Small, mighty & built to last
At Kodiak, we’re always looking to align ourselves with other Canadian companies that share our values. Skimming through Instagram, the gorgeous tiny homes from Minimaliste caught our eye—and we knew we wanted to learn more. After a conversation with JP Marquis, the company’s VP of Sales & Business Development, we were ready to move in!
The Kodiak Interview with JP Marquis
KODIAK: We love the tiny house movement! The lifestyle seems so perfect: less house to take care of means more time to explore the outdoors. How is Minimaliste bringing a Canadian point-of-view to tiny homes?
JP: You’re exactly right—having a smaller home can mean having a bigger, more fulfilling life. As a Canadian company, we’re really bringing Canadian considerations to tiny homes—making them truly four-season homes and focusing on quality.
K: What are some ways you’re doing that?
JP: We design and build differently: insulating trailers, focusing on air-tight construction methods and using the highest quality materials. We made the choice to always use the highest standards, even on our base models.
K: High-end products, built to last—you’re talking our language.
JP Marquis, Co-Founder and VP of Sales & Business Development, Minimaliste
JP: (laughs) Exactly! There’s no cutting corners. Some companies use shingles on the roof, but we choose to use seamless roofs with 75-year lifespans. For siding, we invest in steel and cedar because it lasts.
Elyse Tremblay, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Minimaliste
K: Why do you think the tiny house movement has caught on?
JP: I think the younger generation is seeing that less can mean more. Paying rent can seem wasteful when you can own a home for the same cost. Most of our clients also want to reduce their ecological footprint, which is an important part of the idea behind movement. We take time to really understand our customers—their wants and their needs.
K: So you get to know their lifestyle and wish-list for their tiny home?
JP: That’s right. Some clients come to us with 14 pages of ideas and photos, and it’s our job to make it happen—distinguishing the wants from the needs and making a home that’s uniquely theirs.
K: Any interesting requests?
JP: Absolutely—we built a home with a dedicated space for a lizard named Oscar! Another client wanted a tiny home with space and appliances that could accommodate his meal preparations, all with animals he hunted himself. We even created a special cat litter box area with a silent exhaust fan.
K: Ingenious! It sounds like innovation is part of your business model.
JP: Research and development is a huge piece of our brand. We do it on our own time with our own dollars, because that’s how you get better. Every employee is empowered to bring their ideas to life and contribute to the client’s vision. We’re not making things just to make them—we’re making things for people to use and love.
K: How do you stay true to those values when people are often looking for fast and cheap solutions?
JP: Minimaliste is about quality and creativity. That’s why people come to us. There’s a tremendous return on investment for people who choose to live in tiny homes—not just in the initial cost, but also over the lifetime of ownership. Lower maintenance costs and drastically lower heating and cooling costs. There’s real value to it, long-term and short-term.
K: How do you know when you’ve done a good job with a home?
JP: We have such close relationships with our clients, because we’re always looking to understand so much about them. So when they’re happy, they share it in so many ways—even sending us holiday cards with their tiny home on it, and taking us out to dinner. They’re also not shy about sharing their tiny-home-love on social media!
K: As a new dad (congratulations!), how does the younger generation inspire your work and Minimaliste’s mission?
The new generation inspires us with their vision of what life should be. They’re redefining what used to be "The American Dream"
JP: The new generation inspires us with their vision of what life should be. They’re redefining what used to be "The American Dream", and they’re more interested in experiences than owning things and having big houses. They were also raised to understand how important it is to care of our planet. Those things are directly aligned with our company's core values.
K: What’s next for Minimaliste?
JP: Right now we’re booking projects for Spring 2021. We have lots of great projects on the plate to finish the year—including deliveries to Quebec, Ontario and California! We’re looking forward to seeing the tiny homes make their way permanently into the housing market worldwide in the upcoming years. It’s an exciting time for tiny homes!
K: Perfect, we’re ready to move in!