team at TinyFest Midwest in 2019 and has been stuck with us ever since. (We tend to do that to people 😉) He doesn’t hesitate to “go get it done” and then ask what else he can do to help. He’s awesome. Gabe is constantly filling in anywhere that he is needed and running errands non-stop- which has earned him the nickname “Gopher Gabe”.

two people standing in the opening of an outdoor shirt shack