sneak peeks

A Truly Mobile Office Aboard The Tiny Bus Collective

by Rebekah Carey

Megan White is the proud builder, owner, driver, and lead designer of Tiny Bus Collective. She was looking at how to create an office with a low overhead that was mobile — and would take pressure off of having to make a certain amount of money from projects for rent each month, instead putting full attention into each client and their craft. “Tiny Bus is a collective of creatives with a school bus as an office,” Megan tells us. “It’s a place to escape as well as a place to have great creative meetings with clients. We have a team of designers, photographers, videographers, and writers.” Not to mention, Megan adds, the bus is a lot of fun to camp in.

The process of building out the bus took about six months, but Megan has been eternally grateful not only for the end result of the renovation, but also the actual process she got to spend working on it with her father. Both Megan and her dad were working full-time while they built the bus, and Megan says that “Literal blood, sweat, and some tears went into the renovation,” but all the hard work and hours have very clearly paid off. However, time constraints weren’t the only hurdles they faced in the build-out, she says. “The most challenging parts were thinking through the mechanics of it all. How to make everything the most cohesive way of working. How to have the inside run off a generator but also be able to plug into a 50 amp outlet. We were able to tie the diesel line into the generator that’s mounted under the bus so that when you go to fuel up your tank, the generator also gets full. My dad is a genius.”

Megan explains that Tiny Bus Collective is a branding and design brand first. When it came to the design of the interior, clients were always on her mind. With client meetings happening on the bus, Megan wanted to be sure that the space felt cohesive and as streamlined as possible so their design clients wouldn’t feel distracted from their client presentations. With the team located in Fort Worth and with clients in Austin, Dallas, and Houston, having a mobile design studio has been a necessity that Megan doesn’t take for granted. “I’m most thankful for the time I got to spend with my dad building the bus, and for the incredible clients that it’s brought my way. I’ve met some amazing people that have been the reason that Tiny Bus Collective is still chugging along.” Rebekah

Photography by Ron Dillon and Cory Hale, additional editing by Design*Sponge

Image above: The exterior of the Tiny Bus Collective. The bus is a 2002 Blue Bird School Bus that Megan converted into a mobile work station complete with living quarters for traveling.

Megan White The Designer And Creator Of The Tiny Bus Collective On Design*Sponge

That face you make when you’ve worked so hard to make a dream into a reality. Here, Megan poses in front of her pride and joy — the Tiny Bus Collective.

Still Room For Lounging Within The Two Hundred Square Feet Of The Bus Tour On Design*Sponge

Megan explains the thought behind the multi-functional seating, “The sitting area is a bench that has storage for blankets, card games, and an ottoman with comfy Target cushions that faces the drop-down smart TV. That TV is where we display client presentations.”

Versatile Clipboards Can Be Used For Myriad Reasons On The Bus Tour On Design*Sponge

Not only do the clipboards serve as decor, they’re also easily reachable and functional. “Clipboards hang above the sitting area for anyone who wants to grab one and take notes in creative meetings.”

The Kitchen Is Functional For Workshops, Daily Work, Or Traveling On Design*Sponge

“The kitchen area is stocked with the basics… coffee. The top shelf is lined with cooking utensils, glasses, and the staples: oats, flour, sugar and coffee beans. The bottom has all of your coffee cups and a dope french press from Starbucks,” Megan explains.

The Bus Is Complete With A Bathroom That Includes A Shower For Travel Tour On Design*Sponge

“The bathroom area has a simple yellow barn door that leads you to the stand-up shower and the spaceship toilet,” Megan shares. “We went with the Dry Flush Electric Waterless Toilet from Home Depot so that we didn’t need to add a black tank to the bottom of the bus.”

The Collective Gets To Sleep Like They're On A Tour Bus When They Travel For Work Tour On Design*Sponge

Anyone sleeping in the bus gets to sleep and rest in comfort. “There are four beds. The bottom two lift up for additional storage. Each bunk has a smart TV and privacy curtain.”

The Chic Inside Of The Bus' Sleeping Quarters Tour On Design*Sponge

“Each bunk is lined with comfy grey sheets, a white lightweight duvet, a smart TV, a small ledge that you can place your phone on while it charges next to a USB and wall outlet. Each bunk also has a cute USB night-light,” Megan explains.

The Extensive Work Area On The Tiny Bus Collective Tour On Design*Sponge

Clever storage can be found all around the bus. “We used the window ledges for additional storage for our pens, pencils, and other needed utensils. We also have a cutting board for quick projects and a light board for all the fun tracing one needs.”

Necessary Storage On The Tiny Bus Collective Tour On Design*Sponge

“We are a branding and design collective and paper is our weakness,” Megan admits. “We love to have swatch books on hand so that we can recommend the best papers for our client’s printing needs.”

One Of The Work Stations On The Tiny Bus Collective Tour On Design*Sponge

The bus really is a fully functioning office as Megan shares the details, “The workbench has four seats available. The work area also has a printer and paper section below.”

Some Of The Tiny Bus Collective's Design Work Tour On

One of the Tiny Bus Collective’s design projects. “We believe that big things often have Tiny Bus beginnings.”

What A Workshop In This Tiny Bus Collective Looks Like Tour On Design*Sponge

In addition to a working office, the bus also hosts workshops. Here Megan notes some of the foods they serve for these workshops: “Tiny Bus equals tiny foods. Tiny pancake stacks, tiny BLTs and more.”

Floor Plan From The Tiny Bus Collective Tour On Design*Sponge

The floor plan of the bus. Megan shares all that went into making it happen, “I moved back to Houston from Fort Worth to build the bus with my dad. For six months we went from sketches and ideas to reality. When you move away from home, you never think that you’ll live with your parents again, but living back at home for six months to build this bus with my dad was one of the best experiences thus far.”

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  • What an amazing story about an amazing young woman’s dreams and goals. This story is just the tip of who she is, what she stands for and what she’s accomplished. Megan has been my hero for as long as she’s been alive, not saying she was a perfect child but I have learned so much from her over the years. This project was perfect timing in our lives and we both have grown from it and will cherish the time spent working on the bus together for the rest of our lives.

    I love you Megan White, you’ll always be my little girl.

    Signed; One very proud Dad.

  • Megan,
    This is AWESOME!!!
    I am very proud of you & Darren!
    Much to be learned from this experience….

    Denise Hales Pate
    (cousin you don’t know)

  • So inspiring to see this innovative, talented designer’s dream come to life. Go Megan! I know The Tiny Bus will continue to achieve big things. Well done!

  • Ok, So I thought the bus was amazing….then I read what your dad wrote and started crying. You are one lucky and obviously beloved girl.