Whitney Leigh Morris
Tiny Home Blogger
This is what happens when you open a store. You meet amazing people. Thats how it was when Whitney and her family strolled into our shop. Her glow and love for life was infectious. We ended up chatting for hours, especially about their Tiny Canal Cottage and the philosophy of living with a smaller footprint. Since that first meeting they've come to several of the events at our shop. The intentional and conscious way Whitney and Adam are creating their family makes them the perfect people to represent LSA. We're so happy they decided to join our tribe.
Tiny living has taught me to focus on what matters most in my life— people and community, rather than the acquisition of stuff. I used to spend endless hours agonizing over how to best organize mounds of items I never used, and shopping for new things I didn’t need. Those were hours I should’ve spent with my grandfather. Or learning. Or volunteering. Or catching up with my friends. I regret that lost time. And while I’ll never get it back, I am determined to never, ever make that mistake again. Living tiny has shown me how to make the most of my days by filling them with family, friends, and love.
How did it transition into a career?
I owe my progression into small space lifestyle consulting and blogging largely to good timing. I ran a boutique creative consulting firm for years, while Adam worked in production and digital advertising. We moved into our little home before the tiny house boom, and started sharing glimpses of our lives and setting online, mainly to stay connected with our friends and family who live elsewhere. But somewhere along the line, the Tiny House Movement gained world-wide popularity, and we realized that there were numerous people who wanted to downsize and live with a smaller footprint, but didn’t know if it was truly doable.
We turned answering their questions into a career. It was a natural and enjoyable professional progression, and it has provided me with so much joy, as well as a tremendous sense of purpose. And while tiny homes might be a passing craze (from a commercial standpoint), small space living is a timeless reality for millions across the world, and I hope to continue to remain a reputable voice within that community.
What are your biggest struggles?
Accepting that there is no such thing as work/life balance is tough for me. Running a small business in California is expensive and time consuming from the administrative side of things. And working full-time for a myriad of clients, while simultaneously creating original, organic, appealing, and interesting content every day for my own “brand” is all extremely challenging. Meanwhile, I don’t want to miss a moment of my son’s evolution, and I want to be focused, present, and energized around my family. (And we are around each other 24/7, as we share this tiny home-office day in and day out.) It’s tough to accomplish everything on the agenda, and to play each role well at every moment. Having said that, I honestly feel like the luckiest woman in the world more often than not. My family is healthy, my business is thriving, and we are beyond content with our daily lives. (But a Pause Button would be handy every now and again. I imagine most people probably feel that way…)
What are your favorite accomplishments?
I cannot believe the extraordinary magic within the people around me— my friends, clients, neighbors, and family. I chalk it up to luck and other-worldly good fortune that they're in my life, but perhaps it can be perceived as accomplishment— to walk through a world full of billions of people, and somehow end up side-by-side with the ones who inspire and love you most.
What part of your personality are you most thankful for?
My work ethic is pretty intense, and that has greatly benefitted my little family in recent years. I have my grandparents, parents, and sister to thank for that. They’ve managed to work tirelessly day after day, without ever neglecting the needs of the people around them. I love consciously experiencing the traits they’ve passed on to me.
What does your favorite or ideal sunday afternoon look like?
Adam and I agree— our ideal Sunday afternoon would be very similar to our actually Sunday afternoons, but with a pinch of enchantment. For example, it would be amazing to enjoy our cargo bike with West and the pups without thousands of cars whizzing by. Similarly, how fantastic would it be to enjoy a concert in a local backyard, rather than in a crowded venue in Hollywood? But that’s one of the reasons we love LSA so much! It’s intimate and makes us feel like we’re home, but with the added benefit of meeting neighbors from the cozy community you’ve created. Enjoying drinks, meals, and live music with friends, reading new books, and dancing around under twinkle lights sounds like the perfect end to the weekend, and the liveliest introduction to the week to come.
What would you like to bless the world with? Pick one word.
What excites you about being an LSA ambassador?
I first fell in love with LSA the moment I stepped through its gorgeous doors. But after meeting Matthew, Thomas, and the rest of the LSA family, I discovered the wonderful depth behind the shop. I respect and admire the team, products and give-back missions (which are close to my heart). Late Sunday Afternoon is a visual delight, but it also operates with a tangible sense of community and responsibility that I admire immensely. I feel lucky to play a small part in all that goodness.
Favorite ways to wear your LSA?
I prefer to wear my smaller LSA scarves around the top of my head, whereas my son West prefers it when I wear them around my neck. (Luckily I have collected enough to do both.) Our scarves have traveled thousands and thousands of miles with us, as has West's much-loved LSA blankie.
What are you doing next? How can people get involved?
We have a number of exciting projects lined up for 2018! But while I’m doing all this creative work based on homes and family, I think it’s also important to provide support to individuals with no steady home and no family, so that they have a chance to overcome their situations and thrive. I’m on the board of The Rightway Foundation, an LA-based non-profit that helps transition-age foster youth access employment opportunities, mental health services, and a community that’s always there for them. Folks can get involved quickly and easily with our $8 for 80% campaign.
Where are all the places people can learn more about you?
Those holding their phones can learn more about my family and our small space live/work existence at TinyCanalCottage.com or via Instagram: @whitneyleighmorris.
Those who have the travel bug can journey to the medieval village of Belcastel (Aveyron, France) to witness the place that inspired me to adapt such a simple but beautiful lifestyle. Those who feel like getting attacked by mosquitoes can visit the live oak hammocks around Gainesville, Florida (where I grew up, and where my folks still live) to set eyes on the magnificent trees and terrain that shaped my style and aesthetic. And those in Venice can simply hop on a bike and ride around to see first-hand the positive and negative aspects of our funky little town, and understand why I’ve chosen to focus on my community, rather than on my possessions.