Holistic "Earth Mama" builds chic custom skoolie for family to attain financial freedom.
Courtney "Earth Mama" Jolivette is a mother, doula, author, blogger, and holistic content creator. She has also been busy building her own bus into a tiny home on wheels for her family in Atlanta, Georgia. And they recently moved onto the bus full-time. Although Courtney already had experience living an off-grid, minimal lifestyle, bus life has enabled her to further pursue financial freedom and the ability to find and purchase land for her family. Follow Courtney's adventures here.
Make/ Model: Thomas International
Current Location: Atlanta, GA.
Purchased From/Location: Alabama
Cost in materials for the conversion: paid $4500 for the bus and put in a little over $12,000 in materials and builder supplies, donations included
Total time from purchase date to life on the road: purchased in May and worked through the build and moved in July with still a little left to do. But I'm mostly done.
Why a bus?
I wanted to do bus life two years prior to the build. I felt like I needed change and I felt that bus life would give me that. I had already lived off-grid prior. Financial freedom and elevation is always the main goal. To achieve that I needed to minimize my surroundings. It was an easy transition being that I was already in a minimal lifestyle.
Does your bus have a name or phrase you call it? Why did you choose it?
I call her melanin because of the HUE-man I am. I chose her because of her beautiful brown tone.
Will you be full-timing?
My kids and I live on the bus full-time and we also travel. Currently looking to purchase land outside the country.
Where are you converting/ did you convert your bus?
We converted the bus in Atlanta, GA. And yes I was hands-on for most of the build.
Did you do the conversion yourself or did you hire someone?
Most of the build was me and my partner prior alongside a lot of family and friends we’ve made along the way.
Who are you living/traveling with?
I live with my family which includes four kids, three boys one girl.
Were you all on the same page about living bus life or did one person (or more) have to be convinced?
No, we weren’t all on the same page, but change is inevitable and to see the end goal you have to be willing to change.
What type of skills for the bus conversion did you have prior and what did you learn or teach yourself so far?
I’m pretty handy so a lot of the build was ok. We had a lot of volunteers and help as well. I learned so much along the way, especially about measurements and construction.
Tips/tricks/advice to help others have who want/are converting a vehicle?
My only advice is to do what you want and follow how you feel. Nothing should stop you.
What is the most unique feature of your conversion?
The most unique feature I have to say is the bohemian aesthetic feel and the compost toilet area because of the faux grass along with the brick wall.
What do you do for income? How often do you work while on the bus?
I am a content creator of brands so I make my income by showing the products of holistic, ethical, and sustainable brands. I’m always working on the bus.
Is there anything you wish you did differently in your build?
The only thing I wished I’d done differently was to leave more room in the front area for a bigger living space.
What are your lifestyle goals while living in the bus?
The goals I have are for financial freedom and purchasing as much land as I can for all my children.
What has been people’s reaction to you buying a bus to live in?
The outpouring of support has been amazing actually and I’m beyond grateful for it because it’s been more than enough support.
Have you met other skoolies or buslifers on the road?
I have met a lot of skoolies along the way and they’ve contributed a lot of advice and references for the build.