MEET THE MAKER
Building my rolling empire, one mile at a time.
Aloha, I am Kristy Nguyen - a mobile maker currently building my van and business from the road. I was a ski bum in Vail, Colorado and decided it was time to ‘get a real job.’ Looking for work but dissatisfied with the idea of a 9 to 5 desk job, I decided to take a leap and build my own dream job.
I downsized my life and drove west with only $618 in my pocket to live and start my company. I am a bootstrap business so reducing my overhead costs was a top priority. I wound up living out of my Subaru in San Diego. After a year, I saved enough for a cargo van and moved back to Colorado, which is now my basecamp.
I find inspiration right in my backyard, which changes often. My travels and adventures are infused in my designs. I collect driftwood from walks on the beach, fallen branches from hikes and choose bamboo as my primary source material because it is sustainable and lightweight.
Recently, I started incorporating reclaimed hard and exotic woods into my designs. I divert scraps heading to the landfill then cut and mill it myself.
I utilize laser cutters at maker spaces then hand paint and assemble the pieces. My ideal workshop is outdoors on a park bench with scenic views. Sometimes, it's less glamorous and I am working inside my van in a parking lot.
LIVING MY DREAM
Whether I am snowboarding in the Rockies, surfing in the Pacific Ocean, or rock climbing in the desert, I can take my business with me. I travel coast to coast selling my goods at craft shows, music and yoga festivals, breweries and pop-up events. The nomadic life allows me to the flexibility to pursue my art and continue adventuring.