Beautiful Strength Found in a Tiny Home on Wheels
Updated: Apr 5
Annette McNamara lives in and runs a business out of her 40 foot skoolie she calls “Atticus.” Beautiful Strength is also the name of her company, a nonprofit photography business. Her journey began in 2019 when she went to a tiny home festival and ended with the purchase of Atticus! Low miles and a wheelchair lift were her must-haves and Atticus fit the bill.
Tiny Homes Can House Mobile Businesses
Annette DIY’d as much as she could of the build, she even taught herself to do the electrical work. She designed the bus, but hired someone to do the custom cabinetry. In the kitchen, she has a Camp Chef two-burner stove, a small sink, hanging under counter spice holders she made herself, and a fabulous pull-out pantry. Her retro tiny fridge has been a challenge because she doesn’t have solar, but she loves the aesthetic.
For heat, Annette has a mini-split and just recently purchased a diesel heater that she loves. “It takes maybe 15 minutes and my entire bus is toasty!” She powers her bus with two AGM batteries and a 3000-watt inverter. She has an Airhead composting toilet and a cool industrial barn door for bathroom privacy. As a fun aside, she plans to make the bathroom a photo booth in the future!
Annette’s skoolie is set up to support both her business needs and as a home. MId-bus, there is a hair and makeup station for her customers to use before their photoshoots. An innovative bench seat is made from a locker that is laid flat on its side. It can be locked for extra security and to keep it shut when mobile. She also transformed tool chests into cabinets throughout the bus.
Road Travel Can Promote Diversity and Social Acceptance of Differences
Anette’s photography business focuses on body positivity, “Everybody has something that they’re dealing with and we’re all still pursuing life!” She did 563 portraits in her bus studio last year and her colorful queen-size Murphy bed doubles as a backdrop for photo shoots when it’s up.
Annette has struggled with her weight her whole life, her business name comes from a conversation she had when she had gotten into good shape and she was told that she should stop lifting weights because she was starting to look like a man. Her answer to that was “no, it’s ‘beautiful strength!’ So I got it tattooed on my arm!” Her tiny home on wheels has allowed her to assist others on their journey toward self-acceptance and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Check out the full tour to see the many innovative and interesting things that Annette is doing:
You can check out Anette's business at Beautiful Strength.org