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

Renee - 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.
woman smiling as she walks away from a small gray bus parked in front of a a desert mountain

Tracy  & Frank 

Meet Tracy! She’s not only TinyFest Vendor Coordinater and Front Gate Chief, but she's also Renee’s best friend.

You will see Tracy’s welcoming smile as soon as you arrive at 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 awesome husband Frank recently joined the TinyFest Team and is appreciated by all for his hard work ethic and great attitude. 
couple in their forties take a selfie in the car. Big smiles on both


Caitlin participated in 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 started her full-time van adventures and joined the TinyFest team shortly after.

As TinyFest's "Social Media Queen", 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 ever met.”
A young woman with pig talls and a big smile holding a small dog wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses


Introducing Evan-  He’s the Project Director for the new Live Stream option. Evan enjoys geeking out on all the technical aspects that have to fit together seemlessly in order to bring TinyFest out of Texas and on to your computer, no matter where you are located.

He may be new to our TinyFest team, but he is by far new to TinyFest and the tiny living community. Evan has been living full time in his van for over 3 years and has been a part of 5 TinyFest events- and counting!
photo of a man with medium long hair flipped to one side. He is wearing a shirt that says

Melody & Darren

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! Melody is both Pro-Builder Coordinator & Symposium Organizer. The family of 6 is now living, traveling, and home-schooling in their self-built skoolie and are excited to show it off at TinyFest Texas.
family standing front of a gray bus turned into an RV

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

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. Both young ladies have started a family of their own in the past year and will be missing out on some of our future events as they stay home to care for the tiniest and newest members to the TinyFest family- Grayson & Sophie
two young women in matching shirts and hats. The shirts are bright orange and say

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 is why he always gets to drive one of the golf carts and why he has earned him the nickname “Gopher Gabe”.
two people standing in the opening of an outdoor shirt shack