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Living Large in 117 Square Feet Forget the McMansion. Tumbleweed Tiny House Company offers 21 floor plans for houses starting at 117 square feet.

By Jim Morrison

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Steve Weissmann, a California restaurateur and real-estate investor, was already living in just 400 square feet of space when he met Jay Shafer, founder of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Shafer was a leading voice in a growing movement that encourages people to live in tiny homes. His fledgling company sold books and building plans for complete residences that started at 65 square feet.

Weissmann so loved the stylish Tumbleweed homes that in 2007 he bought into the venture and became its president. He quickly realized that the wee company needed a big makeover. "When I joined Tumbleweed," he says, "it was more of a product than it was a business."

When the economy tanked, so did the Sonoma, Calif.-based company's sales. Weissmann and Shafer (who has since exited) reconfigured Tumbleweed with a focus on do-it-yourself homes. They issued Shafer's The Small House Book, created new house designs and offered workshops across the country.

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