The Small Life: Dre’s Free-Spirited Airstream

The Small Life: Dre's Free-spirited Airstream Hey ya’ll! Today I’m excited to share the Airstream of my friend, Dre. Dre is an incredibly talented artist whose work I have long admired. She lives and works out of her 1975 Airstream Sovereign! Take it away, Dre!

Please introduce yourself (name, occupation, current location, etc.)
Hi!  I’m Dre!  I’m an artist with a day job (the day job is visual merchandising).  I have been actively working towards being a full time artist for about 3 years.  I work with textiles; making quilts, tapestries, embellished re-purposed clothing, and other things!  I currently live in West Virginia.  I grew up in WV, and moved away to Savannah, GA for college when I was 18.  I was there for 4 years then I moved to Los Angeles where I lived for 5 years and I returned to WV about 2 and a half years ago.

Why did you decide to move into an Airstream? (Financial reasons, more freedom, ownership, etc.)
I’ve enjoyed living in different places and when I’m ready to go the next place, I can just take my house with me 🙂

The Small Life: Dre's Free-Spirited Airstream Please describe the process for purchasing your home. (Craigslist, forum, etc.)I had just moved back to West Virginia I had been kind of toying with the idea of living in a camper for a while when I saw this beautiful Airstream on the side of the road for sale by a private owner.  A week later he was mine!

How long have you been living in your Airstream?
I have been living in the Airstream since March or April of this year!  I tried living in it through the winter, but I do not handle winter well and didn’t plan how I was going to keep warm!  I will hopefully have a better plan for winter this year!

The Small Life: Dre's Free-Spirited Airstream Please describe your home.
He’s a 1975 Airstream Sovereign, 31 ft long and his name is Freddie Mercury. I’m a big fan of Queen, and of Freddie Mercury and his incredible talent and showmanship. Given that, and the fact that the Airstream is kind of the color of Mercury, the name just really suited him!  He’s incredibly cozy and frankly, kind of a magical place to live

Are you parked or traveling?
I am currently parked.  And in a beautiful spot!  I am actually parked next to (and plugged into) my parents house!  So I have electricity. but I am not hooked up to water or sewage.
But next year, the intention is to travel!  A friend of mine and I are building a business together.  He’s an artist too, making beautiful Native tribe inspired jewelry.  We’re each building our brands individually, and also building a business together!  The business will operate as a philanthropic endeavor and our goal is to donate a percentage of sales to various charities.  The aim is to help people!  So, the plan is to begin traveling in the Airstream next year, selling our wares, building the business, and spreading our message!

The Small Life: Dre's Free-Spirited Airstream Was your Airstream ready to live in when you bought it? If not, please describe the renovation/beautification process.
Ready to live in is a relative term.  He was livable, but everything was worn out and tobacco stained.   I wasn’t so into that, so I ripped out the curtains, the carpet, the sofa and table from the front of the trailer, and one of the twin beds from the middle.  I scrubbed everything, TWICE!  I painted all the walls white and made new curtains!  I used the same track and sliders from the original curtains.  I added in a futon with a super comfy mattress so I can fold it up and give myself some extra space!  The area where the twin bed was taken out will hopefully become a desk/ shelf/ storage area, much like yours!!  It still needs a little work (light fixtures, curtains for the middle and bathroom, plus the bathroom is only being used for storage, etc) but I have enjoyed living in him!

What has been the most surprising part of living in an Airstream?
I may still be parked, but I feel so free!  I will definitely enjoy hittin’ the road when the time comes, but I feel just as free out here in the open air!

The Small Life: Dre's Free-Spirited Airstream Please describe your daily life (i.e. How do you work, exercise, eat meals, etc.)
Since I don’t have water or sewage hooked up, I use my parents’ kitchen and bathroom.  So I cook all of my meals in their house but dine in my own!  I work out inside the Airstream doing strength training, but I do a lot of working out outside as well!  They live in a beautiful area and it is relatively secluded from neighbors, with a big yard, so it’s a great place to do yoga outside. As far as working goes, I use the kitchen counter top area for making quilts!  It acts as a “studio”!

What is your favorite part of your home?
Being so close to nature!  It’s like camping all the time and I never truly feel like I’m fully “inside.”  I don’t think we’re meant to be inside all the time!  So it’s nice to feel one with the earth, and the animals and trees!

The Small Life: Dre's Free-Spirited Airstream What is the best part about living in an Airstream? The worst part?
The best part is feeling so free and having a space of my own!  The worst part is that there is not a lot of space.  generally speaking, I don’t need a ton of space…I like cozy small spaces, but as an artist, sometimes I need to spread out a little, or need a big blank wall for photographing or working on.  I have definitely adapted to working in a small space, it is just a little more challenging sometimes.

What advice do you have for other people who want to live a similar lifestyle?
Do it!  It’s such a free feeling!  And not even in the sense of taking to the open road, which I have yet to do (but will)!  But mostly because you must let go of attachment to things!  Getting rid of possessions is a free feeling and not living in the most luxurious of accommodations is too!

To learn more about Dre and her beautiful quilts, visit her website, Too Legit to Quilt or stop by her Instagram.
Do you live in an Airstream, a tiny house or an alternative dwelling? I’d love to hear your story! Email me: asmalllifemelanie at gmail dot com to be featured.